This story is about the true meaning of Christmas. Yes, this is spiritual. If you're going to be insulted because of religion, I suggest you leave this page now, instead of reading the story. The rest of you, enjoy! Enjoy the season, regardless of your religion, or lack of religion.

Disclaimer: I'm not the owner of anything you'll find here.

Remembering Christmas

Snow, mistletoe, and holly buried Amity Park. The air was filled with happy voices and holiday greetings. Everyone was happy, caught up in Christmas. Everyone was cheerful, except Danny Fenton.

Despite Christmas the year before, he still wasn't as cheerful as the others.

He sat on his family's livingroom couch, listening to his parents discuss how it was possible for Santa to know whether each child in the world was either naught or nice. It was one of their louder discussions, and Danny couldn't tolerate listening to them for much longer. He had to get out of the house, soon.

Time found him in the Amity Park mall, wandering through the shops. In the main plaza there was a Santo Claus with his arm in a sling. A long line of children waited impatiently to see him. He was struggling to reach presents with his broken arm. A small sign stood near the plastic sleigh:

Santa needs helpers. Please volunteer.

'I guess I could help,' Danny thought. 'It's not like I'm ready to go home just yet.'

After an hour of volunteer work, Danny discovered he liked working with children. He enjoyed the looks on their faces as he helped Santa hand out presents.

"Thank you," twin girls chorused as Danny handed them each a gift from Santa Claus. Grins spread across their identical faces.

Smiling back at the twins, he said, "Merry Christmas!"

The store manager stepped in front of the sleigh, "Santa is done for today. Everyone still in line will need to see Santa later. He needs to go home to recover from the reindeer training accident, see Mrs. Claus, and of course, tell his elves what good little boys and girls want for Christmas."

Back at home, Danny sat at the dinner table, eager to eat after putting a lot of effort into being Santa's helper that day. He was finally in a happy Christmas mood, until he heard his parents arguing again.

"But Maddie," Jack protested, "We can't spy on Santa Claus to see how Santa Claus is spying on us. We'll be on the naughty list!"

"Jack, it's in the name of science! If we don't figure out how Santa knows whether we're naughty or nice, the public will never know. It's just another way to know that Santa exists."

"Great," Danny groaned. "I thought I heard the last of the Santa Claus arguments when Mom was convinced that Santa exists."

After dishing himself up, Danny grabbed his plate and excused himself, heading toward bed. In his dreams that night, he couldn't help but get the feeling that Christmas was missing something.

As he wandered around town the next day, trying to get away from another of his parents' arguments, he saw a sign on one of the churches saying:

Celebrate Christmas Saturday at 3:30, with our annual pageant.

'It's Saturday, and it's almost three-thirty. Why not?' thought Danny, as he entered the building.

He watched as Mary and Joseph went to Bethlehem, Mary riding on a donkey. He watched as they looked for a place to stay at the inns. He watched the angel appearing to the shepards, and he watched as the baby Jesus was worshiped.

'That's it,' Danny thought, 'that's what Christmas is missing. Maybe if I remember Christ, I'll be happier at Christmastime. After all, that's what Christmas is all about, not all the fuss we make over stuff. I will remember Christ.'

Going home to his parents arguing again, he asked his parents. "Do you guys know why we have Christmas?"

"It's about Santa Claus!" Jack shouted.

"Actually Dad, I think it's about Christ," Danny replied.

"He's right Jack. It's not about Santa Claus."

"Does this mean you're not going to spy on Santa?" Jack asked.

Danny said, "What I was hoping is that you guys could please stop arguing about Santa Claus. I don't want to hear it every year."

"We're sorry, Danny," Maddie said. "Jack, could we stop talking Santa Claus this year, and read the Christmas story as a family instead?"

"Really, you mean it?" Danny asked. "I'll go get Jazz! It feels good to know what Christmas is about this year. I hope we do this every year from now on."

And so, the Fentons remembered the Christ in Christmas.

Are you still with me here? Good. I'd like to wish you all a (late) Merry Christmas, and a spiritual holiday!

PS, I have a bit of trivia. Who is often in Nativity sets, even though they weren't really there on the night of Christ's birth? When did they come?

The answer: The three wise men didn't arrive until a year later.