On Christmas Night ...

Dear bear friends:

It was Christmas Eve, and we were home. There was a happy reunion at the house on the hill!

I sat surrounded by my bear family. Everyone was glad to see me. Alexander thumped my back with his paw. Marco clambered onto my lap. Leif Bearickson rumbled, deep-voiced with happiness.

We talked late into the night. Oh, the stories I had to tell! All about New York City, and meeting a governor, and traveling on airplanes. The bears listened and nodded and laughed in all the right places.

"But what about Santa?" asked Franklin. "What about our list, what about our Christmas?"

I took a deep breath. Yes, I would have to tell the bears about my visit with Santa - but I would tell them about my e-mail solution, too!

The furry bear faces grew solemn as I told how I forgot what to say during my visit with Santa. Oh! Little Marco looked so disappointed! Still, everyone brightened up when I explained how I had sent Santa an e-mail from the airplane.

"Bears," said Alexander, "I suggest we give Santa one more hint! Let's go down to the Christmas tree and wait for Santa to arrive."

"All of us?" squeaked Molly. "Even those of us without joints?" You see, it's very difficult for unjointed bears to move about! Not that it's easy for any bear to walk, but joints do make it easier.

"All of us!" said Alexander, firmly. "We will go downstairs and wait for Santa. That way, we can remind him if he's forgotten to bring us a Christmas gift!" The bears nodded agreement. We were on our way.

The Bears Make A Bow Tie RopeThe Bears Make A Bow Tie Rope

I'm surprised we didn't wake the whole household! Off came our bow-ties! We knotted the bow-ties into a long rope. With many squeaks of alarm, we climbed down the bow-tie rope from our bookcase. Careful! Look out! Leif Bearickson, the biggest and bravest bear, had to jump down last, without any help!

"Shhhh!" ordered Alexander. We tiptoed down the hall. Past the guest room, where Grandma Carrie and Grandpa Keith were sleeping. Past the room where Auntie Kaye was sleeping. Past the room where Miss Cynthia and Doctor Steve slept. I could hear Doctor Steve snoring!

Now, the stairs. Most bears slithered down on their tummies! A few did cartwheels down the staircase. Silly Gus jumped most of the way to the floor.

Perry's Christmas TreePerry's Christmas Tree

The Christmas tree glowed before us. It was beautiful! We walked and wiggled closer to the tree. There were the stockings - and look! They were still empty! Good! Santa hadn't come yet!

Alexander directed us all toward the sofa. Amerigo, a very nimble jointed bear, made his way up to the sofa seat. The bow-tie rope was wrapped around him. He untied it, and soon all the bears were clambering up onto the sofa. Alexander and I were last. We had to push the bigger bears from behind!

Finally, we were all together on the sofa. I began to yawn. What a long day it had been. Would we see Santa Claus? Would he bring us some Christmas gifts? I closed my eyes and relaxed after my long, hard climb. As I drifted to sleep, I could hear gentle snores from all the other exhausted bears.

The house on the hill was very, very quiet.

Ewer Bears ChristmasEwer Bears Christmas

Suddenly, it was morning! Miss Cynthia stood before us, hands on hips. "Fellows, how did you get down here?" Miss Cynthia's hair was mussed. She was wearing brand new pajamas. I rubbed my eyes - yes, those were white bears on her pajamas!

All around me, the bear family was yawning and stretching and making smacking noises. Suddenly, Rudy squeaked! "Look! Look, everybody!" he said, pulling on furry arms at random, "Presents!"

Presents! I rubbed my eyes with my paws, and looked again. Yes, presents, and they were for us! Santa hadn't forgotten the bear family, not at all. I started to snuffle, and then to cry. I was so happy! Santa did love us, even if I had forgotten what to say!

Miss Cynthia smiled. "Looks like there have been some very good bears this year!" she said. It was a scene of bear pandemonium. The bears clambered and tussled over the gifts. Alexander had to raise his voice!

Soon, we'd sorted everyone out, matching each gift to each bear. The excited bears tore open the pretty packages. Books and toys came tumbling out, every one intended for a special bear.

Perry's Christmas GiftPerry's Christmas Gift

My gift? It was very, very special - a new nightshirt and nightcap. Best of all, my new nightshirt matched Miss Cynthia's pajamas!

I snuggled happily in Miss Cynthia's arms. There would be many happy moments on Christmas Day, but the very, very best moment was happening right now.

Merry Christmas, bear friends!

Perry Bear Ewer