Yuletide Surprise

Little Jimmy woke from his bed on Christmas when he heard sounds from downstairs. Looking at his alarm clock, the mop-headed boy saw it was almost midnight. Wanting to get his gifts earlier, he tiptoed down the dark hallway, half expecting his parents to find and scold him at any moment. At the end of the hallway, he snuck a peak into his parents' room, finding both of them dead asleep.

It was a cautious curiosity that drew Jimmy downstairs. With no siblings and his parents asleep, Jimmy was unsure what the sounds downstairs could be. He pressed himself against the wall, and descended as silently as he could. Reaching the bottom of the stairs, he towards the Christmas tree and stockings. A gasp escaped his lips as a gaunt, red suited intruder placed objects into his stocking.

"S-santa?" Jimmy asked, stumbling backwards in shock. "Y-you look a little, eh,…thin."

The intruder turned around, revealing his long beard and gaunt face to the young boy. One of his eyes was closed, but the other had a bright twinkle to it. The old man set down the stocking, snapped his fingers, and chuckled. Jimmy saw the stocking vanish from his hand and appear back on the mantle. "Not quite, boy," he smirked. "I held the position long before Saint Nicolas did."

"O-odin?" Jimmy looked up. "Like from the sagas?"

"Ah, you are well educated, young one," the One Eyed God looked at the boy. "May I ask where from?"

"A book on Norse myths, sir," the boy replied. "I've always thought Vikings were cool!"

"Indeed they were, young one," Odin grinned. "Yet by your age, many had already killed something."

"I've swatted bugs before," Jimmy countered. "But I've never used weapons before!"

"If you are interested, young one," Odin grinned. "Sleipnir and my hunting party await on your rooftop. Should you desire it, I welcome you to join in my Yuletide hunt. "

"Hunt?" Jimmy perked up. "Cool!"

"Ah, I knew you would like it," Odin walked towards the fridge. "Would your parents mind if I borrowed some carrots? Sleipnir gets hungry for these long treks."

"Help yourself," Jimmy said.

On his rooftop, Jimmy heard the trotting of eight hooves.

The All Father picked up some carrots, and extended his hand. "Come, we shall depart!"

Jimmy left with Odin, and joined in the All Father's hunt. It was the best Christmas ever.