"A White Christmas? When do we ever get a White Christmas?" He shook his head at the snow falling in ever increasing flakes.
"Never,dear." His wife, anticipating a tirade, did not look up from her stitching.
"I mean, I know it's supposed to be seasonal..." he paced up and down the wooden floor.
"...but how often has it happened in the last ten years? The last twenty?" A floorboard creaked under the weight of his fretful feet.
"Hardly ever,dear." Her needle skimmed up and down, patching holes with consummate skill.
"It's freezing out there."
"You'll be warm enough."
"I'd rather stay at home." He sat back down on the sofa, stretching his large black-booted feet on her lap, forcing her to put down her needlework.
"You say that every year." She pushed him off and picked the sewing up again.
"It's going to be murder travelling."
"I'm sure it will be fine."
"I'm worried about the suspension..."
"You've just had a service."
"...and the brakes in this ice..."
"Will work perfectly, I'm sure."
"Perhaps I shouldn't go this year." He looked at her hopefully.
"After I've spent the last two hours mending?" She handed him his jacket. "Besides, they'll be expecting you."
"I suppose you're right." He took it from her and pulled it over his large frame.
"You know I am." She gave him a firm kiss on the lips.
"Here I go again." He stood up.
"Don't forget your hat!"
"Do I have to?"
"All right then..." With a sigh, he pulled the red and white hat over his curly white hair, "I look ridiculous."
"You look gorgeous." She rewarded him with a fuller kiss. "Now get to work."
"Don't wait up."
"I never do."
He stomped outside to his workshop where a small elf was placing the last present on top of a packed sleigh.
"I've oiled the runners sir, the reindeer are fed and watered, and the sat nav programmed," the chief elf beamed with pride.
"Then I'd better be on my way."
He jumped into the sleigh and with a crack of the whip headed East towards the first stroke of midnight. It was going to be a busy night.