“Where are they?” asked Pixie, a worried frown on her rosy face. “I haven’t seen them since breakfast, and they missed Butter Brickle Break, Sugar Snack and Lollipop Lunch. They love Lollipop Lunch.”
“Especially when the side dish is sugared dumplings with extra syrup, chocolate chips and crushed candy canes,” added Figgy, Pixie’s partner in mischief.
Pixie and Figgy craned their necks, searching for Nim and Lil–their friends and mentors. They’d learned so much from them on their first assignment last Christmas. Pixie and Figgy had still not been assigned their own house and were nervously awaiting the announcement from Santa.
“Wait, I see them!” Figgy cried, bouncing on his toes. He pointed to the stage where Santa would deliver the annual start of the season speech.
“What are they doing up there?” Pixie asked. “Aren’t they supposed to be—”.
“Ho, ho ho! Merry Christmas Season!” boomed a loud, jolly voice. Santa climbed the stairs to the top of the stage and gave a jaunty wave to the crowd of Mischief Making elves.
Nim and Lil seemed to stand a little taller and beam a little brighter as Santa started to talk about the upcoming season.
“I have some exciting news to share,” began Santa. “We are making a few changes to the Mischief Maker Program this year.”
Silence fell as the elves waited for Santa to share the news.
“To start, I will be stepping down as head of the Mischief Maker program.”
After a shocked pause, shouts of “No!” and “Say it isn’t so, Santa!” filled the crisp night air.
Santa raised a hand and the crowd grew quiet once more.
“Yes, I will be stepping down. I’ve fallen short in my duties as Santa since we started this program. Complaints have started coming in, so I will be redoubling my dedication to my original purpose.”
A little elf, new to the program this year, squeaked out, “But Santa, who will train the new recruits?”
“Who will guide us?” shouted another.
“All will be well,” said Santa with a smile. “Two of our very best and oldest Mischief Makers are stepping up.” He gestured behind him. “Nim Noel and Lil’ Lil have been promoted to Chiefs in Charge of the Mischief Maker Program!”
Nim and Lil zig-zagged over the stage, throwing peppermints, glitter, and Christmas confetti and whooping. The rest of the Mischief Makers were silent at first, but then erupted into cheers and loud applause, excited for this new development.
When the crowd quieted again, Santa turned to Nim and Lil. “I’ll let you two share the good news for our newest team.”
Nim and Lil held hands and smiled broadly. “Pixie Powder, a member of the Birthday Beagle Brigade and Figgy Frost, new to us last year, have been assigned their very own children to make mischief with this year.”
Pixie and Figgy held their breath.
“Your new house…,” said Lil.
“Joe and Jake! You got Joe and Jake!” Nim couldn’t contain his glee. Lil shook her head at Nim as a cheer once again erupted from the crowd.
But a pink-clad pixie and her partner in green cheered the loudest and longest.