By Laura McHale Holland
Ready for bed, Little Toby looks out his window and sees glowing snowflakes of red, green, gold and white falling through the dark sky. He wants to tell his mom and dad about the colors in the snow, but they are arguing in the next room, and they always get angry with him if he walks into the room when one or the other of them is pacing or throwing dishes or pounding the wall or threatening divorce. So he tiptoes through the house, past the Christmas tree in the living room and to the hallway where he puts on his boots and slips out the front door.
Toby prances around the yard, his face up and arms out to welcome the twinkling flakes as they land on his skin and pajamas. His parents’ voices fade into the background. He begins to spin like a dervish and hum Joy to the World. He spins across the yard, across the sidewalk and into the street just as a Toyota rounds the corner.
The driver sees the boy, brakes, swerves and comes to a halt in the driveway of Toby’s home. The driver, who is a neighbor dressed in a Santa suit after a shift posing for pictures with tots at Macy’s, gets out of the car and runs into the street to pick up Toby, who is still spinning and entranced by the snowflakes.
“In the shop getting serviced for the big journey tomorrow.” Santa puts him down.
“Did you bring me the colored snow?”
Santa studies the snow and sees that it is, indeed, multicolored. “Well, I’ll be. It is in full color, isn’t it.”
Toby opens the door and steps inside. His parents are still arguing.
“Can you do something about them?” Toby asks.
“I’m afraid I’m better with toys, you know.”
“Thanks for the snow then,” Toby says.
“Sure, kid.” Santa waves and walks back to his car.
Toby takes off his boots and returns to his his room as Santa backs his Toyota out of the driveway. Toby’s parents are now quiet and the falling snow is white. He pulls out Where The Wild Things Are from under his bed, gets under the covers and waits for one of them to tuck him in.