It was a cold December evening and fifteen year old Gilly Grissom was being forced by his mother to baby-sit for a group of kids. They all lived together and seemed rather close, but that didn’t mean that Gilly was happy with it. There were three boys and two girls. Gilly was more comfortable with the boys, and he had a feeling the two girls would be a handful. He nervously knocked on the front door. A small boy with spiked hair and an oversized Marilyn Manson T-shirt answered the door.|
“Who’re you?” he asked, clutching his teddy bear.
“My name’s Gilbert, but you can call me Gilly if you want.” Said Gilly, kneeling down to look the five year old in the eye. “And what’s your name?”
“I’m Greg, but my friend Nick calls me Greggo! He’s so cool! He’s from Texas and has the funniest accent! Do you want to meet him?” said Greg, his energy readily apparent. Before Gilly could answer, Greg had grabbed him by the hand and dragged him in to the playroom. It wasn’t long before Greg was distracted by something else.
“Who’re you? Another old guy sent to look after us cause Nanny had to go out again?” asked a bitter sounding boy, emerging from the kitchen to stare at Gilly.
“My name’s Gilly. Your Nanny wanted me here to make sure you guys were alright. I’m here as your friend. Is that alright?”
"Yeah fine. Whatever. I’m Warrick.”
“Very nice to meet you, Warrick. I have a special
assignment for you, and only you. Can I trust you to do it?” said Gilly.
Warrick’s eyes lit up, it was clear he was never the center of attention. “Yeah, that’d be cool. Let me introduce you to everyone.”
Warrick led Gilly around the corner and in to the playroom where all the kids had gathered. The girls were off by themselves playing with their dolls and Greg was sitting with another young boy playing with plastic horses.
“The girl with the pretty hair is Catherine and the girl looking sad holding the Barbie is Sara. You met Greg already, right?” asked Warrick.
“Yes I did. I’m surprised he stopped talking long enough to let me speak.” replied Gilly, earning a smirk from Warrick.
“Hi, you must be Gilly. I’m Catherine.” Said the blonde running up to Gilly and hugging him.
“Nice to meet you Catherine. Those are very pretty earrings you have there.”
“Thanks, they’re not real though. My mom says I’m too young to be dressed like some exotic dancer. Whatever that means. Do you know what that means?” asked Catherine.
Gilly blushed, he wasn’t sure how to answer the question.
“She means she doesn’t want you to dress like you’re older than you are, Catherine,” said Warrick “Wanna see my new Erector Set?”
Catherine nodded and the two rushed off to a secluded area of the playroom. Gilly was about to say hello to the young brunette when he heard Greg’s loud laughter.
“Nicky! That tickles!”
“Ha! I knew you were ticklish, Greggo! You just wouldn’t
say!” replied a small Texan drawl, Nicky.
“That’s no fair! You promised me!”
“I didn’t promise nothing! That was for making me listen to your dumb music!”
“I like that music! My mommy got me that CD for Christmas!”
“Your mommy’s not going to get you anything for Christmas this year, Greg.” came a sullen sounding voice, Sara’s. Nick stopped chasing Greg and Nick sat down. Greg sat down too, accidentally landing on Nick’s lap. Nick blushed and Greg slid off. Warrick and Catherine emerged from their hiding place, Catherine was holding a piece of an Erector Set.
“What do you mean, Sara?” asked Catherine, dropping the building block on the floor.
“We’re here at Nanny’s for Christmas and Santa doesn’t know we’re here. That is if you still believe in Santa.”
The reaction of the other kids was sudden. Nick had a shocked look on his face, but said nothing. Catherine looked ready to cry and Greg gasped loudly.
“That’s not true Sara! You’re lying! And you know what Nanny says happens to you when you lie!” yelled Greg from his spot on the couch next to Nick.
“Yeah, Sara. Why would you say something like that? My sisters all say they’ve seen Santa. You’re going to make Greg cry again.” replied Nick putting his arm around Greg’s shoulder’s trying to calm him down.
“Santa’s not real. One of my foster brothers told me. It makes sense if you think about it. How can one fat guy travel all over the world in one night?” said Sara, her Barbie doll long since forgotten. She stood up and walked over to the couch.
“He’s magic, Sara. That’s how. Right, Nick? Magic?” said Greg, sniffling.
“Greg. There’s no such thing as magic.” said Warrick.
“No! There is! I refuse to believe it!” shouted Greg,
“Greg’s right. My mommy told me all good boys and girls get
gifts on Christmas. I’ve been good all year! I should get a gift tomorrow!” said Catherine.
“You’ve been good, Catherine?” quipped Warrick.
Catherine glared at Warrick. Before she could respond, Sara started up again.
“Think about it guys, none of it makes any sense! How could the reindeer fly? How does he know all about what we do? How does he see us when we sleep?”
“He has surveillance cameras in Christmas ornaments.” said Gilly, finally interrupting.
“What’s your name? Nanny couldn’t find a girl baby sitter?” said Sara.
“My name’s Gilbert Grissom. And I need to tell you something. Can I trust you?”
“Of course.” Said Sara, entranced by the older man’s brilliant eyes.
“Santa is real. There’s no need to worry, he’ll find you Sara.” Gilly winked. Sara blushed.
“Now, is everyone ready for a story?” said Gilly, pulling out The Night Before Christmas.
After the story, the children were all tucked in their beds. Except for Warrick. Gilly pulled him aside.
“Now, Warrick, can I trust you with something?”
“I need to go to the store real quick. Can I put you in charge? Will you be responsible?”
Warrick’s eyes lit up. He had never been given this much authority.
“Nicky! Nicky! Nicky! Wake up it’s Christmas!” shouted Greg jumping up and down on Nick’s bed.
“Greggo. Go back to bed. We can play later.” Grumbled Nick, rolling over. Greg frowned and slid off his friend’s bed.
“Catherine! Everyone! Wake up it’s Christmas!” shouted Greg, running around the joint bedroom.
“Calm down, Greg. I’m up.” moaned Catherine.
Within minutes, the kids were downstairs only to find Gilly standing in front of the tree with a large box in his hands.
“Merry Christmas kids! I bought you all a joint present. Hope you don’t mind.”
Nick ran forward, dragging Greg by the hand. Before Sara and the others could come close to the package, Greg was already surrounded by wrapping paper. He giggled before sticking the bow on Nick’s head.
Warrick strolled over and read the label on the box’s contents. “’Clue Junior: The Mystery Solving Game for Kids.’ Cool gift Gilly” said Warrick smirking.
As the group sat in front of the box looking at its pieces and instructions, Gilly pulled Sara aside.
“Santa wanted me to give this to you personally. He said it was important.”
“Just open it. You’ll like it.”
Sara opened the box only to find a book titled The Big Book of Science. She looked at Gilly and said, “ What’s this?”
Gilly picked up the book and examined it. “Hmm, this is the book my mother gave me as a gift for finishing first in my school’s science fair. It’s because of this book that I want to be a scientist when I grow up. This book meant a lot to me. You may like it Sara.”
Sara smiled. It was a good Christmas.