I know I only do it once a year, but this must be the time of year I dread. Dressing up as Santa Claus to listen to what that children on board the Enterprise want for Chrisrmas.
I'd rather be chairing a peace conference between the Vulcans and the Romulans.
As I sit in my outfit in Santa's Grotto, waiting for the first child, I think of all the disasters I've had in the past here. This year, I have Ro Laren and Jennifer Baxter as Elves. Ensign Britney and T'Pol wanted to do it, but the chances of disaster would be tenfold with those two doing it. I think I'm on safer ground with Ro & Jenny helping me out.
The noise of chattering starts to increase, and I see a little crowd of children queuiing in the distance, waiting to come in. The front is Jeremy, a known troublemaker in Miss Forrester's class.
"I saw Santa kissing Doctor Crusher this morning!" he pipes up, loud enough for all the other children to hear.
"Santa wouldn't do that." replies Georgina, a shy girl, "Everyone knows that Doctor Crusher is in love with Captain Picard."
"Yeah." replies Jeremy, "I wonder where is is right now?"
Jeremy comes up to me, and before I have a chance to start my "Ho, ho, ho, young man." spiel, he has something to say himself.
"Listen, Captain...or Santa if you want to call yourself that today." whispers Jeremy, "You either give me the best present you've got in this crummy place, or I blow the whistle to all the others who you really are and break their little hearts."
"Alright." I say grudgingly, "Take this and keep quiet."
"Nice doing business with you, Santa." Jeremy tells me sarcastically as he leaves. I motion to Jenny and Ro to get him out quickly
Georgina makes her way to me.
"Are you really Santa Claus?" she asks quietly.
"Err...yes." I answer carefully.
"That's odd." she continues, "Mommy took me to see Santa in the Starfleet Mall last week, and he looked nothing like you. Was he a crook?"
"Err...no, Georgina." I answer, "He was one of my helpers I employ to do my job. He might not have been the real Santa, but he was employed by me."
Georgina beams, quite satisfied with my explanation.
"That's all right then." she comments, "You didn't kiss Doctor Crusher like Jeremy said, did you?"
"Santa wouldn't kiss Bev...I mean Doctor Crusher." I reply.
"Course not." Georgina says, "That's the Captain's job."
I cough at this remark, and Georgina skips off with the present she has received.
The children come and go for some time until the last one has left.
Ro and Jenny come in, wearing their Elf outfits.
"How did it all go, Captain?" asks Jenny the green elf.
"It was a record." I reply, "Just three children were sick on my outfit, and I was only blackmailed twice. Things must be getting better!"