Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Legend of the Christmas Bat

A friend of mine reminded me of this lovely Christmas legend which she has been regaling me with as long as I've known her...and that's a long time. It's adorable and totally appropriate for the season!

The Tale of the Christmas Bat

Okay. This is how it goes. Long ago, when organization had been invented, but before stockings really caught on, Santa was developing a pattern. He would make toys all year, with his helpers, they'd all work like crazy just to get everything done. He'd take a couple days off to relax, and then off he went on his sleigh, delivering presents. But some always fell through the cracks.

You know the ones I mean--the little ones. Holiday earrings, rings in padded boxes, the tiny little trinkets that sometimes mean so much. Holiday ornaments, small glass animals, teensy little stuffed and jointed bears. Later on, gift certificates, gift cards, pens, pencils, and erasers--all were falling away. Few made it through.

Santa finally decided he needed to do something about this.

So he looked around, looked high and low, for someone to help him with the little things. He pondered in the snow fields and he pondered in the kitchen. He pondered in the stables and he pondered in the barn. And while in the barn, he saw the bat. The lowly little bat, quietly sleeping, brown in the rafters of the barn. Santa pondered. Santa pondered the bat.

"Hmm," Santa said. "That little bat can fly. And I bet if I ask him, he could carry the little presents for me. I bet if I asked him, he could help me in my nightly task. He is, after all, nocturnal."

So he asked the bat, and the bat said yes, and thus, the Christmas Bat was born. For it is he, the little Christmas Bat, who's responsible for the little things. It is he who flutters down the chimney or in through the mail slot to tuck gift certificates in bright red envelopes under the tree. It is he who flaps through the house, dropping gelt into stockings. It is he who struggles with the holiday mandarins, one per child, and he who flies in candy cane, and holiday chocolates, and rings and necklaces and bracelets.

It's just, sometimes he's a little absentminded, and that's why the little stuph sometimes arrives late.

[So, for those wondering...I still don't know where I got this from. My mother tells me I first related the story of the Christmas Bat to her Christmas morning, 1969. Yeah, I was two. But it's been a family tradition ever since.

[Feel free to spread the tradition, if you like. I know that would make the Christmas Bat very happy.

This story is by my friend Jeanne, who also goes by Pirate Jenny and sometimes by Kelandris. And on LJ she's Nematoddity.

Batty Christmas, everyone!

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