So here's the next part. Please read and enjoy. If you really want to make my day as bright as tinsel, review.
I don't own Arthur Christmas in any way except for my memories of it.
Arthur had always been a puzzle to him. He was so different from Steve and himself and Grandsanta.
For one thing, he was clumsy, Malcolm had no idea where he had gotten that from.
For another thing, he didn't seem to fit into any part of the North Pole operation. He had been in maintenance till there was that accident and then Steve had moved him somewhere else...Letters it was.
Malcolm had loved being Santa, being in charge, being the face of the North Pole. He couldn't image life without his job. Still, back in the nineties around when he completed his fiftieth mission, he had invited Steve to take a bigger part.
Since then, Steve had some many ideas and new inventions and gizmos and all that Malcolm could barely recognize or remember how to do his job anymore.
When he hit his sixtieth mission, he realized that Steve was doing more of the work than he was, a lot more. He considered perhaps that he should retire but he was afraid.
He was afraid to become unimportant and forgotten about like he had done to Grandsanta. He didn't want to be sitting home at Christmas. He had spent so much of his life on the job that he didn't know who he was without it.
Fortunately, his Margaret reminded him, he was her husband and a father.
The world had changed so much and had become so big and confusing that he let Steve run things, from the background, but nonetheless, Steve was who was essentially in charge and had been since that Bill Gates had that invention...a computer.
It was Steve who really got things done, he knew even though he didn't say it, that on his seventieth mission, that he really had been a hindrance and should have retired ten years ago. He hadn't realized how much he had stopped paying attention to others when he was giving his speech and realized he had no idea what his wife did nor what department Arthur was in. His wife had been taking so many classes that he couldn't keep track.
Grandsanta was right about him being a turkey and Steve needing to knock him off get his job, he just couldn't face retirement and being forgotten and unimportant. He was very relieved when Arthur distracted them all with his game.
He deferred to Steve in everything but letting go of his figurehead position. He missed the old days when he was the one teaching Steve how things were done.
Then came that horrible announcement about a missing child! That had never happened to him before and he agreed with Arthur's panic and felt guilt welling up to fill his big belly.
But then Steve was saying all of these numbers and insisting there was no way and that his mission was still a success.
So Malcolm let his doubts and guilt slip away, for if that was his last mission as he feared it was despite his saying he looked forward to next year, he wanted it to be a success. So he went to bed, and fell asleep until the elves came pounding on his door and asking if children matter.
He tried to remember what Steve said and was getting very confused with all of their panic till they mentioned that Arthur and Grandsanta had gone to deliver that present.
Then Steve said that terrible thing about not caring about one child and all of the elves were properly horrified as he was.
Steve left him all alone and it had been so long since he had actually been in charge, about 15 years or so that he couldn't take it and left.
He went to Arthur's office in letter writing, to try to understand his youngest son.
He was amazed by what he saw...the room was bursting full of Christmas spirit and love. The painting of Arthur on his knee made him smile till he realized how long it had been since he had truly paid attention to Arthur like he was in that painting. He didn't like things that confused him and so he ignored them and let Steve handle it...he had done the same thing to Arthur that he had done with technology.
He read Arthur's replies and was touched by how Arthur still believed he was a great man. He felt unworthy to have a son like Arthur, who told children he cared when he had gone to bed and fell asleep (asleep!) when there was a still a child without a present.
He knew he had to try to live up to Arthur's expectations and he resolved to get that present delivered.
Fortunately, his wife and Steve showed up to help him.
He then realized that he could retire, and still be loved and remembered. He knew Arthur wouldn't forget him. And when Steve thought he was like Arthur, he couldn't have been more proud of the comparison.
His son had got them all to care about a single child once more.
Then, that moment when Arthur hugged him and said he'd knew his dad would come broke his heart and helped him to see Arthur for the first time.
Arthur was truly Santa, he cared about the children above all else, above recognition and acknowledgement. So he told Arthur to put the gift under the tree.
Then, Arthur surprised and amazed him even more when he had them watch Gwen open her present. Arthur knew the most important things about caring for children and seeing the true meaning behind the missions, beyond the numbers that he had forgotten so long ago.
He knew he had to tell Steve, and was so proud when Steve saw the truth as well.
That was why Arthur had been a puzzle to him, he supposed. Arthur truly embraced Christmas spirit and thought and acted like a true Santa, something he had not understood for quite some time.
Now the puzzle was solved and Arthur was Santa, he thought happily as he gazed upon his son.