It was a typical Thursday in December. Typical, except for the fact that tomorrow will be Christmas Eve. Lea and Heneka, The Gutierrez Girls, were busy doing their homework, Aunt Silvia was cooking dinner, Chimichanga, their pet burro, and Churro, their giant puppy dog, were playing tug-of- war over an old sock. Uncle Jesse and his friend Josh were watching wrestling on TV. The wrestling program they were watching was sponsored by a national department store. The advertisement came on between wrestling matches. A kindly looking old gentle man came on the screen….
Hello, My name is Grinchwell S. Duggins for The Grinchwell Department Stores. I would like to invite you to come in and see the wonderful deals that we have for the holidays. We have all of the latest toys for girls and boys at the Grinchwell Department Stores. Bring the Kids in on Saturday to meet the Grinchwell Holiday Elf…..
Lea thought it was kind of odd that the department store had the Grinchwell Elf instead of Santa Claus, but, oh well….The family had a nice dinner that evening, Lea said the prayer, and everyone was happy.
Suddenly the phone rang. Heneka said, “may I be excused” as she got up to answer the phone. The voice at the other end of the phone sounded familiar. “Aaaaaah, hello, aaahhhh, is this the Gutierrez Girls?” Heneka answered, “This is Heneka Gutierrez, can I help you?” Yes this Bo Yamma.” Heneka said “Bo Who?” “You know, President Obama!!, that is my code name when I call you.” “oh, right” Heneka said, what can I do for you President Obama?” President Obama said “Heneka, there is an impending crisis and your nation needs the help of the Gutierrez Girls.” “How can we help?” Heneka replied. President Obama went on to explain “Our foreign intellegence agency has uncovered a covert operation taking place in the northern hemisphere.” Heneka asked “do you mean Canada?” “No, further north” President Obama said. Heneka said, “but if you go north of Canada, you’re at….”
“That’s right,” President Obama said, “THE NORTH POLE.” President Obama went on to explain, “We’re getting credible intelligence that someone is trying to disrupt businesses and bring down the economy of the entire northern region. That could have far reaching effects on the economy of the rest of the world.” Heneka said “The Guiterrez Girls will go up there and see what we can find out.”
Heneka gave Lea the secret Gutierrez Girls signal to let her know that that it was time to go on another mission. The girls ducked into their bedroom, to the trap door under Chimichanga’s bed in the closet and down into their secret hideout. Heneka said, “quick, let’s fire up the flying BMW.” But Lea had a different idea. “Why don’t we take the Rocket Bikes with lazers and rocket launchers? That way we’ll have more weaponry in case we have to fight our way out of a bad situation.”
They hopped on their Rocket Bikes and The Guiterrez Girls were off on another mission. As the rocket bikes drifted into the arctic air space of the northern hemisphere, Lea and Heneka noticed that there was a giant factory surrounded by a village of small cottages and there was snow everywhere. The one thing they didn’t see was people, no one.
Even the factory appeared to be closed. Lea said, “we’d better go look around”. They put on their protective winter gear and walked through the village. As they approached the dark dingy factory the girls looked in the windows and saw that nothing was going on. What appeared to have once been an active and thriving production line had come to a complete halt. Suddenly to her dismay, Heneka noticed piles of unfinished and incomplete toys on the floor. Then it hit her like a ton of bricks as she cried out to Lea in dismay “Oh No, It’s Santa’s workshop!!!!” Lea became very upset as well. “What will happen to Christmas?” she cried, but there was no one there to answer. As they made their way around to the front of the building they saw a large chain on the door and a sign that said….
“CLOSED BY ORDER OF THE NEW OWNER….. THE GRINCHWELL DEPARTMENT STORES INCORPORATED.”
Heneka cried to Lea, “This can’t be happening… The Gutierrez Girls have to save Christmas!!”
Lea found a rusty crow bar laying in the snow. The girls used all of their strength to pry open the chained up door to the factory. Once inside, Lea said, “we need to set up an office and command center.”
Heneka looked around and found just the spot. There was a big room with phones, computers and a giant map of the world. Heneka flipped a switch on the wall and the map lit up. It had lights that showed time zones and flight patterns all around the globe. Lea said, “This is it. This is where all the magic happens. This is where they track and control Santa’s journey every year.” Heneka said “Yeah, but not this Year.” Lea said“We’ll see about that one little sister.”
