Disclaimer: I deny any ownership of any adult or adolescent transformed shadow warrior chelonians.
Author's Note: A fic where I actually use Don more as a central character. Some of Don's facts about Christmas comes from Canadiana Encyclopedia.
It was the evening of the Twenty third of December and the four seven year old boys were all gathered around in their bedroom talking, unafraid of being caught, for they happened to know their father had gone out scavenging.
" Hey guys do you want to sing some Christmas songs? How about Here Comes Santa Claus? I wonder what Santa is going to bring us this year" Mike like his topics was bouncing up and down unable to sit still, his eyes glowing brightly.
" Don't tell me that you STILL believe in Santa Claus" Don made a disparaging noise in his throat.
" Sure I do. Santa always brings us the best toys and candy and…"
" Mike" Don shook his head, " there is no Santa Claus he doesn't exist."
" Yeah right Donny then who gives us our presents and fills up our stockings and…" Mike protested.
" Well obviously it has to be Master Splinter. I began to wonder about Santa Claus when I realized that his writings and our Master's writing was very similar" Don replied " So I started looking into it and the time and everything and " Don stopped and shrugged, the rest was history as they would say.
" Yeah you're nothing but a humbug Donny if you aren't careful you'll get coal in your stocking" Mike retorted sticking out his tongue at his brainy brother, " What do you think Leo?"
Leo shrugged, he really didn't want to hurt Mike's feelings but he suspected Don was right. He knew Don had a way of reading up on any idea that irritated him or irked him to any degree. Leo opted for the safe route though " I really don't know Mike" he muttered.
" Don has to be right Splinter has present stashed all over his room" Raph announced
" Raph you shouldn't be going into Sensei's room!" Leo snapped quickly, mortified that Raph would even THINK to do such a thing, NEVER mind doing it.
" Then what are we learning all of this Ninja stuff for Leo?" Raph wondered.
" Master Splinter says it is to help keep us safe," Leo intoned solemnly.
" Yeah and you believe it. Tell me something Leo you ever get tired of being perfect?" Raph growled at Leo.
" You had no right to go in there Raphael" Leo argued, refusing to answer Raph's question.
Mike sensing a fight that might get out of hand stepped in between his brothers " Raph you shouldn't go peeking you know we get Splinter gifts and Santa gifts, those presents were probably the gifts that are from him. And both of you shouldn't be fighting not this close, Santa might pass us by" Mike pleaded frantically. " Come on it is almost Christmas after all can't you two get along?"
Raph shrugged " All right Mike."
Mike gave a sigh of relief Donny's behaviour would only reflect on him but Raph and Leo's fights might do all of them out of Santa. Mike wasn't sure if Santa would come for just one well-behaved turtle. " Donny still hasn't proven that Santa is Splinter or that Santa doesn't exist and he can't"
" I can TOO!" Don retorted testily.
Leo turned to Don " What makes you think that Santa isn't real Don?"
" Well for one thing it would be physically impossible for Santa to deliver all those presents to all the people who believe in him over the course of a single night by using a small sleigh and eight or nine supposedly, flying reindeer. The sleigh would have to be bigger to hold everything, and that would mean more reindeer. Also no reindeer can fly. The whole thing is a myth" Don replied in his very matter of fact way.
" Santa has magic Don, that is why his reindeer fly and all the gifts fit into the sleigh. Besides who wouldn't believe in Christmas it is the best holiday ever," Mike refuted Don's statement with ease.
" Lot's of people all over the world don't celebrate Christmas in any way" Don stated simply.
Mike shook his head " Everyone celebrates Christmas Donny."
" Not Islamic people or Jewish people the Jews have Hanukkah instead, some people follow their own religious holidays at different times of the year that we don't celebrate. Christmas was originally a religious holiday, it was meant to mark the birth of the Christ Child.
Over the years it became customary for family and friends to observe that holiday through a big meal, getting together with family and friends exchanging small gifts and often doing outdoor things, like skating and sleigh rides." Don insisted.
Raph gave a skeptical look towards his brother " So how does Santa figure into it, and we're not exactly Christian so why do we celebrate it?"
