Disclaimer: I do not own the Ninja Turtles, the Polar Express or any associated characters. I make no money from this and I mean no harm. Please do not sue.


My name is Donatello and it's that time of year again. Everyone is home, and there are even a few new friends coming for the holiday as well. I love Christmas. Everyone happy and getting along and just being friends. The time of year when for a few short hours our other problems in life don't exist, or at least they aren't so bothersome.

Mikey and April are in the kitchen making cookies, and I have no doubt that Mikey is eating as much of the dough as he's putting on the tray. Leo and Master Splinter are putting up decorations around the lair. Casey's supposed to be helping them, but I haven't seen him in hours. Part of me wonders if Leo and Master Splinter sent him on some weird and very time consuming errand to keep him from breaking the decorations that he's supposed to be putting up. Finally, Raph and I get the best job. We are decorating the tree.

"Donnie, would you quit singin'?" Raph demanded of me. I don't know why he asks, he knows the answer. My response to that question at Christmas time has never changed.

"Not on your life!" I replied quickly before continuing my song. I raised the volume a bit and heard Mikey join me from the kitchen.

"Oh no, now there's two of them!" Raph half jokingly lamented, spurning Leo to grin then burst into song as well. April and Splinter joined shortly after that. And, if I'm not very much mistaken, even Raph was humming along. Of course he was trying to pretend that he wasn't and would never admit to such an act, but we'll keep that between you and me.

Raph and I continued to decorate the tree, nearly an hour later we were just about finished. As far as he was concerned, we were finished, but one decoration remained.

"Donnie, why do you insist on putting up that stupid old bell? It's been gummed up for years."

I looked over at Raphael with a disappointed expression.

"It was a gift." I replied simply. While true, it wasn't my whole reason for putting the bell up. "And it's important to me."

Raph frowned, but nodded. Who knows, maybe he was actually allowing me my quirks much the way we allow him his. It might be a little much to hope for, but you just are never quite sure with Raph. I'll never know why he didn't pursue the argument so I'll settle for being content that he didn't and that he allowed the bell to stay. Another theory is that Raph is more into the Christmas spirit than he would have us know.

At any other time of the year, Raph might argue with the bell's presence. I love Christmas time. Some might think I always have, but they'd be wrong. There was a time when Christmas was far from a pleasant experience. I will forever be glad that has changed.

And you're curious now, aren't you? Alright, let me tell you a story.