Meanwhile, in the Smurf Village, Christmas preparations continue to be underway. Empath and Wild are both watching Culinary preparing the Christmas feast that they will all have that evening with the help of Gelato and Vino. Empath could sense that Wild was salivating like crazy, waiting to get a taste of the meal.
"So how's our wayward Smurf doing on the eve of Christmas, my fellow Wild?" Tapper asked as he appeared with two mugs of hot chocolate, handing one of them to Empath and the other to Wild.
"I never felt anything like this before," Wild answered as he took of mug of hot chocolate and drank it all in a single gulp.
"That would be excitement, and I wouldn't blame you for feeling that way on a holiday that you never smurfed part in until now," Tapper said. "It warms my heart to think you'll be smurfing here for a while, and I'm sure your friend Chitter is also welcome to smurf here for the winter."
"The forest is my home, Tapper, but my friends are also here," Wild said, handing Tapper back the mug. "I miss smurfing around with Empath and Smurfette and Papa Smurf and Brainy and Hefty and Handy and Nat and Sassy and all the others."
"You are certainly growing, Wild," Tapper said. "When Empath first smurfed you the ability to talk, you could only smurf a few words at a time, and now you're smurfing as if you've been doing it all your life. I could only wonder how long it will be before you smurf more of an interest in smurfing here with your fellow Smurfs instead of smurfing out into the wild with your squirrel friends."
"I feel that the squirrels are my family," Wild said. "I will never stop feeling more like a squirrel than I do a Smurf."
"This smurf understands that feeling, Wild," Empath said. "Even though this smurf has embraced more of the Smurf way of living over the years that this smurf has visited the village, it will always seem that this smurf will be a Psyche at heart. This smurf could never stop completely feeling or even talking like one despite how much other Smurfs may not like how this smurf talks most of the time."
"Is that why you wear that suit in winter?" Wild asked.
"It's also the reason that this smurf wears a shirt with this smurf's hat and pants, Wild," Empath said. "This smurf envies the freedom you have in how you present yourself, and admittedly this smurf senses that same envy in most of our fellow Smurfs. As much as they may not like how you behave, they can't help wondering what it must be like to be you."
Tapper snorted. "Well, I wouldn't say that every Smurf is that jealous of Wild in that respect, Empath. But I'm not the one who has to live Wild's life or yours, so I'll leave those decisions about what you will wear in your hands."
"Let's leave Culinary to his feast preparations and see what else is taking place in the village," Empath suggested.
Wild followed Empath as he and Tapper left the kitchen. Just then, Smurfette appeared. "Yoohoo, Wild, I have something to smurf you," she said, greeting him with a kiss.
"You just smurfed a bit of color in Wild's cheeks there, my dear Smurfette," Tapper commented, seeing his fellow Smurf blush.
"Well, just for that, Tapper, you're also smurfing the same gift," Smurfette said, kissing Tapper on the cheek.
"Great Smurfiny Crickets, my fellow Wild, we've just been kissed under the mistletoe," Tapper said, rubbing his cheeks as he was feeling himself blush.
"And this smurf has a pretty good feeling of knowing who put it there, Tapper," Empath said, looking suspiciously at Smurfette.
Smurfette giggled. "Don't worry, Empath. I'm smurfing up a special one that is just for you, but you'll have to wait until we exchange presents."
After Smurfette had walked off, Tapper and Empath noticed that Wild was still in a daze from the kiss he received. "This smurf senses that Wild is going to have this kind of reaction for a while, Tapper," Empath commented.
"Aye, I'm so glad that we're his chaperones for this holiday season, Empath," Tapper said, taking hold of one of Wild's arms while Empath took hold of the other. "Come, let us smurf him to my tavern for a bit of a refreshing chaser."
"Oh, what a mate she will be for me," Wild said, sounding ecstatic. "I can't wait to smurf her to my tree house someday."
"Perhaps someday she may decide that you will be her one true love for all time, Wild," Empath said.
Sometime later, Sassette and Grandpa Smurf have reached the outskirts of the Smurf Village. "Hey, wait up for your Grandpa, youngster," Grandpa Smurf said as he was following behind her.
"And I thought you were fast for someone that's twice Pappy's age," Sassette said. "Anyway, here we are, back home in the Smurf Village."
"Let's see if we can get the other Smurfs to help us with our problem," Grandpa Smurf said as they entered the village.
Sassette saw her fellow Smurflings playing Christmas music with their instruments. "Hey, Smurflings, me and Grampy need your help to smurf some Christmas cheer to a nice old lady who's sick," she said as she interrupted their practice.
"Sassy, you've ruining our practice sesssion," Nat said with some displeasure.
"We want our Christmas music to smurf professional," Slouchy added.
