"This is just so wonderful Noel. I just love it here and the kids are having the time of their lives. Most of all, I love you." Tracy turned into the arms of the taller woman beside her.
"I'm so glad you're happy, Tracy, that means a lot to me." Noel smiled down on her.
Tracy couldn't help but giggle. "What's not to be happy about? I'm in love with the most wonderful woman in the world who just happens to be Santa's daughter. I live in Santa Town." Tracy stopped to give Noel a fast kiss and a hug.
"My daughters have a pile of uncles and aunts that are spoiling them to death and are not much taller then they are; not to mention their new grandparents are Santa and Mrs. Claus." Tracy laughed.
"I can go out anytime I want and pet a reindeer or fly around up in the stars. My children and I are covered in so much love around here. It is like a fairytale in story land. AND I LOVE IT." Tracy yelled as she threw her arms out turning around in a circle, laughing.
Noel smiled as Tracy ran back into her arms. "God I love you, Tracy. I'm the luckiest person around." She said as she kissed her.
"I have one question to ask." Tracy told her.
"Sure what is it?" Noel asked.
"How do we stay so warm? It must be below zero up here but I don't feel it. We just were coats, pants, and boots as we would at home. Half the time I don't even have to put on gloves or a hat." Tracy questioned her.
Noel gave her a hug and laughed. "That is because up here it has its own heat source. Some say it's Christmas Magic. Who knows? But as long as you're wearing that coat you have on, you'll always be warm too. Now that is Christmas Magic." Noel Smiled as she pointed to the red coat like hers she had given Tracy. She also gave one to each of Tracy's daughters.
"Wow that is cool." Tracy smiled. "But I still have one more question to ask. Are the reindeer named after the story The Night Before Christmas or is the story named after them?" Tracy had been dying to ask that question for days.
"The reindeer are named after the story. Dad heard it, liked the names so he named them that. We really do have a reindeer with a red nose. However, it doesn't shine. Dad has this fake red nose that lights up. He likes to put it on him to give the kids a treat on Christmas Eve." Noel told her.
"Hey, speaking of kids, where is my mine?" Tracy asked, "I haven't seen them since breakfast."
Noel looked down at her feet and cleaned her throat. "Ahh?Dad's in the study showing them his good and bad list and telling them all about it." Noel told her.
"His good and bad list?" Tracy gave her a puzzled look.
"You know." Noel started singing and dancing around her. "OH! YOU BETTER WATCH OUT, YOU BETTER NOT CRY, YOU BETTER NOT POUT, I'M TELLING YOU WHY: SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN! HE'S'MAKING A LIST, HE'S'CHECKING IT TWICE, GONNA FIND OUT WHO'S NOUGHTY OR NICE. SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN! HE SEES YOU WHEN YOU'RE SLEEPING; HE KNOWS WHEN YOUR'RE AWAKE. HE KNOWS IF YOUR'VE BEEN BAD OR GOOD, SO BE GOOD FOR GOODNESS SAKE!"
Tracy was laughing so hard she could hardly stand.
"Noel you are a nut, but I still love you." The two girls hugged.
Noel tenderly kissed Tracy. "I have an idea why don't we go get a lunch, take the sleigh up, and watch the Northern Lights together." Noel bobbed her eyebrows up and down as she gave Tracy a little smile.
"NO WAY, you rat. Last time we did that I got frost bite on my butt." Tracy shook her finger at her.
Before Noel could come up with another idea, they heard Sam, the head elf, yelling her name as he came running outside of the toy workshop.
"Noel, we got trouble. Oh boy, do we have trouble. It is so big." Sam said as he walked back and forth ringing his hands together. "What are we going to do?"
Noel gave Tracy a glance and shrugged her shoulders. "Sam, slow down and tell me what kind of trouble you are talking about."
Sam stopped in front of Noel. "It Baby New Year. He's missing. OH?what are we going to do?"
"Oh boy!" Noel put her hand on her head.
"Wait. What are you guys talking about. Are you trying to tell me there really is a Baby New Year? Moreover, a Father Time? NO WAY." Tracy said shaking her head from side to side.
Noel put her hand on Tracy's shoulder and looked into her eyes. "Remember when you doubted there was a Santa."
Tracy gave her a shocked look. "REALLY/ Is there really a Father Time and a Baby New Year? I thought they were just stories made up."
"Well, I guess you will find out first hand. We need to go find him fast." Noel told her.
"Why?" Tracy asked. "I mean yes of course we need to find a lost baby but I don't understand what all the trouble is Sam was is talking about."
"What all the trouble is about. OH MY!" Sam looked at her. "Tracy you don't understand. Without Baby New Year, we can't bring in the New Year. We will be in this year forever. We won't be able to move on."
"You're kidding right?" Tracy turned to Noel. "He's kidding right."
"Sorry honey but no he's not. Sam go tell dad what is happening and ask him to watch the kids for us. Come on Tracy let's go get a sleigh." Noel told Sam as she grabbed Tracy's hand and led her off toward the barn.
They had been flying for over an hour when they came to what looked like to Tracy an old time Castle. Noel helped Tracy out of the sleigh.
Tracy wanted to start asking all kinds of questions but decided just go along for the ride and see what happens. This was all so new for her. Now all of a sudden she wasn't just reading about fairly tales, she was living them.
Noel went up and knocked on the door. It was opened up by a little old lady.
