It’s been almost two decades, but the Christmas before I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I wrote a Christmas story designed to encourage my three-year-old daughter to stay put at bedtime. I thought I would share it this year. Tabitha really did sticker Jordan, used to say her little mouth was hungry (for something sweet) and both she and her brother had and still do an angel named Henry. However, it was Jordan that drove us bonkers to this day asking questions that God himself couldn't answer.
Christmas Tattletale Angels
Once upon a time, a long time ago there was a little girl named Tabitha, and her younger brother Jordan Bartow.
Most the time they were good children and tried to be nice. Mind their mommy and daddy and do what is right, but even good children sometimes act naughty, and Tabitha Frahm was not minding her mommy.
It was after Halloween and before Thanksgiving. Christmas was too far off for Tabitha to consider the presents from Santa she hoped to be getting.
With a hug and kiss her Mommy had tucked both children in bed, “It’s time for my Baby Doll and Dimple Dumpling to go to sleep,” she said.
But Tabitha didn’t want to go to sleep. She wanted to stay up late with her daddy, eat junk food, and watch TV.
So that night when the Tattletale Angels rained down to earth the one who drizzled down last had to go to the Frahm house first.
A tiny, tardy tattletale known as Henry splashed smack into the pane of Tabitha’s bedroom window.
Tabitha was wide awake, but she didn’t hear him. She was laughing and shouting. She didn’t understand the importance of angel wings sprouting.
She was prolonging bedtime by asking unanswerable questions and complaining of hunger and thirst.
Henry decided if he wanted his wings anytime soon perhaps he would have better luck in Jordan Bartow’s bedroom.
Henry found Jordan asleep on his tummy, curled up in his crib, attired in red P.J.’s decorated with Band-Aids, for his sister had stickered him from the tips of his toes to the top of his head. Hugging Beary, his teddy, Jordan let out a snore that mimicked his daddy’s.
As Henry stared at Jordan Bartow the love he felt caused his wings to grow. That’s what happens to Tattletale Angels who encounter their children displaying good behavior. Their wings sprout right up and then open wide out.
Henry sniffed, Jordan smelled baby-powder good and he was behaving just like an infant boy should.
Henry’s wings sprouted up twice his height. They flickered and were luminous with a magnificence glow because Tattletales must fly in the dark, all the way to the North Pole.
Christmas Tattletales visit children for an important reason, and long before the Christmas season.
If you listen closely you may hear them landing. They splat upon tree leaves making them scatter, turning their colors from greens to oranges, reds, and yellows. Then drift on the breeze to the homes they’re assigned, to observe the children living inside.
It’s a Christmas Tattletale Angels' job to let Santa Clause know where a child lives, how much he’s grown, and if on Christmas Eve a girl or boy might be awake to peep when Santa arrives at their home.
Tattletales know that children who peep get fewer toys and Henry didn’t want that to happen to his girl and boy.
Nor did he want his new wings to fall off so he tried only to think happy thoughts, but he sure wished Tabitha would stop misbehaving and skedaddle to bed.
She was in the kitchen complaining instead , “Mommy my little mouth needs something to eat," she fussed.
Her mommy gave her milk and a cookie and told her to shush. Then she explained about Tattletales and the importance of their Christmas wings sprouting.
“Tabitha you can only hear Tattletales if you’re listening, not shouting. “ Mommy said, as she kissed her goodnight and tucked her back into bed.”
Tabitha pursed her lips together tight. She didn’t want to be tempted to talk. She lay quiet and still, snug in her bedcovers. Listening and waiting until….
Daddy heard nothing, but Mommy was sure she heard something. They checked Tabitha’s bedroom only to find her sound asleep. This time she had minded.
Outside Tabitha’s window in the night sky, Henry looked like a firefly let loose from a jar as he zoomed toward the North Pole and blew a kiss back to her.