" Now a days many people who aren't particularly religious celebrate the Christmas Holiday as a day for family and friends. As for Santa Claus he has been known as many other things, father Christmas or as French people call him Pere Noel or Saint Nicholas and he doesn't always travel by sleigh and reindeer which, makes the whole thing harder to believe because where would he keep the donkey, or horse that he rides on in some places?
St. Nicholas and Pere Noel were said to be messengers of the Christ Child. St. Nicholas was actually a man who did live many centuries ago and was well known to his generosity towards children.
I read that it was the mid nineteenth century before certain changes occurred to the Christmas tradition that present day customs are based on. Santa Claus, stockings and Christmas trees all were introduced around that time and are based on Germanic traditions that were first brought to England by Prince Albert, Queen Victoria's consort.
It was also at that time that gift giving became more extensive with kids receiving toys and adults jewelry."
" I ask a simple question and get a flippin' essay. Geesh! Donny" Raph gave him a playful smack.
Leo knew if his brother had looked into the matter THAT closely then he was probably right about it.
" I know Santa is real and you are going to get coal in your stocking you keep this up Donny" Mike claimed unwilling to be swayed by his brother's knowledge.
" Mike to even carry one small toy to every child Santa's sleigh would have to be as big…"
Mike clamped his hands over his ears " La, la, la, la I'm not listening Donny and I told you he's magic."
" Mike…" Don began
Leo shook his head " Let it be Don, he won't believe a word you say anyways."
Don gave a bit of a snort " All right I suppose he will grow up sometime and then he will know that I was right."
" Are not Donny"
" Am too Mike" Don refuted.
" Are not!" Mike snapped, "Santa is REAL!"
Somehow Mike was going to prove his brother wrong, just because Don was smart didn't mean he knew EVERYTHING!
Splinter shrank deeper into the tattered overcoat and scarf, there was a bad storm brewing he could smell it, among all the other smells that assaulted his delicate nostrils. He could detect the smell of snow in the air, and there was all ready a wicked wind blowing.
One would think that all the tall buildings in New York would act as a buffer against the wind but instead they only acted as a giant wind tunnel, making it far worse on the ground then it probably would have been without the skyscrapers.
Normally in such weather Splinter would head to the sewers instead of risking the harsh bitter elements but Christmas Eve was tomorrow night and he still hadn't found the right gifts to give to his sons from Santa.
He had started his sons on this American Holiday when they were four years old, the first year they hadn't hibernated and Splinter figured the little holiday would give them something special and break up the boredom a bit with new toys and other treats.
While Splinter could not manage totally new toys, Splinter had a sharp eye and knowledge of where to go to find suitable castoffs.
Thrift store donation bins and dumpsters were Splinter's favourite shopping ground when looking for gifts. Such places in the past had provided, blankets, pillows, a tree, decorations, stockings, toys and books.
This year though he hadn't found anything he felt was quite right for the occasion, or when he thought he had the right gift he'd find, upon closer inspection that, it was far too damaged for giving as a Santa gift.
He so wanted to encourage the individual skills and talents he saw emerging in his sons now that they were a little older.
Lego blocks, toy cars and small puzzles were fine for four and five, even six year olds but they were older now and had been learning ninjitsu since they were four. They also had a television now, which Don had somehow managed to get working by some miracle and the boys were now faced with the power of commercialism.
Just about every commercial one of them would see something they wanted, not that they had run to him begging Splinter to get it for them, they were all aware in their own way that such things weren't possible, but Splinter had heard them discuss it amongst one another on numerous occasions.
If he could not find the right gifts soon then his sons might only end up with a stocking this year.
While Splinter was very much aware that it was the thought that counted, he wasn't sure if his sons would understand that concept.
At least there was still time to search and he might yet find the special gift, if he was willing to put up with a bit of bad weather at the moment. Usually he didn't care to leave his sons alone for such long periods of time but the boys were old enough to sleep through the night and weren't likely to get into much mischief while he was out.
Splinter felt something cold and wet strike his face, it was starting to snow and that combined with the all ready strong winds could make for near blizzard conditions, still the rat was willing to check a couple of places out before calling it a night.
By the time Splinter was ready to head for home huge thick snowflakes were falling and they were whipping about in the wind limiting visibility.
