A Kringle Tradition


Way, way up north, in the cold, snowy region of the arctic, there lives an Eskimo named Mr. Kringle. He and his wife, Mrs. Kringle, live in an igloo somewhere near the north pole. The Kringle's have a family tradition that once every year Mr. Kringle gets into his motorized sleigh and flies all around the world giving presents to all the little girls and boys. Consequently Mr. Kringle has a very large credit account with Sears. However, he manages to pay for all of the presents he buys by standing on street corners with a big pot and ringing a bell. Mr. Kringle has faced many problems in his days, but there was one year when things were especially difficult for him.

It was early December and Mr. Kringle had just returned home to his igloo with the large pot of quarters he collected that day. He and his wife were just sitting down to dinner when a mailman with a long, thin face and short, curly black hair, stopped at their front door.

"So, the mail has finally arrived," said Mr. Kringle.

"That's right Mr. Kringle," answered the mailman. "There is a lot of mail for you today," he said as he handed Mr. Kringle six letters and his monthly issue of Ranger Rick magazine. "We were unable to mail the rest because they didn't have the zip code on them. But don't worry, I'm sure those two will arrive tomorrow with postage due."

Mr. Kringle bid the postman farewell and went back to the table to eat his dinner and read his Ranger Rick magazine. After dessert he opened his letters. He read the first one out loud to Mrs. Kringle as she cleared the dishes:

Dear Mr. Kringle;

There is a rumor going around that you are planning to go on another one of your annual gift giving campaigns. I trust that this is not true. If it is true, then you will be hearing from me in the near future. I cannot begin to describe my disgust and repulsion at your hideous gift giving crusades of preceding years. The way people act during these times is abhorrent to me and I am planning a full scale demonstration upon your property if you do not stop these inane doings.


Ebenezer Scrooge

"Dear me, it sounds like he's not too happy with you." said Mrs. Kringle.

Fortunately Mr. Kringle was used to receiving mail like this and he remained undaunted. "I'll have to think of something to soften him up a bit," he said. "Do you think he might fall for the one with the three ghosts?"

"You mean that past, present, future bit? Sure, it's worth a try," answered Mrs. Kringle.

"I'll make a note for the special assignment crew to take care of that." Mr. Kringle then read the second letter. It was another threatening letter, similar to the last one, except this one was written in crayon and had several misspelled words in it.

"Dear me, I'm afraid this is one person who isn't being a good little boy. Remind me to put some McDonald's's gift certificates in his stocking," Mr. Kringle said.

"Do you think he might fall for that ghost bit?"

"Naw, he's too young. He doesn't have a guilty conscience yet." Mr. Kringle didn't let threatening letters daunt him. But he did take some precautions. As long as he had his two body guards along with him and a third person riding shotgun up front he felt safe enough to make his annual rides. Little was he to know that this year his troubles would be more than he bargained for.

[Be sure to read next weeks chapter when Mr. Kringle's sleigh is hijacked due to poor security precautions.]


It was the evening of December the 24th, and Mr. Kringle had his extra large sleigh filled with toys for all the good little girls and boys of the world, and some McDonald's's gift certificates for those who misbehaved. It was powered by nine reindeer who had antennas wired to their antlers for remote control operation from the sleigh. The reindeer in front had a flashing red nose which was required by the FAA for licensing. Two body guards sat in the back waiting for Mr. Kringle while a third one road shotgun saddled up front on the reindeer with the flashing red nose. Mr. Kringle kissed his wife goodbye and walked to his sleigh. He climbed into the pilot's seat of his sleigh, put on his leather flight cap and goggles, and with one last glance all around him, he threw the main starter switch. The reindeer revved up and he taxied to the ice covered runway. Taking one last check over his sleigh, and then giving a thumbs up sign to his wife who waved back, he opened the throttle and started to accelerate down the runway. The sleigh soon reached a high speed and as Mr. Kringle eased back on the stick the sleigh took off into the air.

About a half-hour later, as Mr. Kringle was flying towards his first stop, which was Siberia, he spotted on his radar screen an object coming towards him. Perhaps it was a Russian plane who thought Mr. Kringle was lost and was going to force him to land. Mr. Kringle switched on his ultra-zoom TV monitor to see if he could get a better look at the jet. There it was; it was a new model which he didn't recognize, so he adjusted his ultra-zoom TV monitor and zoomed in even closer. Suddenly Mr. Kringle's heart skipped a beat. There, sitting in the pilot's seat of the jet, was none other than Mr. Kringle's worst foe.

"It's that bastard* the Grinch!" Mr. Kringle cried. "And he's closing in fast. Hold on to your hats gentlemen, there's going to be trouble."

