All Ye Faithful
"Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe."
I stopped believing in Santa at age 9. Actually, I shouldn't say that. My brother stopped believing in Santa for me at age 9. If I recall correctly, I always had suspicions about whether or not he existed. I had the same doubts for the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy. I busted the Tooth Fairy at age 7 when I put a tooth under my pillow without telling my parents.
It's kind of depressing, you know? You think that there's this guy that can fly a magic sleigh all over the world to give good boys and girls presents, and then he vanishes. My parents had me convinced when we left out milk and cookies and they were gone, though in hindsight I can't figure out why that convinced me he existed. Who doesn't like milk and cookies? Lactose intolerant kids like milk and cookies.
Well, eventually, I grew. I figured it out. There's no such thing as a man that flies from house to house to give children presents. There are just parents that love their children enough to make them feel Christmas cheer. To me, one of the aspects of growing up is being able to see how the world around you gets cheerier as that day arrives.
I told myself that when I had a kid, I'd have him or her believe in Santa Claus. One of my main goals in life was to have a kid; to be a Dad. I'd never openly say that to a friend, though. I always joked about making my kids watch Clockwork Orange at age 5, or giving them a place mat with a scene from Saw on it. Those ideas were funny; I stand by those.
Still, I never realized just how hard it would be to get the closest thing I had to a kid to show Christmas spirit. Granted, he was 18 now... but I can only think of one reason to not like Christmas, and that's...
...well, no, not even that is a good reason.
"Link, I'm telling you: You'll love it!" exclaimed Navi.
"And I'm telling you, Navi: No!" he shot back.
"Come on, Link. Just show some Christmas spirit," I said. He looked up at me.
"Jack, you're supporting this?"
I held my hands to each side. "Come on, Christmas is the best! Everyone's cheery, kids are happy... and in the current state of affairs, I think a little light in this darkness is in order."
He stared up at me. "I am not wearing that thing!"
"Well, I mean... you say that..." I said.
"You don't understand. Why should I do anything for Christmas when it's done nothing for me?" he asked. Navi and I stared at him.
"What do you mean?" she asked.
"Every year is the same thing on Christmas. All the Kokiri gather at Mido's for a party. Guess who was never invited?"
We stared and I flew forward.
"Well, it could be worse."
"How? How could anything be worse than being alone on Christmas day?"
"Well, your brother could have locked your sister in a shed on Christmas day, and when you noticed 5 hours later and let her out, she thought you did it in the first place and came after you with a hatchet for 15 minutes."
There was a brief pause.
"...Okay, we're not talking about my problem anymore, are we?"
"She threw the hatchet at me at the end."
Navi flew closer to Link as I became lost in thought.
"...Listen, I think Jack's trying to say that it can always be worse. Isn't that right, Jack?"
"She made a thing of pranking me on every Christmas. Never believed it was Pete."
Navi looked back at Link. "Listen, we can't make up for what happened to you on your Christmas days, but I think you'll have fun. Please, just give it a shot."
Link looked up at me. "You really think I should do this, Jack?"
"I was once blinded for two days by potpourri."
He sighed in annoyance. "Fine, I'll take a stab at it."
I shivered. "Not funny, Link."
With that, Link walked into another room and Navi dragged me towards a fire.
"Come on, Jackson. We'll wait by the fire."
I glanced at Navi.
"That's what Polly said before the potpourri."
^m^ (It's a kitteh!)
When Link came out of the other room, he looked like Santa minus a few hundred pounds. I'm not joking right now.
I never actually said what happened, did I? On Christmas Day in Kakariko Village, one poor soul is selected to be Santa. He (it's always a guy) has to wander town and wish everyone a merry Christmas. Not only that, but he has to be jolly.
Link's hat wasn't too far off from Santa's to begin with. All it needed was to be red and have a white puff ball at the end, as well as white fur along the mouth. His armor was in the other room, and his new tunic was a red santa suit with white furs on the sleeves and along the button up sides. He got white leggings and black boots (his normal boots were brown), and the town even gave him a fake white beard.
Santa was supposed to be fat and jolly. Link looked dead inside. Who would've thought that of all things, a little Christmas cheer could kill Link?
I just stared blankly at Sinterklaas, and Navi said "aww" and gushed over how cute he looked. He said nothing and started to move for the door, but I stopped him.
He stopped and looked at me. "What is it, Jack?"
"I just wanted to imprint this image to my memory."
"...I love you too, Jack."
