Christmas Crafts, Part 2

Route 1, North Pole

Back by popular demand: my Christmas story, in three parts, which first appeared here in December 2011. It’s been updated a bit, but mostly it’s the same story that made readers laugh until they cried. Go on, read it again….


 Each winter Michael bought more North Pole buildings, triggering a town rezone. When he purchased the Glass Ornament Works and a gingerbread shop that blew smoke from its chimney, I built terraces designed to hide multi-plug power strips. The addition of the Elfin Forge and Assembly Shop plus Santa’s sprawling residence necessitated candy cane fences to keep overworked elves from plunging off their mountaintop home, but eventually the eight-foot countertop could hold no more. I declared the village complete and heaved a sigh of relief.

Michael restrained himself for a year. Then he broke down and purchased Mrs. Claus’s Greenhouse. “I couldn’t help it,” he said. “She’s a gardener like you.”

I held the two-foot-long building and felt a surge of guilty pleasure as I admired the tiny poinsettias through the leaded glass roof. Wouldn’t it look stunning against a backdrop of snow-flecked topiary trees?

I surrendered to the inevitable when Michael bought Santa’s Visitor Center, forcing me to design a satellite village in the living room. Over the next few years he added a petting zoo, caroling elves, and a rotating reindeer ride. When he purchased the Antler Inn, I created Elfland on the dining room hutch. It’s where frazzled elves go for a little R&R, a spa town complete with coffee shop, wedding chapel, and ski resort. When Michael brought home the Northern Lights Fire Station, I said three villages were enough. “But Honey,” he said. “It’ll look perfect at the top of your sledding hill.”

Before I could stop myself, I imagined the building nestled on the hill beneath a snow-flocked redwood with room for Sparky the fire dog to run. Kringle’s Ornament Design Studio would look perfect as a quirky centerpiece on the kitchen table, real fake snow glittering on the burgundy velvet runner. How could I forget the elegant Glacier Park Pavilion? Wouldn’t that look spectacular with the expanded Visitor Center Complex?

Another rezone was clearly in the works.


It was an odd holiday tradition, but each year when I opened the brightly colored boxes I’d unleash boundless creativity, and I pitied the nine who didn’t inherit Grandpa Jack’s crafting gene. As I plugged in eight fully utilized power strips, I’d admire my handiwork and wish he could see my five—no, six—North Pole Villages. He could have built an elfin-sized ski lift with his Popsicle sticks.

Eventually it dawned on me that Michael purchased buildings because I provided settings that brought them to life. Sure the hot-tubbing elves were cute, but they’d be downright adorable when placed in the North Pole Woods, a funky artist’s retreat I envisioned in the upstairs hallway, close to Santa and Mrs. Claus’s tree-top vacation home. Michael would show me the new releases and I couldn’t wait for December to arrive.

Then a birthmother called on Christmas Eve. A month later, after eight years of waiting, we finally had our baby.

To be continued…

Until next time,

About Cynthia J. Patton

Writer, Editor, Advocate, Speaker, Special Needs Attorney, and Autism Mom. Also the Founder and Chairperson of Autism A to Z, a nonprofit providing resources and solutions for life on the spectrum.
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