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"It Came Upon a Midnight Clear"

Hello everyone!  Welcome to the last JABB newsletter of 2003!  We're happy to have had you all with us this year and look forward to another year of JABB in 2004!  We're especially glad to have new members with us!  For our first 2004 issue, we'd like to have a list of people's TBAA/Andrew/John Dye-related New Year's Resolutions.  Make em up if you want!  We won't hold you to them.  :-)  So if you'd like your resolution in the next issue please email Jenni.  Now, we hope you enjoy tonight's top ten and the conclusion of our annual Christmas story. 

Happy holidays to everyone!


Top Ten Reasons Andrew's Not a Reindeer

10.  Too many Androolers would try to ride him.

9.  He'd have to stop mid-trip to "take someone Home."

8.  I don't know about you, but the only time I've seen Andrew fly was on a plane.

7.  When was the last time you saw one of Santa's reindeer crying on the stairs?

6.  I know Andrew's old and all, but he'd still be a pup compared to Dasher, Dancer, Prancer and Vixen. 

5.  Santa's pretty fat.  Then there are all those toys.  And well, Andrew's not the strongest guy in the world if you catch my drift. 

4.  Andrew already takes orders from Tess.  He doesn't need Santa breathing down his neck as well.

3.  1 word:  Antlers

2.  It's pretty cold in the North Pole.  Andrew would have to wear way too much. <wink wink>

1.  Because reindeer don't look good in tool belts.

Now for the conclusion of our story.  When last we left Andrew he'd been visited by Monica, the Angel of Christmas Past and Tess, the Angel of Christmas Present.  To read that part in its entirety, if you missed it, please visit:

Now onto the conclusion of

"A Christmas Carol JABB Style:

Because Once Wasn't Enough"...

For a third time, Andrew's sleep was interrupted and he awoke.  But this time to an eerie, hazy bluish glow instead of the beautiful light that had accompanied Monica and Tess.  He glanced around and then shirked back when he noticed a figure cloaked in black.  His face invisible.

"And I suppose you're the Angel of Christmas Future?"  Andrew gathered his wits enough to ask.
The figure shrugged.


It nodded and held out its hand.  Something about the hand was familiar to Andrew but he couldn't place it.  He reached out and was gone.

The two figures were now in a darkened bedroom.  They watched as a group of four futuristically dressed women and a small girl walked in, turning on the lights.  The room also looked familiar.

"What are we going to do with all this stuff?" one woman asked.

"I guess box it up and give it to charity?  The clothes at least.  Put the rest in the museum maybe?"

"I'm just glad our great-greats aren't here to see this.  They'd be devastated."

"They all ready know."

"I guess.  I just don't...  It's so weird.  We're not made to process this.  He didn't die.  He just... fell?"

Andrew's eyes darted from figure to figure.  They looked so familiar and yet he hadn't seen them before. 

"He just...  He couldn't see the happiness or light any more and I guess that's all there was for him to do.  Go to the darkest place he could.  Now, this place is creeping me out.  Let's just get this packed up.  I don't know why you ever brought a child here," the woman said to another who was holding the little girl.  They all started throwing things in boxes.

"She wanted to say good bye."

"Nothing left to say good bye to."

Andrew's eyes were drawn to the little girl.  He noticed the demon also seemed to follow her though it was hard to say when he couldn't make out any features.  The girl walked towards the bed and right up to the night stand next to it.  She stood on her very tippy toes and reached up and pulled something off the top.  Andrew crept closer to see what it was but the girl all ready had it by her ear, her hair covering it.

"Good bye," she said quietly and then set it down on the bed.

Andrew looked down at it.  A pocket watch.  Not one he recognized but the design on it beckoned to him.  It was familiar and yet...

The scene around him dissolved and he and the demon were now outside somewhere.  Andrew looked around.  He could make out a theatre.  City Hall.  It was...  It couldn't be...  Why was a demon in Dyeland?  He felt very shaky.

"Whose room was that?"

The figure was silent.

"Who are you, demon?"

Ever so slowly, the demon reached up to the massive hood that hung around its face and pulled it away.

Andrew stared in horror at a perverted image of himself.  It had a starved look.  Its green eyes betrayed a hardness that shouldn't have been there.  The hands he had recognized were his own but they were scratched and raw. 

"No!"  Andrew screamed and buried his face in his hands.

Some moments later, Andrew heard laughter and voices around him.  Slowly, he removed his hands from his face.  He was still in Dyeland.  But not the dark, futuristic Dyeland he had just been in with the demonic version of himself.  This was the vibrant, loving Dyeland he'd known for several years now.  And it was daylight.

"Hey!  What are you doing outside, Andrew?  The party's starting!  You don't want to be late.  JenniAnn would probably send out the national guard, supposing we have one, to look for you!"

Andrew looked curiously at the Dyelander.  "What year is it?" 

"2003, has been for 12 months.  Hey, are you okay?"

"I'm... great."  A smile broke over the angel's face.  He didn't know if he'd dreamed the previous night or if it had actually happened.  All that mattered now was what he did with its message.  Right then an onslaught of happy Christmas memories came to the angel.  Jordan and Tony reconciling.  Monica, glowing and beautiful, hovering over the stable.  A wife and mother of a dead man finding out they would soon cradle his baby son.  A group of watchmakers marveling over the miracle they had given to a small boy.  It was these memories that he would try to keep in his heart all year round.

Andrew happily entered the party.  Everyone was scattered around the ballroom with a few people sorting and handing out presents.  One of them handed him a small, wooden box with his name etched into it.  JenniAnn looked over at him.

"Oh!  That one!  Andrew, it was the strangest thing!  I was right here in the room, trying to get all the gifts into some sort of order.  I turned my back for two seconds and when I turned around, that package was right there!  I have no idea who left it even!"

"Hmm...  Well...  I guess I'll see then."

Andrew lifted the lid of the box and gasped when he looked inside.  It was the same pocket watch he had seen in his "dream."  The design on the cover was that of a labyrinth.  The place he went sometimes when he was on Earth or in Dyeland and needed to hear from his Father.  He pushed a button and the watch flew open.  Inside was a simple but all-important message.  One that he had carried for the Father to countless humans over the years.  This time it was his Father saying it to him: "I love you." 

"Thank you, I love you too," Andrew said quietly.  He looked around at all the smiling, loving faces and knew this pocket watch would never be clasped by a child grieving his loss.  The events the Demon of Christmas Future had shown him would never come to pass.  From now on, pride cast aside, he would talk to his fellow angels and friends when he felt sad and not keep everything inside.  Most importantly, he would remember those three words from the Father.

That night, after the party, Andrew visited the Mason family.  Sally later told Ben that she had never been in the presence of so joyful a creature.  Little Tim went to sleep that night with a smile on his face repeating "God loves us, evy one!" in his sweet, childish voice.

The End

Credit again to Mr. Dickens for being the inspiration behind this modest retelling of his beautiful story. 

Special thanks to Miriam, Mieke, and Jennie for their input on the pocket watch design and details.  I took at least one element from what each of you told me to design the watch!  To view the watch please visit:
The episodes alluded to in this story were:
1.  "The Violin Lesson"

2.  "An Angel on my Roof"

3.  "The Christmas Gift" 

4.  "The Christmas Watch"


Newsletter 128