Before it all started, there was nothing. Then, shrouded in mystery, came the Big Bang. For billions of years our Universe expanded, eventually forming the stars, planets, and other celestial bodies. More than four billion years ago, our Earth was born. As Earth spun on her axis, land and water separated. Then the sea life, flora, and fauna evolved. The region now known as the North Pole was bathed in a gaseous dust, which swirled softly in, and over, the area. Contained within this dust was the Spirit of Joyful Giving – the essence of the region. Over millions of years, this mystical powder combined with the light from the stars and formed a forest where the trees’ branches were golden and adorned with shimmering stars. This gilded wood was known as the Starlight Forest.

           In the Starlight Forest, there roamed a snow dragon, named Charisma. While her origin remained a mystery, elements of starlight and mystical dust were hidden deep within her DNA. Cloaked in opalescent scales, this magnificent creature exhaled dazzling rainbow colors into the air. Although she did not know it, she had been entrusted with the care of the Starlight Forest from its very beginning. She was a gifted sculptor, and was happiest when she was carving snow and ice statues with her glorious breath. As she worked, the spectral colors drifted through the forest and nourished the tree-stars, causing lustrous gemstones to form. Charisma’s iridescent breath, together with the golden light from the star-studded trees, formed the Aurora Borealis. And so, when Charisma was especially happy, the northern sky was bathed in a radiant glow, and the forest was nurtured by her joyful feelings.

            Because Charisma wandered throughout the Forest, every tree was touched by her essence.  Over a millennium, a small number of tree-stars were chosen, and each, in turn, began to twinkle more brilliantly than the others. As their brightness intensified beyond visual perception, they were magically transformed into impish creatures; when the brilliance dimmed, the elves remained. For the elves, the light in the Starlight Forest was blinding, and so, they left the forest and settled in a nearby region, where there was a high concentration of wuffle dust.

            Charisma was oblivious to these ‘births’ and departures. Although the Starlight Forest was dense with golden, star-studded trees, fewer than 100 stars were selected for the Elvin Migration.  And so, Charisma remained unaware of her role in creation.

            While Charisma was content to wander within the Starlight Forest, the mist containing the Spirit of Joyful Giving permeated the entire region. When the time was right, the Spirit of Joyful Giving was transformed into a living being. This jolly old elf-like being was immediately drawn to the forest by its light. When the Spirit of Joyful Giving met Charisma he was enchanted.  He longed to give her something, so he picked a star from one of the trees and offered it to her saying, “This is the star of happiness.”

            The star shimmered more brilliantly than any Charisma had ever seen. “Rrrriii, thank you, Santa Claus,” she purred, as she accepted the present (Santa Claus is dragon-speak for Gift Bringer).

For more than a century, Charisma and Santa Claus were companions, frolicking together throughout the Starlight Forest. The day finally came when Santa Claus realized that he had another calling. He did not know where his path would lead him, but he knew he had to move on.     Even before Santa Claus was able to tell Charisma, she knew that he would leave the Starlight Forest. She wondered how she could thank him for so many years of companionship.  Finally, she decided to make him a garment.

            “Rrrriii, it will be the very first gift of Christmas. It must be a very warm jacket, for it is so cold outside of the Forest,” she mused. She began to gather bark from the star-studded trees. She especially liked the trees with golden stars and red gemstones. “Red is a royal color, rrrriiii, a hue that can be seen easily.” She plucked red gemstones from the trees, to add color to her creation. With her breath and her tongue, she wove the bark and gemstones into a glorious, plush fabric, heavy for warmth and light for wear. “Fit for a king, rrrrrriiiii,” she purred. Then, she wove bark and wuffle dust into a twinkling white fur, “To trim the suit and give it mystical power,” she said out loud. Carefully, she worked, until she completed her task -- pants, jacket, and hat. She was ready for Santa Claus, who was already looking for her throughout the Forest.

            “There you are!” Santa Claus beamed and embraced Charisma.

            “Rrrrriiii, rrrriii, I know you are leaving me,” Charisma said. 

            Santa Claus hung his head.

            “Do not be sad, Santa Claus, for it is your time, rrrriiii. I know you do not understand, nor do I. You are the Spirit of Christmas…the Spirit of Joyful Giving, rrrrrii.”  She offered Santa Claus the magical suit she had woven for him. “This is the very first Christmas present. Rrrii, perhaps one day you and I, both will understand.”  He accepted it with gratitude, not realizing how important it would be in his future.

            They exchanged their farewells, and Santa Claus left the Starlight Forest.

            And so, like the many elves before him, Santa migrated to the area just outside of the Forest, where wuffle dust had already become the primary resource. The elves recognized Santa as someone special, and they turned to him for guidance. Still unclear as to his purpose, Santa accepted the challenge of leading the North Pole Community.

            There was one area at the North Pole where the concentration of wuffle dust was particularly heavy. Often Santa would find himself sitting in the snow, gazing into this swirling stream of mystical powder and pondering the meaning of his life. One day, while he was thus engaged, he silently asked for a companion – someone to keep him company and assist him with his work. Out of the vortex spun an elderly female; she hovered briefly over the stream and then came to rest at his side. He thanked the Universe, and then promptly named her Mrs. Santa Claus.

            Now, Mrs. Santa had been plucked from a lonely human existence and she was pleased to remain at the North Pole and help Santa. Although she had always loved children, she had none of her own. As she wistfully told Santa stories of Earth’s children, he could see her love for them. Soon he began to love them, too. At last, Santa understood his calling. He summoned the elves and, together, under the starlit sky, they agreed upon their mission – to make the world a happier place for children everywhere.

            They went to work, whittling dolls and carving animals. They fashioned baskets from tree bark and evergreen branches and collected nuts to fill them. Before long they had hundreds of gifts.

            Santa and Mrs. Santa knew that these presents would have to be delivered, and they wondered how this could happen; but the answer to their question eluded them and they decided to trust in Creation. Once they stopped asking the question, their answer came.

            One day, a small herd of reindeer strayed into the area. Tired and hungry, they wandered to the wuffle dust stream and fed on the mystical powder. Once they were nourished and refreshed, they began to frolic in the snow. Some of them playfully jousted with their antlers. Others ran and leapt into the air, and in doing so discovered that they could remain in the air for sustained periods. This phenomenon was witnessed by Mrs. Santa, who dubbed the event a miracle; and indeed, it was.

            The reindeer were transformed by the magical ambience of the region, and when Santa asked them to stay and help with the mission, they did. The elves joined with Santa to create a vehicle for transporting the presents. The result was a beautiful ruby red sleigh, trimmed in gold.  Eight of the reindeer formed the team that pulled the sleigh across the sky, so that Santa could deliver the gifts to all children everywhere. Since that time, the North Pole proper has continued to evolve into the magical, bustling village that it is today.

            The North Pole will continue to thrive for as long as Earth’s humans have happy thoughts, for it is their smiles and happy feelings that generate the billions of positive ions which are drawn to the North Pole by its strong magnetic force. There they combine with the atmospheric conditions to form mystical dust. If humanity, in its entirety, ceased to have happy thoughts, the North Pole would vanish instantly, and all would be lost forever. But, you will remember that Santa gave Charisma a star, and within this star is the secret of happiness; so for as long as it twinkles, the North Pole will always be.





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