"Yeah, go smurf up an instrument to join us or go smurf out of here," Snappy said.
"I can't believe it, Grampy, that my fellow Smurflings don't want to help out," Sassette said as she rejoined Grandpa Smurf.
"Don't worry about it, young one," Grandpa Smurf said. "We still have a whole village of Smurfs to ask. We're sure to find help when we need it."
And so Sassette and Grandpa Smurf asked around for any Smurfs who were willing to help them on their Christmas mission. However, most of the Smurfs were just too busy with their own things, and some just offered their own presents if they thought they might help. This was starting to frustrate the two Smurfs, who thought that the others would be so willing to put aside their own Christmas preparations to offer some charity relief for somebody else.
They just gotten finished asking Greedy, who was too busy with his own baking and food preparations, when Sassette saw Smurfette hanging up Christmas wreaths on every Smurf's door. She ran over to the door Smurfette was hanging a wreath upon to ask.
"Oh, Smurfette, you've just got to listen," Sassette said. "There's this poor old woman in a human village me and Grandpa had smurfed to who is really sick and we..."
"Oh, you poor thing, I'm so sorry," Smurfette said.
"Really?" Sassette asked "Then does that mean you will help us?"
"I mean that I'm so sorry that I can't stay to listen, Sassette," Smurfette said as she walked off. "I've got to finish smurfing up these wreaths."
Sassette looked glum as Grandpa Smurf came to see how it went. "Even Smurfette is just too busy, Grandpa Smurf," she said, her eyes filling with tears. "I have no idea what we're going to smurf."
"All we can smurf now is to smurf it ourselves, youngster," Grandpa Smurf said consolingly. "The other Smurfs may not have the heart to smurf someone else's Christmas ahead of their own, but we're going to smurf it with or without them."
Just then, Empath appeared with Wild, Tapper, and Polaris. "This smurf senses that you're having trouble with an important mission of charity that the other Smurfs won't participate in," Empath said.
"I thought every Smurf in here would be willing to help out, Empath," Sassette said. "Me and Grandpa Smurf saw this poor old lady who is so sick and in need of some Christmas cheer. If we don't smurf her the kind of Christmas that will smurf up her spirits, then this Christmas may end up...being her..."
"How could every Smurf only think for themselves at this time of year, Empath?" Tapper said incredulously.
"As Papa Smurf's assistant counselor who's given charge of leadership in the Smurf Village, you could exercise your authority to have all the Smurfs participate in this 'charity mission' that Sassette and Grandpa Smurf are undertaking, Empath," Polaris said.
"That's not the point of charity, Polaris," Empath said. "It has to be something that the Smurfs are willing to do from their hearts, not something that is forced upon them like the Psyche Master's directives." He then turned to Grandpa Smurf and Sassette. "This smurf would be honored to give you the help that you need."
"Oh, thank you, Empath," Sassette cried out, sounding happy. "I knew that of all the Smurfs I can still count on you."
"Then that would require you to pass on the leadership role to another until Papa Smurf returns from Homnibus, Empath," Polaris reminded.
"You are correct, Polaris," Empath said. "This smurf will leave you in charge of the village, with Tapper as your assistant. This smurf will contact you in case there is any emergency."
"This smurf understands and acknowledges, Empath," Polaris said, nodding with acceptance.
"May the luck of the Smurfish be with the three of you," Tapper said.
Soon, Empath, Sassette, and Grandpa Smurf had set out into the woods each carrying a sack of presents that they hope to deliver to the sick old lady in the human village. "You think that we will smurf there in time, Empath?" Sassette asked.
"It's not the kind of weather that even Tracker wants to go out in, Sassette," Empath said. "With all this wind and snow, flying us all through it would be rather risky using this smurf's minds-eye. This smurf would rather be fortunate to arrive at our destination in one piece regardless of how things turn out for our intended recipient."
"It's not easy carrying these sacks along with us, youngster," Grandpa Smurf said.
"Maybe we won't have to smurf these heavy sacks, Grampy," Sassette said. "Look!"
The three of them soon saw Wild with his friend Chitter pulling a sled that he had constructed together. "Can I smurf along to help you with those sacks?" Wild asked.
"Well, smurfatootie, would you smurf at that!" Grandpa Smurf said.
Empath smiled. "If you can help get us to the human village faster, you're more than welcome to come along with us, Wild."
And soon the four Smurfs are riding on a sled through the snowy forest, with Chitter pulling them forward to their destination.
"This smurf didn't know that you were a builder, Wild," Empath said.
"Something I smurfed up when I was smurfing alone in the forest, Empath," Wild said.
"At least this will smurf us some steps even for these old feet to smurf," Grandpa Smurf said. "I just hope we can smurf there in time to give the old lady some Christmas cheer."