It is Christmas Day in the Smurf Village. Empath woke up from his sleep, feeling like he had the best night's sleep ever. He remembered that last night he and his fellow Smurfs were helping out an old couple with what would be their last Christmas together, to lift up the spirits of an old woman who was ready to pass on from this life. They had to sacrifice a lot to give that couple the best Christmas they could ever have, but Empath felt that it was worth it. And to top it all off, the Smurfs were rewarded with a Christmas tree and decorations and presents that were given all on Christmas Eve.
Empath went to his window to look at everything in the village, and sure enough, the Christmas tree was still there, so the whole thing wasn't a dream that he and his fellow Smurfs had. He smiled as he went to his chair to get himself dressed in his bodysuit before stepping out of his house.
Polaris Psyche met Empath as he was coming down the stairs from his bedroom. "Salutations, fellow Empath," Polaris greeted. "This one senses that you are exuberant about the new day that has arisen."
"It's Christmas Day, Polaris," Empath said. "Even though we received our presents last night, this smurf feels that it's a good day to spend some time with this smurf's fellow Smurfs. By the way, what are your plans for the day?"
"This one was hoping to spend time with Brainy in another game of chess, if he is available," Polaris said.
"Brainy must find you a formidable opponent in that game if he's always seeking to better his strategies against you," Empath said.
"Admittedly, Brainy's game strategies keep this one 'on his toes', as you Smurfs are fond of saying," Polaris said. "It is a challenge to keep this one from sensing what his next move shall be in order to keep things fair between us."
"This smurfs knows you're doing your best, Polaris," Empath said. "Anyway, this smurf is intending to spend some time with Smurfette today."
"Then this one will not keep you waiting," Polaris said. "May you have a pleasant day today with your fellow Smurf."
"You enjoy yourself with Brainy, Polaris," Empath said, smiling as he headed out the door.
He looked around and saw that his fellow Smurfs were busy enjoying the presents that they were given last night. He heard the sound of a motorized vehicle approaching, so he turned and saw that Handy was driving around in a snowmobile he had designed. "Morning, Empath," Handy greeted when he came to a stop.
"Salutations, fellow Handy," Empath greeted back. "This smurf can see that you're going about on your new motorized snowsmurfer today. How is it running?"
"Better than I expected," Handy replied. "I'm thinking of smurfing this out into the forest to see how it smurfs outside the village."
"Just be careful, Handy," Empath said. "You don't want to wreck your new invention all too soon with some careless moves, or cause any injury to yourself."
"Don't worry about me, Empath...I'm sure I'll smurf the hang of it," Handy said. "See you later." With that, he gunned the motor, and Handy zoomed away in the direction he was traveling.
Just then, Tapper and Duncan McSmurf showed up. "Smurf o' the morning to you, Empath," Tapper greeted. "'Tis a bright smurfy morning we're having here on this Christmas morn today."
"Aye, that it is...maybe a little too bright for me," Duncan said, rubbing his eyes. "I can't believe that I smurfed the night with Hefty in that Slime Bar in the Imaginarium celebrating Christmas."
"This smurf can sense that the Slime Bar wasn't exactly your best place for drinking fermented beverages, Duncan," Empath said.
"You can smurf that again, laddie," Duncan said. "Hefty can drink that smurf like it's nothing, but it sure smurfs me a sour stomach just smelling it."
"That's because it is meant for Wartmongers, my friend," Tapper said. "Not everything in this world is smurfed to be digested by every smurf of creature that the Almighty has smurfed into this world."
"But you weren't there for the beverages, as this smurf could sense," Empath said.
"I'm not going to smurf up a good fight when I smurf across one," Duncan said. "Those Wartmongers may be tough, but I can sure tenderize them well enough to smurf them into haggis burgers."
Tapper made a face at the mention of haggis. "That's something I certainly didn't need to hear about."
