Saturday, December 25, 2010

The Reindeer Games!

Hopefully we’re all remembering the real reason for the season and enjoying the time we’re having with our family and the blessings we’ve been given. This is just a fun little short story that I thought I’d write just for you guys. Hope you all like it. :)

Ah, the Reindeer Games. This had to be my favorite time of the year. I thought about the years that have passed as I sat in the reserved cushioned chair outside. The steam from my cup of hot chocolate filled my nose as I watched a light snow fall come down onto the stage in front of me.

It’s become more of a tradition then a job to me at this point. My family worked nearly every day at the Rudolph Ranch up in the mountains getting our team ready just for this moment. I started helping them when I was six and went straight for our Rudolphs of course. They were my favorite as any kid might say just because of their title. Over the next few years I shuffled through all four of our groups. I got tired of all the mathematics that it took to teach the Rudolphs about navigation, and the Dashers, Comets, and Blitzens involved way too much running and muscle strength. I liked the Dancers and Prancers at first but my sister and younger brother started to hint at my lack of coordination with their choreography. Soon I found that my place was with the Vixens, Cupids, and Donners. I liked to pay attention to the detail that had to go into the flight. I helped them learn to check everything to keep it all in top shape from the reins to the sled.

Every three years we would take the top of our groups, one of each title, to the Games and hope for the best. On Black Friday, while everyone else is out tearing up stores, we were out in the North prepping our team. On the first day they test them out together as a whole just to see what they’ve got. Then each day afterward they do the groups individually, putting each reindeer in groups with the others from different teams. Then at the end of the week they have the ceremony where they officially name nine of the reindeer after the originals that are forever repeated in children’s stories all over.

Finally, after years of hard work and determination we got to sit in the winner’s circle. Our Dancer and Prancer were called for the job. It has been so long since any of our own flew the sled that I was too young to barely remember. When we heard their names called we nearly went hoarse screaming so loud. We went forward to the stage to meet the Head Elf and Mr. Clause himself so they could present them with their medals.

And now we sit here, sipping our drinks close to midnight on Christmas Eve, waiting to see this year’s team pull away. I looked back at the seats behind us and the other trainers that have a reindeer on the team and remembered all the years that we were up there somewhere watching them fly. It was still fun there but it was something else being so close and knowing that one of them is ours.

The surrounding lights turned down and the stage lights brightened. The crowd hushed with all of their attention now turning to a door that opened and the reindeer proudly stepped into the view. Then the crowd erupted with cheers and shouts calling the names of their favorites. I tried to stay humble as I heard many Dancer and Prancer fans. Then the moment we were all waiting for came.

Mr. Clause came out and the crowd started up all over again. It was like they could do this all night. He laughed and waved to the crowd but once he climbed into that sled you could tell that he was all business. He grabbed the reins and shouted the words that no one could hear because they all were yelling it themselves.

“Now Dasher, now Dancer, now Prancer and Vixen. On Comet, on Cupid, on Donner and Blitzen. Now Rudolph guide us to the top of the porch, to the top of the wall. Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!!”

Of course they all knew the words from the famous story staying true to the book and only modifying slightly to include Rudolph. No sooner than the last command to dash away was called did disappear into the sky. It still amazed me how quick they were. It didn’t even take them a minute to get out of eyesight. That left the elf on stage to wish them Merry Christmas and us all a good night.

Our cheers faded and we went to find our beds because when the excitement is over then sleep was right around the corner. We made sure that our other reindeer were comfortable and went directly to our own beds in the hotel because we all knew that Santa doesn’t come until he knows we’re sleeping.