The Grinch was still closing the gap between the sleigh and himself. "I have you now," said the Grinch, and then, as an evil grin broke out across his face, and with a cat's twinkle in his eye, he pressed the bright red button on his control board.

Mr. Kringle immediately noticed it on his radar screen. "Missile attack! Engage phasors and lock in."

"Phasors? What phasors!" yelled the body guard.

"Prepare for evasive action." yelled Mr. Kringle. "Turn hard right to port."

As the reindeer tried to turn both ways the sleigh suddenly slowed down and the missile exploded right in front of the reindeer. The first reindeer with the flashing red nose was knocked out by the blast and the other reindeer got the wind knocked out of them. The sleigh lost its power and sank downwards out of the sky.

"Mayday, mayday, we've been hit!" cried Mr. Kringle as he went slightly hysterical. "Bail out! Abandon ship!" But before he could finish it was too late for that idea. The sleigh had just enough power to make a rough landing on the snow covered land below. Seconds later, right next to the sleigh landed the Grinch in his superjet.

[Be sure to read next week's exciting conclusion of "A Kringle Tradition]
*When I wrote this in high school my English teacher suggested the word "bastard" was too vulgar and should be replaced. So here are some suggested replacements: disgusting, tax collector, French teacher, madman, turkey, "beep", "censored", naughty boy, dastardly, noble, idiot, imbecile, moron, genius, Christmas hater, Kringle hater, drug pusher, woman hater, Iranian, Russian, martian, Dr. Seuss, pea brain, scum, wretch, scoundrel, Disney character.


[In our last episode Mr. Kringle and his sleigh full of toys had just been shot out of the sky by the Grinch who has just landed next to the disabled sleigh.]

The Grinch hopped out of his superjet and walked up to Mr. Kringle. "Well, it looks like this is going to be one year without a Merry Christmas," he said, and proceeded to thoroughly tie up Mr. Kringle and the three body guards. Then he took all the sacks of toys from the sleigh and loaded them into the bomb holding compartment of the superjet. After he got all the toys loaded up he returned to the hatch to close it, but before he did he said a few farewell words. "Sorry to disappoint you Mr. Kringle, but this is going to be one year without all that Christmas nonsense. So, until we meet again, so long!" The Grinch then firmly closed the hatch. A few seconds later the engines started revving up and soon the superjet was taking off into the night to leave Mr. Kringle and his empty sleigh behind.

The Grinch was soon flying over the Pacific ocean where he planned to dump all the toys. He flipped the safety switch to release the lock on the bomb-dropping mechanism, and then moved his finger to the red bomb-release button. It was his moment of triumph, the moment he had so long been waiting for. But then he hesitated; was that Bing Crosby singing White Christmas over the radio? Yes, it was! "I hate that song," said the Grinch, and he pushed the button. "Bombs away!" He looked out his side window waiting to see all the toys fall into the Pacific ocean, but nothing happened. He pushed the button a second time, and then a third time, and still nothing happened.

"I couldn't let you do it."

The Grinch spun around in shock to see an old man with a bony figure and wrinkly skin, wearing a nightgown and cap. It was Ebenezer Scrooge.

"I couldn't let you do it because afterwards you'd have been sorry that you had." Scrooge then turned around and started walking towards the back of the plane. "There's a special package back here especially for you." He returned carrying a package all wrapped up in pretty wrapping paper tied with ribbons and a bow. The card on it said, "To the Grinch, from Mr. Kringle."

The Grinch looked at the package for a moment, and then looked up at Scrooge. "Go ahead and open it," said Scrooge. After a moments hesitation the Grinch tore off the wrapping paper and opened the box. His heart was elated when he saw what was in it. "It's a brain! Oh, just what I've always wanted!" He took the brain out of its box and held it up. "Can I try it out?"

"Sure," said Scrooge, "Please do."

The Grinch proceeded to try out his new brain. "The sum of the square roots of any two sides of an isosceles triangle is equal to the square root of the remaining side." He paused in amazement, and then exclaimed, "Oh, joy! Rapture. I've got a brain! How can I ever thank you."

"Well you can't," said Scrooge. "But you could perhaps turn this thing around and fly back to Mr. Kringle. He's got a lot of presents to give to the rest of the world."

The Grinch realized that he was the only one who could fly the superjet, and that it was up to him to get all the toys back to Mr. Kringle. Quickly he climbed back into the pilot's seat and turned the plane around.

That year Kringle's tradition was saved from sabotage. The children got all their presents which rang true in their hearts and brought joy to all. And as for Mr. Kringle, he never forgot that night when his tradition was put to the supreme test, and remained unvanquished.

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