Empath laughed slightly. "Well, Duncan, this smurf is pleased to know that you have enjoyed your excursion into the Slime Bar with your friend Hefty. Now if you'll excuse this smurf, this smurf is on my way to meet up with Smurfette."
"Aye, I surely don't want you to keep the sweet lassie waiting," Duncan said with a suggestive smile. "You enjoy yourself with her company today."
"Have yoursmurf a merry Christmas today, my friend," Tapper said before the two of them departed.
Smurfette was at her mirror, brushing her hair and trying to get herself presentable for the new day, when she heard a knocking on her door. "Empath, is that you?" she asked, anticipating his arrival.
Then she heard the sound of a squirrel chattering outside her door. Smurfette had a feeling that it was someone else that she knew that arrived at her door.
"Hold on, I'll be there," Smurfette called out as she put down her brush and got up to answer the door. She opened and saw that it was Wild Smurf with Chitter, with Wild carrying a bouquet of rare white snow flowers in his hand.
"Morning, Smurfette," Wild greeted, presenting her with the flowers. "Do you like them?"
"Oh, they're so beautiful, Wild," Smurfette said, smiling as she took the bouquet from Wild's hand and then kissed him on the cheek. Wild felt his cheeks turn red as he received the kiss.
"I'll just smurf them in a nice place where I can smurf at them, which shouldn't smurf long," Smurfette said. Wild waited patiently while Smurfette found a bowl to place the bouquet in before joining him again. "So what smurfs you to my door today on Christmas morning?"
"Maybe the two of us can smurf together out in the forest, just you and me," Wild suggested.
"That would be nice, but I'm expecting Empath to arrive soon," Smurfette said. "However, you are welcome to join us wherever we're smurfing to go today."
"You mean you don't like me anymore?" Wild asked, sounding confused.
"No, Wild, I still like you as a friend, and maybe we can smurf closer as friends the more we smurf together," Smurfette answered. "It's just that I know Empath a bit longer than you and that I smurf...special feelings for him."
"You mean the two of you are in love with each other?" Wild asked.
"We're close to smurfing in love with each other as we can for now, Wild," Smurfette said. "We're still smurfing out things between each other so that there would be nothing smurfing between us if we decide to marry."
"Marry?" Wild asked. "You mean like that man and woman we smurfed last night in that other village?"
"Something like that, Wild," Smurfette said. "It's a special bond that two people who truly love each other smurf themselves into so they can smurf the rest of their lives together with each other. It usually smurfs between a man and a woman, which was how it was created in the beginning."
"And the two smurf those things together with each other that nobody knows about?" Wild asked, sounding curious.
"That's what Papa Smurf says about marriage, Wild," Smurfette replied. "I'm not sure how well you know things like intimacy between creatures in the forest, but they usually prefer to enjoy those things in private."
"I would like to know what it's like someday, Smurfette," Wild said with some honest feeling behind it.
"I'm sure you'll smurf the right one that you'll feel comfortable smurfing yourself with someday, Wild," Smurfette said, touching his face to show her empathy to his situation.
Just then, Empath showed up. "Salutations, fellow Smurfette," he greeted. "This smurf sees that we are not alone today."
"Oh, hello, Empath," Smurfette greeted back. "Wild just dropped by to smurf me a Christmas present of his own...these snow flowers that I have inside my house right now."
"This smurf can sense that they are a lovely present, Smurfette, and that you appreciated it," Empath said. "This smurf thought that we would be alone with each other today."
"We can still be together, Empath," Smurfette said. "I'm just wondering if you don't mind smurfing Wild as a tagalong when we smurf out into the forest today."
Empath looked at Wild, who seemed eager to come along. "This smurf doesn't see why not if that would please you, Smurfette," Empath said. "He's your friend as well as this smurf's. He could use some time to spend with you."
"Well, just let me smurf myself something warm and I will join the two of you," Smurfette said as she went back into her house and closed the door.
Empath looked at Wild, who just continued to sit there with his eyes bulging out of his head. "This smurf senses that you are turned on by Smurfette's presence, and this smurf doesn't blame you for that," Empath said.
