How the Donald Saved Christmas
Photo by Carmelle Gacasan
The Donald perched himself in his penthouse on Fifth Avenue, watching the city light up as the sun came down. It had been a busy year for him — promises to make, some to break, an election to win — but it had all paid off, and as he took a sip of water he wondered whether the holidays would finally give him a few days to himself.
“Mr. Trump, your six o’clock is here,” buzzed his intercom. Apparently not, the Donald thought to himself. He straightened his tie and hit the button down to his meeting room. This was his last appointment of the day, and then it was onto more important things. He still had a few more presidential niceties to smooth out before he took office in a little over a month. The Donald opened the door, turned to face his visitor, and audibly groaned. “Oh, God,” he said. “Not you.”
“Don’t call me that,” the Donald groaned in exasperation. “Look, why are you here? Aren’t you a little early?”
“I’ll be out of your hair soon,” Santa replied. “At least, I think that’s hair. Anyway, I was in the neighborhood for a practice run when my sleigh broke down. I had one of your valets park it for me. I hope you don’t mind.” The Donald rolled his eyes. It only figured that the only man who could annoy him more than President Obama was the stuff of myths. “The darn thing runs on hope and happiness and all the wonder in a child’s heart, you see, and it seems that this year the world is running low. I wonder why that could be?”
“I’m not sure I appreciate what you’re implying.” The Donald took a seat and smoothed out his suit.
“I’m not blaming you, Donald. Quite the opposite. I’m here to ask for your help. If anyone has the resources to take up my torch, it’s you. It’s a hard job. But I’ve got a good feeling about you.”
“…fine,” the Donald said; whether out of altruism or post-electoral vertigo, he wasn’t quite sure, but a night of playing glorified postman couldn’t be much harder than winning Pennsylvania and Ohio.
“Excellent! You’ll need this.” Santa pulled a gilded hourglass from his coat pocket. The Donald took it and examined it carefully, turning the pure white sand inside on itself a few times. “I’m glad I chose someone with such delicate hands.”
“The hell is this?” The Donald asked, still peering into and rotating the hourglass with one hand.
“That is how you’re going to visit every house in the world in one night. Keep it with you and it’ll do all the work.” Santa smirked.
“…you going to tell me how?”
“You know, I get asked that a lot. I get asked, ‘How does the hourglass work?’ It’s one of my favorite questions,” Santa said, barely able to keep his face straight behind his curly beard. “Elves, the missus, they all come up to me and ask. And I say, I tell them, ‘Thank you so much.’ Because I love it. I really do. These guys, these wonderful guys, they’re just so curious. So I tell these guys—”
“Yeah, okay, I get it,” the Donald said, pressing his hand up against his forehead. “You want me to, what, take my plane and use your magic bag to bring joy to kids?”
“Figure out the logistics yourself, Donald. Ask the White House if you have to. Aren’t you in charge of the CIA now, or whatever it’s called? I’m not good with this technology stuff. I just deliver it,” Santa pulled a cookie out of his pocket and ate it in two quick bites. The Donald made a mental note to have the floor vacuumed. “You have my gratitude, Donald. Don’t worry. I’ll make sure Melania never finds out you forgot to buy her a present this year.”
“How did you know I forg—”
Santa tapped his finger against the rolled-up pair of lists jutting out of his bag before putting one down on the table, marked “Nice” in elegant green brush script. The Donald sighed.
“Thank you,” he managed through gritted teeth. “Anything else?”
“No, I’ll take my leave now. Give that list to your elves… people. Sorry. Force of habit.” Santa opened the door, pausing to look down the hallway bemusedly. “How do I get to the lobby?”
“Down the hall and to the left,” the Donald said, groaning. He took a long look at the comically-sized sack of presents Santa had left on his table, heaved it over his shoulder and made a call to his pilot.
Twenty-four hours later, the Donald stood on a snowy Manhattan stoop, decked in a red velvet suit he’d pulled out of Santa’s bag. It was kitschy and gaudy, but in fairness, exceptionally well-tailored. And at least he didn’t have to wear the stupid hat. “Is this the right house?”
“It’s the first one on the list you gave us,” answered the voice on the other side of his earpiece. “Are you sure this is legal?”
The Donald checked his watch — not a second past midnight, and if Claus’s fancy contraption worked right, it would stay that way for a while longer. He opened the door without stopping to question how the big man had managed to slip in and out of houses every year unnoticed. The job was giving him enough of a headache. He wasn’t willing to complicate matters further.
The home was small, but its coziness permeated the air with the smell of honey-roasted peanuts and freshly-snuffed candles. The Donald knelt in front of the Christmas tree by the fireplace, rooting through the bag for the right present. “Green bow…” he checked the list again. “Red rocket ship wrapping. Irregular shape,” he recited under his breath.
“Santa?” A little boy’s voice squeaked out from the direction of the stairs. God. Dammit.
The Donald whipped around. “Um, ho, ho, ho! Yes! What can Santa do for you, little one?”
“Nothing for me,” the boy said, yawning. “But my friend Juanita asked you for something. She wanted it wrapped up in red rocket ships.” The Donald fished around in the bag without breaking from the boy’s dewy-eyed gaze. What the hell is ‘irregularly shaped’ supposed to mean?! “She said, maybe Santa can help her, ‘cause the other kids are saying that soon she’ll be reported, and she’ll have to go back to Mexico. And it don’t make sense, ‘cause she’s always lived here. We’s known each other since we was born. They tell her she’s not gonna stay long ‘cause there’s no more room for her here.”
The Donald took a deep breath and stepped forward, dropping the bag on the floor. “Is she upstairs?” The boy nodded. “Is she asleep?” Another nod. “Good.” The Donald stuck his hand back in the bag and pulled out an oddly-shaped box wrapped in red rocket ships, tied up in green. “Give this to her when she wakes up.”
“Wow…” The boy gave the box a quick shake. “It’s exactly what she asked for!” he cried. “How’d you get it?”
“What’s it look like, kid? I’m the biggest. I’m the best. I’m the Donald.”
“I’m Santa. Get those ears tested, kid. Now get back to bed.” The boy nodded, running for the stairs.
“Wait,” the Donald said in a stage-whisper. The boy turned. “And tell her… merry Christmas. That’s an order from Santa. Don’t let me down.”
After finishing the rest of the neighborhood with a spring in his step, the Donald climbed into his 757. “How’s our progress looking, Mike?” he asked, reclining. “And the fat man said this would be hard.”
“We’re not even halfway finished with New York,” the voice answered, deadpan.
“City.” The Donald’s eyes shot open. “Get out of the plane, Mr. President.”
The Donald took a long, deep breath. It was going to be a long, long night.
But at least it wouldn’t take four years.