"Noel I'm so glad to see you." It looked like she had been crying.
"Oh Martha." Noel said as she took Martha into her arms. "Its going to be ok. We'll find him. I promise."
They all went in to the front room and sat down. Tracy looked at all the different clocks on the wall. There were ones that looked as old as the beginning of time and others that didn't look that old at all.
Leaning over to Noel, she whispered. "Where are we?"
"Sorry Tracy, this is Martha she takes care of Baby New Year and Father Time. This is The House of Time." Noel told her.
All Tracy could do was look around and say. "WOW." What else was there to say?
"Oh excuse my bad manners. Noel would you and your young lady here like some hot cocoa?" Martha asked.
"Now it's my turn to say sorry for my bad manners. Martha this is Tracy the most important woman in my life." Noel told her proudly. "Let me get the cocoa this time Martha." Noel said as she lifted her hand and moved it in a circle.
Tracy sat opened mouthed as three cups of steaming hot cocoa appeared on the coffee table in front of them. "I don't think I will ever get use to what you can do with your fingers."
Noel leaned over just enough so only Tracy could hear her. "I thought you liked what I could do with my magical fingers." Noel chuckled as she saw the red blush make its way up Tracy's neck.
"Martha what happened." Noel asked her.
"No idea Noel. I had just feed him and put him down for a nap. I went back 15 minutes later and he was gone." Martha answered.
"Ok let go have a look at his room and see if there is any clues." Noel told them as she finished drinking her cocoa and the cup disappeared.
The room would have looked just like any other's baby's room if musical toys weren't floating around the room playing Christmas music.
Noel walked around the room then over to the crib that seemed to be rocking by itself.
"Ok Martha. I'll do my best to get him back before midnight on New Year Eve." Noel said as she give her a hug then put her arm around Tracy as they got their coats and left.
"Where we going?" Tracy asked Noel.
"I think I know who did it." Noel reached into her coat pocket and handed what she had in it to Tracy.
Tracy looked it over. "It's a candy wrapper. Isn't it?"
"Yep it is and you can only get it at one place. SANTA TOWN." Noel told her.
Tracy gave her a shocked look. "Noel how could that be? There is no one mean enough there to steal a baby."
Noel just nodded her head in agreement.
Instead of stopping at Santa Town, they flew past it to a little cabin that looked just like a gingerbread house. Tracy just couldn't get over how much her life had changed in just a short time. Before they could knock on the door, a little elf came out.
"Hey there Noel what brings you here?" He asked.
Noel went up and shook his hand. "Hey there Jingles. This is Tracy. And I think you know why we're here."
Jingles stood there and just looked at them. "I would ask how you knew but I guess with Santa being your father I don't have too." He told her as he hung his head.
Noel laughed. "Well I would like to say it was magic but it wasn't." She held out her hand and Tracy placed the candy wrap in it. "This is what gave you away. You're the only one that Jinx makes these for and I found it in Baby New Years bed."
"He started to cry so I give him some candy to eat." Jingles told her.
Tracy couldn't stay quiet anymore. "Why? Why would a elf do something as evil as stealing a baby? I don't understand. I thought you were all good.
"He didn't do it for evil. Did you Jingles?" Noel asked him.
Jingles give a big sigh then looked up at them. "I did it for Christmas. All the people are so happy this time of year, everyone signing Christmas music and saying hi to each other. This is the only time of the year magic happens and people believe in good. I wanted it to last."
"So you stole Baby New Year thinking if you did it would always be Christmas." Noel said.
"Yes I did. I wasn't going to keep him forever just for awhile so maybe people would start remembering how to be happy, nice and believe all year long." Jingles told them.
"Well that might as well be forever then." Tracy mumbled.
"Jingles, I know you did it for a good cause but we have to take him back. It wouldn't be fair to not let the New Year come in. We can't stop it. Understand?" Noel explained to him.
Jingles looked up at Noel. "I'm sorry Noel. I didn't mean to hurt anyone I just wanted the world to stay happy for a while longer. I'll go get him." Jingles told them as he went into the house.
It didn't take them long to get back to The House of Time and give a very happy Martha back a very sleepy Baby New Years.
"He was so cute Noel. I can't believe in a year he will be Father Time. It almost seems sad he will have such a short life." Tracy told her.
Noel looked over at her then back to driving the sleighed. "Whatever gives you the idea that Father Time has a short life? I know, from what they showed you people on TV and in the books. Right?"
Tracy just nodded.
Noel chuckled. "Nope, not a truth to it. What you saw Tracy was The House of Time. Baby New Year will live there for a year till he becomes Father Time and the next Baby New Year will take over. Just a little ways away from there is The Town of Time. They go there and live long and happy lives. I will take you there sometime."
"WOW. I never even questioned it. I just believed what I was told about it." Tracy told her. This was such a different life for her and she loved it. Where else could you live with magic around you all the time?
Tracy looked around at the stars they was flying through and over to the reindeer that were pulling the sleigh.
"Noel?" Tracy said.
"Yes." Noel looked over as she answered.
"You ever make love in a sleigh." Tracy smiled at her.
"No, but I have a feeling I'm going to." Noel gave Tracy a big grin. "Hey Dasher and Dancer, one more time around the moon." Noel called to the reindeer as she took Tracy in her arms for a long winter's kiss.