73: Saving Father Christmas

73: Saving Father Christmas

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Joy of Christmas

Saving Father Christmas

If you had duct tape, you were prepared for anything.

~Annie Barrows

The arm twisted free, thumped down to the floor, and slid under the Christmas tree. I wrestled both legs and the lower torso almost back into place. Just as I yanked up the pants, the legs did an acrobatic flip and rolled off the chair. “What else can go wrong?” I muttered.

Loud tapping on the store window startled me. I jerked and grabbed the head to keep it from joining other fallen body parts. Peering into the darkness outside, I discovered a laughing group of my old high school friends. Where was the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union when I really needed them? They used to make stores cover their windows when there was any dressing or undressing of mannequins.

I gave an exaggerated bow to my new audience and continued to put Santa back together even though his preference seemed to be falling apart. Turning this store window into a charming Christmas scene had sounded so simple when the store manager suggested it. His only request had been to include a reclining chair, which happened to be on sale, in the display. The tree and decorations practically put themselves together. Even the two mannequin children in their red and green pajamas had cooperated and were peeking into the room.

Santa, reclining in the chair, was supposed to be taking a little nap, even though his painted-on eyes would remain open. I retrieved the wayward arm, reattached it, and added a strip of duct tape just to make sure that arm didn’t escape again. Duct tape — what a wonderful invention to come out of World War II. More of my beloved duct tape secured Santa’s legs. On went the red suit. I was on a roll now. To create a belly that shook like a bowl full of jelly, I rammed bed pillows in the shirt and pants and buckled his belt. Lastly, I used duct tape to anchor the beard and hair. The hair sort of resembled a cheap toupee, but fortunately, the hat covered most of it.

I stepped back to examine my work. Nice. Another tap on the window made me look out. Five thumbs pointed up.

~Sharon Landeen

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