I answered a knock on the door of The House on the Hill to find an old, feeble Ghost smiling weakly at me. I didn’t recognize him at first because he had changed so much in the past two days.
“Aren’t you going to invite in an old friend, Austin?” he asked as he studied the befuddled look on my face. “It is I… the Christmas Spirit.”
The transformation was absolutely stunning. When I’d last seen the Christmas Spirit on Christmas Eve, he looked like a handsome, muscular, 25 year old man who could have been a professional model. Now, he looked like he was about to turn 100 and might crumble into dust if he got caught in a strong wind.
What in the world had happened?
“People opened their Christmas presents,” he explained sadly and then let loose with a horrible cough that rattled his bones. “Now that all the gifts have been exchanged, the Christmas Spirit weakens and will soon die.”
“I’m so tired, Austin. I just want to make it back to the North Pole so that I can once again be surrounded by all that love, generosity, and merriment. I need it in order to survive, and the North Pole is the only place on Earth where the message of the Christmas Season lives on even after there are no more gifts under the tree. I’m too weak to complete the journey, though.”
I offered him a Snapple, so stressed by the situation that I’d forgotten that Ghosts do not eat or drink. He was moved by my offer, however, and I finally saw a glimmer of hope in the Christmas Spirit’s tired eyes.
The Christmas Spirit smiled brightly and sat up straight in his chair. A smile slowly crept across his thin, cracked lips. “You’d really do that for me?” he asked with hope. “I’ve never taken a ride on a Gargoyle.”
I assured the Christmas Spirit that I would do anything for him to survive. I am a huge fan of Christmas and the way it brings the best out of people, if only for a month. I hate the way that all seems to just vanish on December 26.
So I helped my old, tired friend to climb onto Gary’s back, asked him to give Santa and Mrs. Claus my best, and then instructed my Gargoyle to get his passenger to the North Pole as quickly as possible.
Hopefully, they will get to their destination in time to save the Christmas Spirit. Keep your fingers crossed, Modern Philosophers!