Kate looked out the window at the snow. “Fuzzy,” she said to her toy bear, “aren’t you excited? Today is Christmas Eve!” Kate gave Fuzzy a hug. “Just think -- tonight is the night Santa Claus comes!” Kate’s mother walked into the room. “Kate, get your coat and boots. We need to go to town for a few last-minute gifts. We still don’t have a present for Mr. Noonan.” This was the old gentleman who lived across the street.
Kate ran to get her winter jacket. “Can Fuzzy come with us?” she asked. “I don’t see why not,” Mommy replied. “Mommy,” said Kate, as she and her mother went out into the snow, “Fuzzy needs a sweater and hat to wear this winter, too.”
Kate held Fuzzy tightly as she followed Mommy around the department store. After they had bought a warm scarf for Mr. Noonan, they walked past the toy department. “Mommy, can we please stop and look at the toys?” Kate asked. “I want Fuzzy to see them.” Kate held Fuzzy up to look. Fuzzy thought he had never seen so many amazing toys in all his life.
There were beautiful dolls, tall toy soldiers, and brightly painted toy trains. There were skates and sleds, dollhouses and doll furniture, and more stuffed animals than Fuzzy could have imagined. He saw rabbits, elephants, giraffes, puppies, kittens -- even some bears that looked a little like him!
Kate said, “All the toys in this store are wonderful, Fuzzy, but no one is as special as you. You’ve been with me ever since I can remember! Every night when I go to sleep, you’re there. And every morning when I wake up, you’re still there.” She squeezed Fuzzy. “I love you!”
Fuzzy smiled to himself. He remembered the time Kate had had the measles. She was feverish at first, and then there were red spots all over her face. But he cuddled up with her anyway to make her feel better. Fuzzy also thought about the birthday party Kate had given for him. All her other dolls had come, but the birthday cake was made special for him. “What a lucky bear I am,” he said to himself.
Then Kate and Fuzzy got in line to talk to Santa Claus. The line moved slowly, as each child sat in Santa’s lap to whisper in his ear. Finally, it was Kate’s turn. She put Fuzzy on the floor and climbed onto Santa’s lap.
Kate told Santa all about her family. She told him what a good time they had every year making Christmas cookies and decorating their tree. She told him to look for the plate of cookies and glass of milk that she planned to set out for him that night.
Santa asked, “What would you like for Christmas, Kate?” Kate smiled and said, “I’d like to have a new red sweater and hat for my favorite friend, my bear Fuzzy.”
When Kate finished talking to Santa, she ran back to her mother. “Mommy, Mommy, guess what I said to Santa!” She was so busy telling Mommy all about it that she didn’t notice she had left Fuzzy lying on the floor. Kate and her mother hurried home. It was getting late, and all the stores were closing. But just as they walked into the house, Kate cried, “Where’s Fuzzy?”
“Don’t you have him?” asked Mommy. “Oh, no!” said Kate. “Did we leave him at the store?” It was too late to go back and try to find poor Fuzzy. Kate was broken-hearted. “I can’t lose Fuzzy!” She began to cry.
At the very moment Kate was sobbing for her lost bear, poor Fuzzy was feeling pretty sad himself as he sat on the floor of the department store. He was lost and alone. What on earth could he do? A tear rolled down his cheek.
Then he heard a voice behind him. “What’s the matter, little bear?” Fuzzy looked around and saw a tall toy soldier made of wood. Fuzzy told the soldier what had happened to him. The soldier said, “Let’s go and ask the other toys what you should do.”
When they got to the toy department, Fuzzy told the other toys how he had been lost. The purple polka-dot stuffed elephant had an idea. “I know,” he cried. “You must go outside the store and wait for Santa to come by tonight in his sleigh. Santa will surely help you.”
What’s all this about Santa Claus and Christmas?” Fuzzy asked. “I really don’t understand.” Fuzzy was a young bear, and he didn’t know much about the world. A pretty little girl doll spoke up. “Oh, Christmas is wonderful,” she said. “On Christmas morning, children everywhere wake up and find toys under the Christmas tree.”
“How do the toys get there?” asked Fuzzy. “Silly bear,” giggled a blue stuffed rabbit. “Don’t you know that Santa brings them?” “And Santa will come to town tonight?” asked Fuzzy. “Yes,” replied the stuffed elephant. “That’s why you must wait outside. He’ll find you there.”
Now it was nighttime. Fuzzy opened the front door and went bravely out into the dark to wait for Santa and his sleigh. Fuzzy sat down in the snow. It was very cold. He waited and waited. He was sure he would never see Santa.
But, just as he was about to lose hope, Fuzzy heard a faint jingle in the distance. He looked again and, sure enough, Santa’s sleigh was speeding right toward him! Reindeer were pulling the sleigh, with red-nosed Rudolph in the lead.
When Santa saw Fuzzy, he scooped him up and cried, “Fuzzy! I’m so glad I’ve found you! I have a new red sweater and hat for you -- just the kind Kate asked for!”
The next morning, Kate woke up and reached over in bed to hug Fuzzy. But he wasn’t there!Then she remembered. Fuzzy was lost. And today was Christmas Day. Santa had probably left a beautiful red sweater and hat for Fuzzy. But now there was no little brown bear to wear them.
Just then, Mommy and Daddy came in. “Merry Christmas, darling!” said Mommy. “Fuzzy isn’t here,” Kate said sadly. “Sweetie, why don’t you go downstairs and look under the tree?” said Daddy.
Kate put on her robe and slippers and hurried down the stairs. And there, beneath the Christmas tree, was Fuzzy, dressed in a bright red sweater and stocking cap! Kate picked him up and hugged him with all her might.
Oh, Fuzzy, I’m so glad to see you!” Kate cried with happiness. “And look at your new sweater and hat!” Fuzzy smiled to himself. It was wonderful to be home again! He was proud to have such jaunty new clothes to wear -- and especially happy to be Kate’s Christmas Bear!
“I’m never going to lose you again!” Kate promised, and that made Fuzzy smile even more. It was the best Christmas ever!