Over the raging winds Splinter thought he detected a cry for help coming from nearby and though his thoughts were more of getting home curling up in a warm blanket and reading for a bit with a cup of hot tea by his side, he could not deny assistance to someone in need either, not on such a terrible night as this.
He first insured that his scarf was still wrapped and secured well enough around his face and head before following the cries for help. It didn't take him long at all to find an alley way where four teenagers thugs were attacking an elderly gentleman.
Splinter didn't stop to consider he dove into the fray and used his walking stick to trip up one of the teens while kicking another one in the stomach sending him back into one of his companions.
" You would do well to leave NOW!" splinter ordered them.
The youths were not amused at Splinter's sudden appearance or his actions and they dived as one towards the ninja Master. Splinter leapt up into the air avoiding their attack, and landing out of the way where he could apply his stick where he thought it might do some good, against the thugs backsides that is.
The youths realize that it wasn't worth their time and they left muttering threats as they went. Splinter watched them fearing no retaliation from the beaten teens he turned to help the elderly man instead.
He helped the fellow to his feet " They are gone now. Are you all right?"
" Yes I am but I am shaken after that." The fellow's voice quavered a bit as he spoke.
" That is understandable, I am…" Splinter paused realizing that he had almost said Splinter as his name, then quickly opted to use his old Master's name instead " Yoshi."
" My name is Chris and I appreciate your timing Yoshi. That is an unusual name is it perhaps Japanese?"
" Why yes it is, I was originally from Japan" Splinter admitted easily.
" A lovely country I've been there a few times" Chris said reflectively.
" I agree that it is lovely there but so too is American. Can you make your way home all right Chris?" Splinter inquired.
" I am not sure on that count Yoshi" Chris admitted a bit sheepishly, " My eyesight isn't what it once was and I'm afraid this storm has caught me rather by surprise."
" Then permit me to guide you for I would not leave you to wander on a night such as this" Splinter offered generously.
He could tell that Chris was a big heavyset fellow; he was wearing glasses, which were fogged up with his breath and from the cold and had a short white bushy beard. Splinter smiled thinking that Chris could easily pass as Santa Claus, if he wanted too.
" Oh I don't want to be a bother Yoshi, besides I'm sure you have to be getting on home yourself." Chris protested.
" Nonsense Chris I can find my way home easily even in a blizzard if I had too. Besides my conscience will rest easier knowing that you are also safe at home. Tell me where do you live?" Splinter insisted his tone saying that he would not take no for an answer.
Chris gave in and told Splinter who nodded his head " It isn't far from here at all. Take my arm now."
" If you don't mind my asking Yoshi, what brought you out
" I was looking for gifts for my sons" Splinter confessed, " And I am afraid not having much luck."
" Hard times this year Yoshi?"
" We do not have a great deal of money I admit to that, but we get by on what others throw away and we manage," Splinter explained simply.
" There is a great deal of that around every where" Chris agreed, " I suppose your children all beg for the latest toys too?"
" My sons understand our situation and so they don't ask a great deal and yet, the very fact they don't ask makes me wish all the more I could give them what they desire. I long to make their Santa gifts special for them because of it. They deserve it. How about you Chris?"
" Me well I do volunteer work at the hospital around the corner from where you found me. They had a young girl in there who isn't suppose to even make it to see Christmas day her one wish was to see Santa Claus and have a special visit with him. The hospital asked me if I could fulfill her wish under the circumstance I couldn't refuse" Chris explained solemnly " By the way Yoshi there are many places in the city where those down on their luck can go for food or hampers at all times and they are known to do wonderful hampers at Christmas."
" I am aware of such things, but my sons and I are unable to obtain such resources if it was something that I felt we could use I would for their sake if not for my own, for my needs are simple enough" Splinter chose his words carefully but spoke with great conviction.
" What are your sons like Yoshi?"
Splinter smiled " Leonardo acts like the big brother, he looks out for the others. He is very mature and responsible for his age and he pays the most attention to the lessons they are given. The others usually give in to his lead.
