“You’ve got to be kidding me,” I said as I walked through the Christmas display near the entrance of the Royal Hotel and Casino.
“What’s wrong?” Charlene said, the bells dangling from her ears tinkled as she swung her head to face me. Charlene Partridege loved Christmas. She put up the office tree topped with a blinking star and hung a stocking on each desk even before Thanksgiving. She set a tiny nativity scene on her desk complete with wisemen and shepperds. I drew the line when she tried to hang mistletoe from my door. She’d even suggested the entire office staff dress up in costumes from Dicken’s Christmas Carol. As the director, I squashed that idea immediately. I had a feeling I knew which role she’d envisioned for me and, although I admit I wasn’t feeling the Christmas spirit this year, I had no intention of going around saying bah humbug every few minutes.
“Santa’s workshop in a casino? Please tell me they didn’t dress up the cocktail waitresses as Santa’s helpers this year.”
“I think they look adorable.”
I rolled my eyes. I didn’t see a jolly Santa on a throne, but off to the side of the workshop sat a giant sleigh and eight huge reindeer on a snow-covered platform surrounded by Christmas trees. Wrapped presents of all sizes and shapes spilled from a red bag. A long line of people wound around the display. I watched as each one handed an elf a wrapped package.
Charlene walked over and picked up one of the gifts. “See, each one has name on it. Thanks to our employees and customers there won’t be one child in this town that doesn’t have at least one gift this Christmas.”
I felt it then—the true spirit of Christmas. For the children of Tinsel town we had room at the inn.