"Take a number."
Link took a deep breath, and he walked out the door. His behavior was sort of funny to me: Here's a big, bad Assassin dressed as jolly old Saint Nicholas. Granted, Link wasn't an actual Assassin (I would assume there was some sort of ritual involved), but he wore the armor of one.
In fact, Link was pretty handy, too. A few days ago we found him working on a bladed gauntlet- he said the idea was to make a hidden blade that could retract into a gauntlet, but so far any prototype he used wouldn't work. The blade would either retract when he tried to stab something, or it would go off track or something. Navi and I were the only ones that knew what he was trying to make.
Link was a quick learner, had a high pain threshold, was very good with a weapon, and was known to adapt to almost any situation he got into.
Acting like Santa Claus would prove to be his undoing. For one thing, he insisted on bringing along a weapon to conceal, but who could blame him? There's a long list of people that want him dead. However, Navi absolutely refused to let him bring his sword, shield, arrows, bow, hookshot, Megaton Hammer... the list continues.
Still, he was determined to bring something along, so he took his prototype hidden blade. It was his newer version; one that he said would work. Then again, he said that all of his previous prototypes would work. In addition to his hidden blade, Link took along the ocarina Saria gave him. I guess he wanted to play it if he got the chance, and the Ocarina of Time was too precious to risk losing.
Link felt like showing emotions and being cheery would make him appear weak or something, but he's trying to save his land. When he passed his first few people, he didn't say a word, though they glanced at him a few times. It wasn't until Navi bopped him on the head that he actually started giving a gruff 'Hello' here and there, and maybe a 'Merry Christmas'.
After about half an hour of being borderline useless, Navi and I got fed up and pulled him aside.
"Listen to me, asshole," I said. "You had a few bad Christmases. Boo-hoo. I'll go get some tissues if you want to cry about it. These are some bad times, man, and these people need to smile and feel jolly."
He stared at me for a few moments, annoyed. "I don't know how else to do this."
I groaned. "Then shut your lips and learn."
With those words, I flew towards one random guard.
"Hey! Merry Christmas to you! Happy holidays!"
"Ah, why thank you...?"
The guard gasped when he saw me and I did the same.
"It's you!" we shouted simultaneously.
"Me?!" we shouted... simultaneously.
"Yes, you! You're that annoying fairy that hit me in the head!" shouted the guard.
"Yeah? Well, you're that annoying guard that tried to keep us out of the graveyard!"
"I was protecting you!"
You ever see a cartoon where whenever something weird happens, a few characters get a big old sweatdrop on the back of their heads? Since I was busy shouting at the guard, I couldn't see... but I'm about 90% certain that Navi and Link had that kind of sweatdrop. They might as well have, at least. It had to be a sight.
Eventually, our argument ended in a stalemate and the guard stormed off. I flew back to Link.
"So, I'm supposed to shout obscenities at passing people after I wish them a merry Christmas?"
"Just do it right, damn it!" I said, exasperated. Navi patted my shoulder; her way of saying 'It's okay, champ. You did your best.'
"Listen, Link. If you don't start showing Christmas spirit, you're in trouble."
"What are you, my mother?" he asked. I put a hand to my mouth.
Oh, bad form...
I gulped and looked at Navi. She turned beet red and got really close to Link's face. (Again, pit Link against anything else and he'll win. Navi, however... is his kryptonite).
"...You want to rephrase that?" she asked through clenched teeth. He looked to me for support, but I just put my hands out and mouthed "What am I supposed to do?"
I'll spare you the details of their argument (when Navi is angry, her tone of voice could bring Ganondorf to his knees), but when they were done, Link was acting much more cheery. ACTING.
The rest of Link's time passed with his being nice to passers and showing Christmas cheer that he actually lacked. His act was enough to fool everyone else, but I think he was really in his own little world.
I think it was around two in the afternoon when we'd entered The Twilight Zone. Link, while walking around, spotted a boy tossing rocks along the dirt.
"Uhh... Hello, little guy. Merry Christmas to you," said Link. The boy didn't acknowledge him at first, so he got a little closer. The boy kept throwing the rocks.
"Hey, little one... are you okay?" asked Navi. He just kept throwing rocks. Link got closer.
Finally he whirled around and tossed one at Link, but he was able to catch it before it hit him.
"Get away!" shouted the boy. Link dropped the rock on the ground.
"What's the matter? Why are you throwing rocks?"
"What do you care, Sinterklaas? You never come to my house, anyway."