Donatello is both intelligent and gentle. I feel there is a great deal that goes on inside of him, which he doesn't reveal to others. He has an incredible thirst for knowledge and a talent, for fixing things that I felt were beyond repair.
Raphael can be sullen and moody, his temperament changes quickly with little warning. I think he understands far more then he lets on. He has good instincts and I feel he could use an outlet for some of his temper.
Michelangelo is creative and youthful, full of laughter and joy he is a delight to be around. He alone can calm Raphael down most often."
" All named after renaissance artist and from the sounds of it each with a special skill to back up their name."
" I'd like to think so and I would like to encourage these things in all of them to see what they could get out of it" Splinter admitted, " We are here now Chris it is just up these stairs."
" I thank you for your kindness Yoshi are you quite sure you can find your way home from here?"
" Yes, I'll be fine Merry Christmas to you Chris" Splinter reassured him.
" And to you and your sons Yoshi." Chris replied watching as the small figure departed into the blowing snow.
He had lied a bit, out of curiosity alone, for in reality he could see quite well in the blowing snow but he had had the feeling Yoshi didn't care to be seen. Chris could understand that for he had seen a bit of the whiskery face and knew that Yoshi couldn't be fully human. He wanted to learn a bit about Yoshi and had used the alibi of not seeing well in hopes of drawing Yoshi into conversation.
Now carefully he followed Yoshi's footsteps still in the snow into an alley where they ended at a manhole cover, the lid was free of snow while the rest of the alley was covered fully. Even Yoshi's footprints weren't human looking.
Chris now well understood Yoshi's reluctance to use normal means of help for those down on their luck, he chuckled a bit to himself as he thought, well I knew these sewer systems were home to many rats but I have a feeling he is the strangest rat of them all.
He wondered if Yoshi's sons were human but he somehow doubted that, after all if they were human he was sure Yoshi would have left them where humans would find and care for them.
It didn't really matter to Chris what they looked like, Yoshi had a kind hear to come to his aid and willingly put himself out to help one in need. Such generosity was rare in this day and age and Chris was determined it shouldn't go unrewarded.
I will see what the Mrs. Thinks about this perhaps we can arrange a little something for all of Yoshi's troubles.
With that thought in mind Chris returned home.
Splinter was watching all four of his sons playing a game of hide and seek at the moment, he smiled as he saw Donatello counting, it was nice sometimes, to see him give up his usual stuff to join in play with his brothers for a bit.
After a while Michelangelo stopped his playing and claimed aloud, " I've had enough guys, I don't want to play any more."
Splinter was slightly puzzled by this for he knew Michelangelo would rarely give up play before the others did, he was almost always the last. " Are you feeling all right my son?"
" I'm fine Master, I just wanted to ask you something."
Splinter realized that it had to be something very important for Michelangelo to interrupt his play for asked him " What would you like to know?"
" Is Santa REAL, Master?"
Splinter sensed there was more to this question then met the eye, for he had a feeling that it was very important to Michelangelo for Santa to be real so he replied " Of course he is real my son."
" Well I thought so but Donny says he isn't" Mike explained.
Don having heard his Master's reply to the question gave his father a hurt puzzled look, surely Sensei knew the truth of the matter so why would he tell Mike a lie?
" It's impossible!" Don grumbled unable to keep silent " I've done extensive study and there is just no way…"
Mike cut Don off " Master Splinter says there is and he knows better then you Donny. Just admit that you're wrong this time." Mike gloated cheerfully before going off on his own.
Don felt very hurt and confused he knew what he knew and he wasn't about to let the matter drop all that easily. So he went over to Splinter's chair " Master it can't be just look at the figures. Figures don't lie, there is no possible way for one person to travel the distance Santa is suppose to while stopping at the number of places he has to, to leave gifts and do it all in a single night. Santa can't exist, you are Santa aren't you?" Don accused.
Leo and Raph paused both of them very interested in hearing the answer to that question.
Splinter looked into Don's earnest face and nodded his head " You are right that I play Santa for you Donatello" Splinter admitted.
Don felt vindicated by his Master's reply " Then why tell Mikey that Santa exist?"
" In a way he does exist Donatello, so I did not lie to him. Come sit down and let me explain." Splinter suggested kindly.
