IV. Santa Visits Dr. Chang
"Petey, we're running out of time. Tomorrow is Christmas Eve." Sarah wrapped and unwrapped her doll's blanket.
"What is Santa going to do?" Petey wondered. "Is he going to bring the glasses or not?"
"And can we wait 'til Christmas morning to find out?" Sarah worried. "If he doesn't bring them, Grandpa will miss Christmas!"
"We'd better go see him again."
Sarah wrapped the baby doll back up and put it in its cradle. She followed Petey downstairs.
Mom was home early from work. "Where are you two off to?"
"Can we walk up town?" Sarah asked. "We need to get one more Christmas present."
"For Grandpa," Petey added.
Mom frowned a little. "I don't think Grandpa is . . . enjoying Christmas much this year without Grandma Susie. I don't want you to be…disappointed if he is not excited about your present."
"It's okay, Mom," Sarah said. "We understand."
"All right, then. Don't be long."
* * *
"Look! There he is!" Petey said. Santa Claus was right where he was supposed to be--in front of the bakery, ringing his bell. Petey and Sarah ran over. Sarah put a dime in the kettle.
"Santa?" she said. "Did you decide about the glasses?"
"Huh? What's that?" He stopped ringing his bell. "Oh, it's you two again, the children that want my glasses."
"Well?" Petey asked.
"Well, it's like this, kids. Santa is an old man. He needs his glasses. How can he see to fly the sleigh? Why, without his glasses, he might mix up the toys and give a little fella like you a baby doll!"
"I told you so!" Sarah whispered. She looked away so Santa wouldn't see the tears in her eyes. She looked across the street… at Dr. Chang's Optical Shop.
"Santa, what if you got new glasses? Could Grandpa Fred have your old glasses then? Come with us over to Dr. Chang's!"
"What--what's that? No, I can't leave the kettle." He started ringing the bell again.
Just then a woman in a blue skirt, jacket and hat walked over. "Hey, Santa," she said. "It's time for your break. I'll take over."
Petey grinned at Sarah. They each took one of Santa's hands and pulled him across the street.
"Dr. Chang! Dr. Chang!" they called as they burst through the door.
"Hi, kids. Santa Claus?" Dr. Chang's assistant stood up.
"We need to see Dr. Chang right away!" Petey said.
"She is leaving early today. She may have already left."
"Oh, no! We have to see her!" said Sarah.
"It's all right, I'm still here." Dr. Chang came out of her office. "Peter, Sarah…Santa Claus? What's going on?"
"Santa Claus needs new glasses…" began Sarah.
“…so he can give his old glasses to Grandpa Fred," finished Petey.
Dr. Chang looked puzzled.
"Remember? Christmas glasses 'cause Grandpa Fred can't see Christmas? You said Grandpa Fred needed Christmas glasses," Petey reminded her.
"Christmas glasses…oh, yes, Christmas glasses! Well, what do you say, Santa? When was the last time you had an eye examination and a new pair of glasses?"
Santa Claus cleared his throat. "Well, it's like this, Ma'am. I left my checkbook and credit cards at the North Pole. And I'm a little short of cash right now. I'm afraid new glasses are not in the budget."
"Santa, I wouldn't dream of making you pay for glasses! You've brought me so many nice presents over the years. Do you remember the doctor kit you gave me when I was eight years old? I might not be a doctor today.”
Dr. Chang took Santa to the examination room. Sarah sat down and Petey walked over to the little Christmas tree. Suddenly he thought of something, and he asked Dr. Chang's assistant, "How long will it take to get Santa's new glasses made?" He remembered waiting a week for his glasses.
"It usually takes at least a week, but I think Dr. Chang can work a little Christmas miracle."
"She can do that?" Sarah whispered.
"Yes, I think she can. Come back 1:00 tomorrow afternoon sharp--school is closed, right?"
"Yes, it's Christmas Eve tomorrow," Sarah said.
"Okay, then, at 1:00 tomorrow afternoon Dr. Chang will give Santa his new glasses, and…"
“We can have Santa’s old glasses!” Petey finished.
Coming tomorrow: Christmas Morning