Jacob woke up early the next morning, hearing laughter from downstairs. He ran to Dean’s bed and shook his brother awake. “Santa’s here,” he whispered.
Dean wiped his eyes. “Impossible.” He got out of bed and headed for the door, stopping when he heard a man laughing. “Who’s downstairs?” he whispered.
Jacob shook his head. He was going to get to the bottom of this. They both headed for the stairs, met by Gwen who was wandering out of her room, holding a teddy bear. The bear was her favorite, but the eyes were missing, the stuffing was falling out, and it had seen better days.
They all ran down the stairs, seeing their mother hugging the well-dressed man from the mall. She turned, wiping her eyes.
Jacob didn’t care. On the floor sat hundreds of presents under a brand newly decorated tree. “Santa came?” he all but whispered. He wanted to think his wishes had been answered, but wasn’t sure, because his list didn’t have presents, but something for his family, instead.
His mother motioned for them all to join the man and her. “Kids, we’re moving.” She looked up at the man. “Our house sold and we’re moving to his guest house.”
Dean crossed his arms. “Who are you?”
The man glanced at their mom with a grin. “Your mother and I knew each other in high school. I moved away for college, but didn’t come back until last month. I couldn’t find your mom but had heard your dad died.”
Their mom lowered her head and took a deep breath as if she was sad. The man put his arm around her and kissed her temple. “It’s okay,” he whispered. “I’ll take care of you. That’s a promise.”
She wiped her eyes, but tried to smile up at the man. “His name’s Tony,” she said. “He owns the mall and lives in a huge home with a big guest house. He’s going to help us get back on our feet and make sure we have food and I have a job. He knew your dad, too.
“But I always wanted to date your mom.” Tony kissed her forehead. “I want to make all your lives better, no strings attached.”
Santa had answered part of the list.
“And,” Tony continued. “I want to put Gwen in a school that’s right for her. You boys can choose if you want to stay where you are or move to a school closer to my house. My butler can take you to whatever school you want to attend.”
The rest of the list was answered? Jacob couldn’t believe it. He locked eyes with Tony as if in question.
“Yes,” Tony said. “Santa agrees, too. He, and my staff, wanted to bring you all real gifts for Christmas, too.”
Jacob and Dean high-fived each other and cheered.
Tony got down on his knees and brought out a huge gift, handing it to Gwen. “Time for presents, but you’re first.”
She took the present, studying it. Jacob showed her how to open it. When she finally got a chance to look inside, she laughed. “Teddy? Two teddies?”
Santa had brought her two more big teddy bears, a lot like the one she already had.
Santa had come through with his promise, even better than Jacob could wish for. They all dove in and opened present after present, having the best time of their lives.
Good things did come tomorrow—on Christmas day, after all, because Santa had listened.