The Jeffersonian was decked out in full holiday glory as part of its new exhibit on Christmas around the world. A special holographics program created falling snow in the grand sweeping lobby of the main hall. In the center of the room stood a large Christmas tree covered in red, gold, and green decorations. The tree and other smaller ones stood around an ornate gold throne where Santa Claus sat, reading a poem to a group of children.
"…And I heard him exclaim as he drove out of sight…"
"Jesus Christ did not encourage his followers to be cannibals!" Santa looked up from his seat and frowned at the two adults that just walked into the grand hall. Every child also turned to look at them, frowning because Santa was interrupted.
"Excuse me you two, but you're being a bit naughty right now. It's not nice to interrupt someone when they're reading a story to children." Santa glared at the pair with one eyebrow raised.
"Sorry 'bout that big man, but Dr. Brennan and I were wondering if you'd like to join us for lunch."
"Of course Agent Booth. Just give me some time to find out what everyone wants and I'd love to join you." The FBI agent nodded at Santa's answer and pulled his partner off to the side to stay out of the way.
"You know Booth, I never understood one part of the Santa myth." Booth looked over at his partner and smiled.
"Look where we are Bones. All of these kids here know that Santa is sitting right there in that gold throne, and plan to tell him exactly what they want for Christmas."
"But shouldn't he already know? I mean according to the song 'Santa Claus is coming to town', he can see you when you're sleeping, knows when you're awake, knows if you've been bad or good, so considering that his powers are somewhat omniscient then shouldn't he already know what they want?" Booth looked at her, somewhat bewildered at her leap in logic.
"I uh guess that could be right. I never really thought about it before…"
"And if we're using songs as a precedent then one would assume that he did already know what they were wishing for because he has that list that he checks twice. Speaking of which if he's supposed to deliver coal to any child that's been bad, then how is it that no one ever seems to get coal? I mean I can't imagine Howard Epps receiving a good report from Santa." She wrinkled her brow as she tried to picture a young Epps getting a stocking full of goodies.
"Bones, please tell me you haven't thought much about the subject."
"Well no, but ever since my father volunteered to play Santa Claus for the Jeffersonian I've been curious about how it is that children don't think more logically about the man behind the myth."
"They don't think about it because kids still believe in magic and have faith in the world." Booth looked at his partner as she considered his words. He shook his head and turned back to the winter wonderland before him. Maybe I can bring Parker to see this, he thought as he watched Max Keenan talk with one child after the next. The old guy really seemed to be trying to atone for his past mistakes.
As Booth mused over Max's volunteer work, Brennan eyed the line of kids, watching the joy and excitement they seemed to exude as they waited their turn to talk with Santa. There was something familiar about the group of kids, who seemed to be an odd mix of races and ages. Watching them for a few minutes, she realized what it was that seemed to be so familiar. These kids were all part of a group home.
"Hey Bones, that little girl at the end there, she kind of reminds me of you." Brennan looked at Booth as he pulled her out of her reverie.
"I'm sorry, what was that?" Booth pointed to a little girl standing anxiously at the end of the line. She had curly auburn hair pulled up into two ponytails and big blue eyes that took in the wonderland the same way that Brennan took in human remains.
"Is that what you looked like when you were little?" The anthropologist looked at the little girl and smiled. She practically wiggled in anticipation as she got closer to Santa Claus.
"She is quite similar to me, yes."
"You must have been something else back then huh? Ha, I bet you gave your parents a run for their money. Probably wanted to know what everything was and how it worked."
"I admit that I was quite inquisitive at that age." She turned back to watch as the little girl finally got her turn with Santa Claus. Max helped her to sit on his knee and turned his attention fully onto her as she turned her serious blue eyes on him.
"Well sweetheart, what's your name?"
"Norah Grace Taylor."
"That's quite a pretty name. You see that woman over there?" Max pointed to Temperance as she stood off to the side with her partner. Norah nodded and turned back to Max. "She has a pretty name just like you, looks like you too, don't you think?"
"Does she have a family?"
"Well, she has a daddy and a brother. How about you? Is your mommy here with you?"
"Mommy died last year. I live with Miss Sylvia now."
"Oh? Who is Miss Sylvia?" Max looked up as Norah pointed to a frazzled looking woman standing with many of the kids he'd already spoken with. Ah, she's a foster child, he thought.
"She watches over all of us. I like her, but she says that if I'm really good that maybe I can get a family. That's what I want for Christmas." Norah was so serious in her request that Max wasn't quite sure how to respond to her. He glanced up at his own daughter, and noticed her watching Norah intently. A thought flashed through his mind, and with a smile, he turned back to the little girl on his knee.
"I think that Miss Sylvia is right sweetheart. I'm going to promise you that I'll try as hard as I can to make sure you have what you want for Christmas, okay?"
"Cross my heart Norah. If I can, I'll make sure you have a new mommy and maybe a daddy too." Norah hugged Max and bounced off to join the rest of the children with Miss Sylvia. Max sighed and got up out of his chair, ready to join his daughter and her partner for lunch. He had a proposition for the two of them anyway, and knew he had an uphill battle to fight if he was going to get that family for little Norah Grace.