Link knelt before the boy. "Oh, uhh... refresh my memory, little guy."
The boy pouted. "Our neighbors always have parties, and I'm never invited. They say that Sinterklaas always goes to their houses, but how come you never come to mine? Is it because I broke Mr. Smith's window playing ball a few years ago?"
"N-no... I uhh..."
"Why won't you come to my house? Why won't you visit us? We have money, if that's what you need. We have food, too- by the way, you're skinnier than they said you would be."
"Why aren't you invited to your neighbor's parties, boy?" asked Link.
"Because they think I'm a loser."
"Why do they think you're a loser?"
"Because they all like to play soldier, but I like to play with instruments. All the other kids have toy swords that they play with. I don't. They think that playing instruments is wimpy, but this really cool guy named Link fights and plays the ocarina. I don't see why they think it's so wimpy."
You couldn't see Link's mouth under the fake beard, but I could tell he was smiling a little.
"Well, you're right about instruments. They are cool. I know this "Link" fellow you're mentioning- by the way, he's awesome, and he does play the ocarina. Darn, so does Santa here, too!"
The boy took a step back in surprise. "You play the ocarina?"
I could tell Link was smiling again. "When I'm clean-shaven."
The boy looked towards Navi and I. "Those are Link's fairies... you really do know him! Is he nice?"
"He's a very good kid," I said. "In fact, he knows how you feel. He wasn't invited to Christmas parties as a child, either."
"Were either of you fairies?"
Navi said she was. I shivered.
"...Listen, son," said Link. "Link... he became doubtful of Christmas; doubtful of Santa, too. I'm sorry, son. I didn't know you were in that home; I didn't know I was missing you."
The boy was silent. Link took a moment, and reached into a pocket.
"Okay, I'll tell you what: As my apology for missing you all these years, take this ocarina. A dear friend gave it to me, and I want you to have it now."
I wish you could have seen the look on his face. Navi and I were very proud of Link for what he did. Here he was, the kid that rejected Christmas this morning; the kid that played Santa without emotion... He was giving this boy the gift Saria gave him years ago. He wasn't throwing away the gift; he was giving it to someone who needed it more. That's when Link found his Christmas spirit again.
Link stood up after he gave the boy the ocarina. He patted his head.
"Now, I want you to learn to play that, boy. Show the other kids what you can do on it, and know that if Santa should miss you again next year, he's not doing it to be mean. He just wants you to be his assistant."
The boy gasped. "Wow! I can be your assistant?!"
Link nodded. "All you have to do is play your ocarina every Christmas. You'll be showing others how cool instruments really are."
The boy nodded. "I promise not to let you down, Sinterklaas."
Link nodded. "Merry Christmas to you."
With those words, we walked off; Link's time as Santa now officially over. Once he got to the door of Impa's house, he looked at us.
"Fine, I guess Christmas isn't so bad."
"Told you you'd have fun!" squealed Navi. He smiled as he took off the beard.
"Didn't need my hidden blade after all. It was alright, I guess."
When he opened the door to Impa's house, he put the beard down on a table... and took a step back in surprise.
"Guys, look at this!" he said.
On the table was a note, and next to it a nice snowglobe with a cabin inside it.
I apologize for not being there for you all those years. It was wrong of me to overlook you... see, most people exchange their gifts at parties. I was unaware that you were never invited, and so I greatly appreciate what you've done today. I understand that you have a soft spot for snowglobes, so you've certainly earned this.
"...Wow," Navi said. "And you said Christmas was bad!"
Link smiled a little as he walked to the other room to change into his regular clothes.
"I suppose it's better than being around your sister, huh Jack?"
I shook my head. "Dude, my sister is Satan."
Link walked into the room to change and Navi decided to go upstairs. Meanwhile, I stared out the window.
I'll never forget seeing what I saw fly through the sky that night. When I saw it, I had to look at it twice.
Turned out Santa wasn't as mythical as I thought.
For the past 7 years I posted this as an additional holiday one-shot on the 24th of November, to remove it on the first of January. From now on, this will remain here.
To any who may read this far, thank you. I hope you've enjoyed the story, basic though I feel it is. If it is time you move on, move on. If you enjoy my work, please feel free to drop by from time to time. Maybe there's something else I've written that you might enjoy. But you don't have to if you don't want to. The door's unlocked. You're welcome to leave at any time. I promise nobody will harm you upon your escape.
Yeah. Merry Christmas.