As the girls rummaged around the command center looking for clues, Heneka started getting distracted. There were just too many toys and stuffed animals that she couldn’t resist playing for a while. She set up a tea party with the Fairy Princess Doll and for the prince she found a stuffed doll dressed like a Gnome. She would have them dance and then she sat them at the table and shaped their little arms to hold the tea cups. She took the gnomes little hand and placed it around the cup.
She thought heard something, a voice saying, “ouch”, but she wasn’t quite sure. She heard it again…”ouch, it’s too tight”. Now, Heneka loves to talk to her toys, but this was even freaking her out.
“I’m sorry little gnome” she said. The little voice said, I’m not a Gnome, I’m an elf, and I don’t appreciate you treating me like a toy.
Heneka said “do you have a name mister elf?” He said , “of course, doesn’t everybody have a name?. I’ll bet they even gave you one.”
“Well yes, she replied, they call me Heneka.” Heneka? He said, hmmmmmmm, let me see, you live on Middletown Rd. and as I recall, you were just a little bit naughty this year.” Heneka said, “I guess it’s true, Aunt Silvia doesn’t like it when I roll my eyes at her, and I’m trying to control that because I know that Aunt Silvia deserves my respect.” Just then Lea came bursting out of the office, “ I’ve got it, all we have to do is find one of Santa’s Help—pers” as she noticed Heneka and the little elf standing there. “Allright”, he said “you’ve found one of Santa’s helpers. They call me Withers. At your service.”
Withers the Elf told Lea and Heneka a very sad story. It seems that old Mr. Grinchwell S. Duggins came to the North Pole and convinced Santa to go into a partnership of sorts. Grinchwell would use his trucks to get all of Santa’s toys to local distribution centers where Santa would pick them up for each local area and deliver them. That way Santa’s sleigh would not be so heavy and it would save him a lot of work. Grinchwell convinced Santa to mortgage the toy factory to buy into the deal. Santa neglected to read the fine print in the contract and within a week Grinchwell took over the factory and shut it down.
Lea said, “that’s enough, Grinchwell took advantage of a kind and jolly man through means of fraud and deception and that will never hold up in court. Suddenly, the giant computer moniter on the wall started flickering and Grinchwell appeared on the screen. “Why have you ruined Christmas?” Heneka yelled. “I haven’t ruined Christmas” said Grinchwell, “I’ve only made it more profitable for meeeeeee. Tell me, how can I make a profit on toys if that jolly old fat man is just giving them away?” Lea said “I want to see the contract that Santa signed.”
Grinchwell got very mean and said, “we’re beyond that now, you have 2 minutes to get out of my factory.” “Or what” Lea said. “you’ll see” said Grinchwell, “You’ll see”. Suddenly The Guiterrez Girls heard a loud buzzing noise outside. They ran outside only to see that the air was full of Grinchwell’s flying holiday elves. There were hundreds of them and they weren’t really elves at all, they were more like the flying monkeys from the Wizard of Oz and it looked like they were in attack mode. Lea yelled to Heneka and Withers, “we had better run for the rocket bikes.”
As they ran toward the area where they left the rocket bikes, it was like a combination of a video game and the worst 3-d movie you’ve ever seen. They ran as fast as they could. They jumped over fences and ran under bridges but the flying monkeys kept on coming. Finally they got to the bikes. Heneka grabbed Withers the Elf by the arm and said “you’re riding with me.” Now that they had the rocket bikes things changed. They could not only out run the monkeys, but they had fire power. Lea and Heneka started firing their lazer guns at will. It was just like playing a game in the arcade, except it was real and flying monkeys were falling out of the sky everywhere. Finally the flying predators formed a hasty retreat. All except for one. Lea grabbed one of the Flying Monkeys by the scruff of the neck and took him back to the abandoned factory.
Lea asked the prisoner “Where is Santa Claus and what have you done with all the rest of Santa’s Elves?” He didn’t say anything. “I’m going to ask you one more time.” Lea said, “What have you done to Santa and his Elves.” The little flying monkey got a very sad look on his face and started crying. “Can’t you see” he said, “We are Santa’s Elves. Grinchwell turned us all into these hideous creatures and we have to do his bidding.”
