Charlie Saves Christmas
Kasandra, Age 12, Fresno, CA

"Ahek-ahek, ahek-ahek, I can’t believe I may not make Christmas,” Santa coughs. Mrs. Claus stays near his bed trying to nurse him back to health.

“Only two days until Christmas what am I going to do?” Santa says sadly.

Rubbing his arm, she says to him gently but firmly, “Honey, you can’t deliver gifts this year. You are too sick and weak. You must get well.”

Santa yawns nervously, “If I can’t do it, I must find someone who can.”

Santa calls the elves and dispatches them to New York to find a boy named Charlie. Twelve-year-old Charlie is chosen by Santa because he is sweet as a peach and he helps children who are very sick. He doesn’t want any recognition; he just has a good heart. Charlie is an only child and his mother and father work long hours, and still they are very poor. Charlie is always thankful for everything he has. His parents try hard to buy him things, but their money is always spent on bills. Charlie is a great student, but he has no friends. After hearing the story about Charlie, the elves agree Charlie should be this year’s Santa Claus.

When the elves land in New York, they discover Charlie on his usual route to the hospital to visit sick children. Each year Charlie believes in Santa, even though he never gets what he truly desires for Christmas. When the elves first try to explain to Charlie who they are, he doesn’t believe them. He tells them, “I'm in a hurry, so tell me in a nutshell what you want and why you chose me.”

Then an elf informs Charlie, “I know what you truly want for Christmas.” Then he whispers it in his ear. Finally, Charlie is convinced because he has only told his heart what he wants.

“What do I tell my parents?” Charlie asks.

“Don’t worry, you will be back before they know you are missing,” advises the elves. The boy follows the elves to the sleigh and off they go. The sleigh flies through the air like a rocket. He yells with excitement, “This is too good to be true!”

When they arrive, Charlie says, shivering, “The North Pole is icy cold.” The elves burst into laughter and they lead him inside. The house is heated up like an oven. “Shhhh, don’t wake Santa. If we wake him too early, he is a grumpy bear,” whispers an elf.

Santa soon wakes up and meets Charlie. He explains, “Charlie because you have always been a great boy and you accepted to be me, this year you will receive everything your heart desires.” Charlie wants nothing for himself. He has spoken to all the children in the hospital and knows what each child wants for Christmas. When Santa promises to grant the children’s wishes, Charlie is overjoyed.

Charlie is given a Santa’s outfit and the Naughty or Nice list and off he goes delivering gifts to children around the world. When he finishes, he shares with Santa how amazing his trip was and he thanks everyone for all their help. The elves fly him back to New York and he discovers that his parents now have a brand new home, a new car and all their bills are paid. Charlie’s secret wish has finally come true!

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