So soon all three of the turtles were sitting at his feet waiting for his answer.
" Long ago there was a man named Saint Nicholas and it is his memory that lives on through the tradition of Santa Claus and as long as it continues to exist then so does Santa Claus.
You see Santa Claus is not so much a true being but a feeling one gets from inside. For Santa is very generous and giving, he recognizes the poor and the rich, the young and the old. He brings happiness and joy to many all over. Is there something wrong in feeling these things my sons?"
All the boys shook their head.
" Sometimes when we give freely of ourselves to others in need, without expecting something in return we are acting in a way that Santa might and that can bring a feeling of great joy because you know you did something wonderful. Is there anything wrong in helping those who might need it when we can?"
Leo grinned, " Of course not Master."
" Precisely Leonardo. It is clear to me that Michelangelo believes in Santa as a real being at the moment, if I were to tell him otherwise he might not understand because for him it is important that Santa truly exist as a real being. He might become very upset. Perhaps in a few more years Michelangelo will be ready to accept the truth about Santa easier without it causing him upset.
His belief in Santa Claus hurts no one Donatello, and since shattering that belief might hurt him, I myself could not tell him what I have told you. Would you want to shatter his belief my son?"
Don shook his head " I guess your right Master I didn't think of it like that. I wouldn't want to hurt Mike's feelings. He can believe in Santa if he wants to I guess" he replied magnanimously.
" I'm glad for his sake and for yours too Donatello. Are you
happy with that choice?"
" Yeah." Don admitted. He really didn't want to hurt Mike's feelings that had never been his intention. He had just wanted to prove that he was right about Santa.
" Very well and can you accept the existence of Santa?"
" As a type of feeling inside sure I guess."
" Go and play then my sons" Splinter dismissed them and watched as they went off to play.
Splinter headed out once again that night it was now Christmas Eve and therefore imperative that he find the gifts for his son's tonight.
Of course three of his sons might understand if their Santa gifts were of lower quality then before but that knowledge only made Splinter more determined to find the right gift.
Many hours later and Splinter's determination was starting to falter as it was all ready the early morning hours of Christmas Day itself.
As Splinter passed by the hospital the door avoiding some of the brighter lit areas around it, a door opened and he turned his head to try to conceal his face a bit more within the coat and scarf.
" Yoshi is that you?"
Splinter turned at the voice " Ah, Chris, good evening or I should say good morning now."
" Out searching for gifts for your sons?"
" Yes and I'm afraid that I'm not having much luck" Splinter heaved a heavy resigned sigh.
Chris hurried to catch up with Yoshi " I'm sorry to hear that. I told my wife how kind you were to me last night."
" It was nothing" Splinter demurred gently.
" I was sort of hoping that fate would bring you my way tonight. My wife and I have a few things at home that you might find suitable to give to your sons as gifts from Santa. I admit we went out and picked up a few new things for them too, we figured that if we didn't see you well we could give the gifts to some of the children in the hospital. My wife even made up some stockings for each of your sons and filled them with treats while I supplied little toys and other things for them."
Splinter considered this information; new items were rare for his sons. It was hard enough stealing bits of candy to put into the boy's Christmas stockings and Splinter knew he didn't have any thing else but he also felt momentarily overwhelmed by Chris's generosity.
" That was very kind of you and I'm sure that the gifts will be far more suitable then nothing," Splinter admitted, thinking that Christmas might be saved after all.
" Well we haven't wrapped any of it up yet. Why don't you come back to my place and I'll get it for you."
Splinter followed Chris back to his apartment building, and not wishing to go inside, he told Chris he would wait for him nearby if that were all right. Splinter waited for some minutes and he began to wonder if Chris was coming back or not when he finally returned pulling a wagon heaped full of gifts.
" For Leonardo, he can have my old chess set, I don't play much anymore and a boy who seems to be a leader of others might learn a great deal of strategy from a thinking game like chess." Chris held up the box, which showed a marble board game and marble playing pieces.
" For Donatello, a computer to enhance knowledge and learning. It was ours but we don't touch the blasted thing all that much. For the most part it sets and collects dust. Nothing but a waste of space, but everything for it is there.
