Santa stumbled through the dark hallway to his bedroom. It had been a long, hard night, but all of the children around the world had gotten their presents. Now it was his turn to relax and enjoy the twelve days of Christmas before the workshop went back into full operation mode.

He opened the bedroom door, expecting to see his wife’s round form snuggled under the blankets and snoring softly. The dear woman worked just as hard as he did and deserved the rest. He’d be happy to crawl in beside her warmth and sleep for the next two days.

But she wasn’t in bed, nor was she sitting in her favorite chair, reading or doing her needlepoint.

This is odd, thought Santa. Where could she be?

Santa moved further into the room and switched on a lamp just in time to prevent himself from stumbling into a giant, gift-wrapped box in the middle of the floor.

“Ho-ho-ho! What’s this?” Santa said, as he pulled out his glasses to read the tag. “A present for me?”

Familiar handwriting beckoned: OPEN ME FIRST. Santa tugged at the red ribbon and lifted the lid.

Out popped his wife, dressed in a red satin corset which barely contained her ample bosom. She smiled at him and the room temperature climbed ten degrees.

“Oh, my dear.” Santa gripped his wife’s waist and lifted her out of the box. He was unable to string a complete sentence together. The white fur garters and snowflake-patterned fishnets were too much of a distraction.

“How do you like your gift, Kris?” She rested her hands on his shoulders, and sent him another sizzling smile.

“It’s wonderful, Emma.  You look…amazing.” He slid his hands down her hourglass shape, stunned by the transformation. “How did you…?” He coughed, stopping himself just in time from saying something stupid. He cleared his throat.  “I mean, when I left we were more evenly matched.” Santa patted his round belly. “Now you look like something out of a men’s magazine… not that I’m complaining, mind–“

Emma laughed. “You’re not the only one with Christmas magic, you know. Come here and I’ll show you.”

Santa stepped into her embrace. Emma kissed him deeply, running her hands through his hair. The air filled with the scent of sugar cookies and sparkled with fairy dust. When he came up for air, he noticed Emma’s arms had wrapped neatly around his waist, holding him close. When was the last time that had happened?

“Christmas magic, indeed,” he said, in a voice husky with awe and desire.

“It will only last till New Year’s. Best not to waste it, don’t you think?”

“For a naughty little girl, you’re very wise, my dear. Come.” Santa led her toward their bed.

“I’ve heard it’s the bad girls who get the best gifts.”

“From all indications, I think you’re going to get some really nice presents next year.”

Elise Skidmore ©2019

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