"She's so beautiful, I wish that I could marry her right now," Wild said.
"This smurf wouldn't recommend just proposing to her right off the bat when she doesn't even have enough time to know you, Wild," Empath said. "It would be better for the two of you to give each other the chance to grow together in your friendship with each other and see where it will go from there, whether Smurfette will want you as a potential lover and mate sometime in the future."
"But why can't it be now?" Wild asked.
"This smurf has sensed from my interactions with humans in the matter of courtship and dating that such sudden proposals will lead to disaster, Wild," Empath said. "It's easy to follow what the heart wants, but it needs to be mediated with what the head is telling you to do, as Papa Smurf would say. If there's no mediation going on there, we will end up doing things that we will regret for the rest of our lives."
Wild looked puzzled. "I'm not sure I understand all that, but if Smurfette won't marry me now, then I will wait for her to say that she will."
Empath smiled. "This smurf is certain that it will be worth the wait, Wild."
Just then, Papa Smurf was walking by. "Hello there, Empath and Wild, and merry Christmas to you," he greeted. "Are the two of you waiting for Smurfette?"
"Yes, we are, Papa Smurf," Empath said. "We were both going to walk out into the forest today now that the snow has stopped and it is a bright shining day today. What about you?"
"I'm just smurfing a break from my work to oversee what my little Smurfs are smurfing today, Empath," Papa Smurf said. "I could only wish that I were 400 smurfs younger so I could enjoy the pleasure of smurfing with a Smurfette."
"This smurf understands and hopes that you will enjoy the day despite your feeling the absence of a mate, Papa Smurf," Empath said.
"You smurf a good day yourself, Empath, and that smurfs the same to you, Wild," Papa Smurf said, nodding with acceptance before he walked off.
Just then, Smurfette emerged wearing her winter cap and jacket. Wild just looked at her and gave her a wolf whistle. Smurfette giggled at the response.
"So are we all set to walk off together into the forest?" Empath asked.
"As ready as I will ever be, Empath," Smurfette answered. "I hope that I won't be too much of a distraction for either of you smurfy gentlesmurfs."
"You look fine the way you are, Smurfette," Empath said. "We'd be happy to escort you on our way out of the village, if you don't mind."
"Well, if Wild doesn't mind smurfing my other hand, we can smurf ourselves underway right now," Smurfette said, extending her other hand out as Empath took one of hers.
Wild jumped up and grabbed the other hand, dragging both Empath and Smurfette along with him as he ran out into the forest.
Soon Empath and Smurfette found themselves in a snowy glen in the woods, the same glen where they had found Wild in at the first. The two of them sat and watched as Wild played together with his fellow squirrels in the glen.
"I can't believe it's just been this past summer when we first discovered Wild out in the woods," Smurfette said. "It smurfs like he's been with us for a much longer time than that."
"We do forget how much time has really passed between then and now, Smurfette," Empath said. "Frankly, this smurf still remember this smurf's first encounter with him many years ago like it was yesterday."
"You mean back when you first smurfed to the village while you were still smurfing in Psychelia?" Smurfette asked.
"That is correct, Smurfette," Empath said. "Although this smurf didn't know at the time whether he had a name or not, his presence in the forest was a secret this smurf was sworn to keep for years until he was eventually discovered by us in the present age."
"But why would you smurf his existence a secret?" Smurfette asked.
"This smurf sensed that he wasn't ready to become known to his fellow Smurfs, since he was still living with the squirrels," Empath answered. "But it was a time when Papa Smurf thought he had lost this smurf for good, and it would have made for a really dark and dismal Winter Solstice that year."
"So this happened near the time of the Winter Solstice," Smurfette surmised. "I would be interested to find out everything about that time, if you are willing to smurf me."
Empath sighed. "Some of the details of the story come from Narrator, Smurfette, but this is all that this smurf had remembered of that incident."