Oh we also found a kids chemistry set and bought that for him, children just love that kind of thing.
For Raphael well after much thought and consideration we decided a guitar and some playing books might help him work out some of his feelings and we bought this at a pawn shop for a fairly good price, most people prefer the electric ones now a days.
As for Michelangelo we bought him some artist paper, watercoulors, charcoal pencils, and pastels to use and my wife who used to do quite a bit of that kind of thing is giving up all of her old artist books to him as well.
Oh I almost forgot, this envelope is for Michelangelo." Chris handed Splinter a plain white envelope with the name Mikey on it.
Splinter was far too stunned at the moment to notice the name on the envelope for this haul of gifts were ten times more and better then anything Splinter had been hoping for.
Even the stockings each one made special, one was in blue and had Leo's name on it, one in red with Raph's name on it, one in purple with Don's name and the last an orange stocking with Mike's name. They were big stockings and they looked jam packed with treats for the boys. This would more then save Christmas for them.
" You have no idea what this means to me Chris. I have no idea how to get this all home."
" Use the wagon why don't you it might help a bit and you don't even have to bother returning it as we have no use of it all of our grand children have outgrown it."
" This is truly an unexpected miracle," Splinter gasped feeling very much close to tears at the wonderful gifts he had now.
Chris chuckled " Well those are truly the best sort of miracles of all Yoshi. I'm so glad we could help make your dreams for them come true."
For Chris all the trouble had been worth it to see the worry and concern leave Yoshi's body.
It took a bit of work to get all the goodies down into the sewers and home but Splinter didn't mind the hassles or trouble in doing it not in the least.
Once home he wrapped all the gifts and left them under the tree, while leaving the boy's stockings on top of the coffee table before going to bed in hopes of getting a couple of hours sleep.
He felt satisfied knowing that Chris had saved Christmas for his family Splinter smiled a bit.
No Santa Claus, not while people like Chris lived in this world!
Don wondered where Splinter had gotten such wonderful gifts this year, he knew the people topside were wasteful but to throw out the kind of things they had received as gifts from Santa seemed hard to grasp.
Leo's chess set, Raph's guitar both looked brand new and a lot of Mike's art supplies had still been in the package and sealed proof it had never been used before. Don shook his head all he knew was Splinter had to have searched the entire city for ages to find such wonderful things.
Don had no idea how his father had know all the things needed to complete a computer system, it was something Don had been wanting for ages but to have the monitor the disk drive, the scanner, the printer, keyboard and everything else well Don had figured it would be years before he got it all.
Then there was the stockings, in their favourite colours yet, twice as big and wide as their old red stockings and full of such wonderful treats, hard candies, chocolates, jellied candy, bits of fudge, nuts and peanut brittle and wonderful presents inside as well.
He had gotten a set of screwdrivers and pliers in his stocking as well as a microscope and slides.
There had also been a black rock, which had caused Mike to laugh.
" You didn't believe in Santa so he put coal in your stocking as a warning" Mike chuckled merrily when he saw the rock.
Don really couldn't understand how Splinter had managed it but it was almost enough for Don to accept Santa as being real even though he knew the facts and figures said otherwise. Maybe he ought to research this whole Santa thing a little more closely this year.
Mike sat on his bed and picked up the handheld video game he had received in his stocking, his eyes fell on a picture that had been in an envelope with the name Mikey on it.
Splinter always called them by their full names so Mike knew right from the start that there was something special about that envelope, so special he had opened it up only in private.
There had only been a picture inside, a photograph of Santa dressed up in his red suit, standing near a fully loaded sleigh, with some reindeer harnessed up to the sleigh, against a snowy background. On the back of the picture were the words Mike, keep believing S.C.
If Splinter had seen the picture he would have recognized S.C. as none other then Chris, himself but Mike had kept the picture to himself and it was one thing he didn't want to share with anyone, he felt it was a special secret between Santa and him.
" I'll believe in you all my life Santa" Mike vowed, he knew that he had been right all along.
Author's Note: For many people Christmas can only come to them through the generosity of strangers. Luckily Christmas is a time of year when we most often think of those who don't have. I have seen people give wonderful gifts to those who would have none otherwise.