Withers said “Blinky?, Is that really you?” They hugged and Blinky told Withers how lucky he had been to escape when Grinchwell captured the others. “You see”, Blinky said, “Grinchwell has a plan to dominate Christmas and take the place of Santa, except he’s not only going to charge for the toy’s, He’s going to triple the prices.” Heneka said, “parents won’t be able to afford that. It will destroy the spirit of giving.”
Lea asked Blinky, “Where is Grinchwell holding Santa?” Blinky said, “What? He’s not holding Santa anywhere. Santa is in his own home behind the toy factory. The poor fella hasn’t been out of his bed since this whole thing began.” Lea said, “that’s were we have to start. If we’re going to save Christmas, we have to get Santa to lead the way.” Lea, Heneka, Withers the Elf and the newly recruited Blinky made their way to the end of the street to the big stone house behind the toy factory. A kind elderly lady answered the door. Heneka said, “We would like to speak to Santa Claus.” Mrs. Claus said “Oh I’m sorry, but that isn’t possible. He isn’t taking Christmas wishes any more.” Lea said, “we’re not here to ask for our Christmas wishes, We’re here to deliver his. We are here to win Christmas back for him.” Mrs. Claus said “well, I don’t know….” Before She could get the words out of her mouth, the four intruders ran past her and up the stairs to the bed room.
“Darling, is that you?” said Santa. “Would you please bring some more of those soft cookies and a glass of milk?” Lea said, “I think you’ve had enough milk and cookies. Now it’s time to win back Christmas.”
“What” said a startled Santa, “Who are you?” “We are Lea and Heneka, The Gutierrez Girls, and I think you already know these two guys.” Santa said “Heneka? I know that name. Weren’t you just a little bit naughty this year?” Heneka said, maybe I was, but I’m going to make up for that now.”
Santa was under the covers. His beard was all tangled and gnarley. He did not look one bit like the heroic figure of Christmas lore. They pulled Santa to the side of the bed. Heneka said “Let’s hear it….Let’s hear a Ho, Ho,Ho.” Santa said, “I’m sorry, I can’t” and started to lie back down. Lea said “we’re serious Mr. Claus, let’s hear your best HO, HO, HO.” Santa said “O.K., I’ll try.” He took in a big deep breath and reared back and went, “Ho, Hi, Hi ,Hi, Hiiii, I can’t.” “I can’t do it anymore, I can’t. I can’t be jolly.” Heneka said, “you have to be jolly, you have to be Santa Claus for all the boys and girls around the world.”
Santa said “I’m sorry, I just can’t do it anymore.” Just then Mrs. Claus appeared in the doorway with a big red box. “I think you can do it” she said. I think that with the help of these girls it isn’t too late to save Christmas.”
With the encouragement of Mrs. Claus, Blinky, Withers the Elf and The Gutierrez Girls, Santa led them back down to the abandoned toy factory. “Well” he said, “where are we going to find a work force able to get this factory up and running?” Blinky said “I think I can help. I don’t think all the elves really want to work for Grinchwell, even if he did turn them into flying monkeys, I think their hearts are with you Santa.” Lea said, ‘why don’t you and Withers go out and recruit the other elves while Santa, Heneka and I stay here and get this place back up and running.” Santa went to the basement and flipped the giant main switch and suddenly the conveyor belt started moving again.
Creakily at first, but then it started to pick up speed. Before it got up to maximum speed the elves started returning. And within an hour it was like nothing bad had ever happened. Christmas looked like it was back on for good. Everything would be merry after all. Suddenly Heneka heard something she had longed to hear for a longtime… “Ho, Ho, Hoa, Whoaaa, Ho, HoHoooooo. Ho, Ho, Hoooo, Ho, Ho, Hoa, Whoaaa, Ho, HoHoooooo. Ho, Ho” Santa just could not stop laughing. The Gutierrez Girls had done it, they actually saved Christmas……or did they?
