He Quit Before Christmas by Holly Geely
Day 24 Advent 2017, 4th Sunday of Advent
“Your contract requires two weeks’ notice. You can’t leave tonight,” Santa said.
“I can, and I will,” Donner said.
“It’s Christmas Eve. We need you here.”
“My flight is booked.”
“We don’t have an airport.”
“Yeah, I booked myself. I’m done with this job. I’m done with you.”
“How can you say that?”
“As if you don’t know! I’ve stayed through some rotten curveballs. You promoted Rudolph over me, even though I have the most seniority. Fine, I can handle that. You cut out Christmas bonuses so you could afford to install that hot tub. The others complained, but I never said a word. I literally worked my tail off for you – my butt’s never going to look the same – and you’ve never once thanked me.”
“Donner – ”
“You’ve changed my name from Dunder to Donner and back again so many times I can’t even keep track. You consistently eat all the carrots the kids put out for me. Everyone else gets their carrots, but you come out of those houses and you go, oh sorry donner there’s only eight carrots. Guess there’s none for you!”
“I’ve had enough.”
“Where will you go? You’re a talking and flying reindeer. You don’t blend in.”
“That’s another thing I hate about working for you. You’re so tactless.”
“Think of the sad little children with no gifts on Christmas day.”
“You used an eight-deer team before Rudolph came along. You can do it again.”
“It won’t be the same without you, Donner. Is there some way I can convince you to stay?”
“Nothing comes to mind.”
“Money? A promotion? I’ll do anything, Donner.”
“And that’s why I’m hitched to the sleigh and Donner’s inside delivering your presents,” Santa said.
“Wow,” said little Billy. He had climbed onto the roof when he heard a loud thump. At six, he was familiar with the poem, and had expected a clatter.
“Now run along back to your room, son, before your parents find you up here and sue me for child endangerment,” Santa said.
“And tell Donner this has gone on long enough. He’s being ridiculous.”
“You deserve it,” said little Billy. He tossed a snowball at Santa’s head and retreated back to his room.
The reindeer laughed.
“Well, what do you know? There were only eight carrots. I guess there were no carrots for you,” Donner said.
“We’ve been to eighty thousand homes. Is that ever going to get old?” Santa said.
“Nope,” Donner said.
And they heard him exclaim ere he drove out of sight,
“Your employees hold grudges, so you’d best treat ‘em right!”
This is Holly’s second post in this year’s advent calendar, find her poem “Midwinter” here.
Holly Geely likes Christmas so much she dedicated her right arm to it (in the form of a tattoo). You can find her ramblings, short stories, and links to other works at hollygeely.com.