Everything seemed to be right with the world. The toy factory was in full operation. Christmas lists from all over the world were being sorted by zip codes and being directed to the head elf of each individual department. The fabricating department was making the parts and putting them on the conveyor belt to the assembly department. All the while the elves were singing happy Christmas songs as Santa and Mrs. Claus looked on. The Guiterrez Girls were saying their farwells, but not before checking with Blinky and Withers to make sure that they had received their own wish list. Suddenly there was a commotion on the floor. Work stopped and the elves were frozen solid in fear. “He’s back” Lea said. And sure enough on all of the computer screens was Grinchwell. His threats were echoing throughout the factory.
“Christmas will be mine, I say…All mine and only mine…Haaaa, haaaaaaa, haaaaaaaaaaaaa.
Santa grabbed a microphone and said “I’m not afraid of you anymore and there is nothing you can do to stop Christmas.” Grinchwell said, “Oh you, of course not, I won’t touch a hair on your chubby little head. But tell me laughing boy…. How are you going to deliver all of those presents with no reindeer?? Haaaa, haaaaaaa, haaaaaaaaaaaaa.”
Heneka said “you better not harm those reindeer, you’ll be in big trouble.” Grinchwell said “oh, no I wouldn’t harm them at all, I just mixed little sleeping powder in with their feed so they can get some well deserved rest. They should be waking up, oh about New Years Day, Haaaa, haaaaaaa, haaaaaaaaaaaaa.” Quickly the computer moniters switched back to the Christmas music but no one was in a mood to sing. Heneka took the news hardest of all because she loves her animals and didn’t want to see the reindeer hurt. Suddenly she had a brainstorm. She said “Come on Lea, I have a plan. Santa, keep the factory going at full speed. Lea and I will be back in 2 hours.” Lea and Heneka hopped on the rocket bikes and were gone in a flash. While they were gone Santa found some left over magic dust from last year and poured it in the heating vent to circulate it throughout the room. His plan worked.
There were no more flying monkeys, only happy productive elves, making toys and having faith that the Guiterrez Girls would be back with a way to deliver them. Suddenly Santa heard the roar of a rocket bike outside. He looked out the window and saw that Heneka was towing a large trailer. She yelled to them “everyone come outside for a moment.” Heneka said “I want you all to meet this years reindeer.” you to meet Jackie Black the bunny and next we have Ertle the turtle. Behind him is Wiley the Bear. Next to him is Lola the Hedgehog, Next to her is Churro the giant puppy dog and this years head reindeer will be my own pet burro Chimichanga”.
Heneka handed Santa a remote control and said “push this button.” Santa pushed the button and heard “Heeeee-Haaaawwww.” Heneka said “see if you come upon a flock of geese, Chimichanga will clear them out for you”. Santa pondered for a moment “yes, I suppose with enough magic dust they could pull the sleigh, I think we’re back in business”. The Elves let out a loud cheer and everyone went right back to work, singing Christmas carrolls and filling wish lists. The Gutierrez Girls said their goodbyes. Heneka gave Chimichanga a great big hug and said “Christmas is Saturday, tell the others I’ll be back to get you on Sunday” and with the flash of a rocket Lea and Heneka were headed back home.
It was a typical Friday evening. Typical except for the fact that tonight is Christmas Eve. Aunt Silvia was surprised that Lea and Heneka had slept in until after noon today, but now they were wide awake and filled with anticipation about Christmas. Aunt Silvia mentioned that she “might run down to Grinchwell’s Department Store after dinner “because they’re having a gigantic Christmas Eve sale”. Heneka said “I’ts too late, they’re closed.” Sylvia said “No, I saw the advertisement on TV, it said Open until midnight on Christmas Eve”. Uncle Jesse said “The newspaper says that Grinchwells is closed for good and that Grinchwell S. Duggins has been brought up on charges of fraud and racketeering. It says the President Obama Himself appointed a task force to look into Grinchwell’s criminal activities.” Aunt Silvia said “really, but how would Heneka know anything about that?” Heneka said “gee, I don’t know, I’m just a little girl”. It was all that Lea could do to keep from laughing out loud. When the girls went to bed that evening they weren’t sure if they were dreaming or not, but they both heard it outside their window…. “Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good….Heeeeeeeeeeee-Haaaawwwwwwwww”.