Series of Lewis the Christmas Bear stories:
1. Lewis is sent to the rest of the world through Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus, and he arrives in a hospital ward to help heal a sickly British girl named Bernice. Then he spreads Christmas tingles through his nose everywhere he goes, trying to bring healing to the world.
2. Lewis builds an igloo in Bernice’s front lawn, and he explains it’s his new home-away-from-home. Bernice’s family and the neighbors would rather he live inside Bernice’s house like everyone else in the neighborhood, especially because his little castle will melt during the summertime season.
3. Eager to give gifts during the wintertime lull, Lewis wraps random things in Bernice’s parents’ house and gives them away to neighbors and friends. Bernice’s parents try to explain to Lewis that it is no longer Christmas, and they want to get their belongings back, but they aren’t very successful at reclaiming their possessions. All-the-while everyone has a good laugh, and Lewis continues to heal everyone he meets with tingles in his nose.
4. Trying to be helpful, Lewis cooks rice pudding in Bernice’s kitchen, and he makes a terrible mess, breaking kitchen dishes and burning the pudding. Bernice’s parents are very upset, but instead of fighting with Lewis, they teach him to cook the rice pudding properly, so he can eat it anytime he wants, not just Christmas Eve.
5. Lewis discovers a London toy store with Bernice, and he is sure that Mr. Claus made all the toys in the store, and he is temporarily captured by the toy store owner who insists that Lewis is for-sale, but then Bernice rescues Lewis, and they decide to never go into a toy store again. Instead, Lewis is determined that the toys are given to the children of the world for free, so he asks Mr. Claus to take the toys back from the store and give them to children mid-Christmas season.
6. Lewis visits a library with Bernice, and he reads stories about other famous bears, and he insists that a book must be written about him to spread Christmas cheer. So, he sets about writing a picture book about himself. The librarian doesn’t accept the book at first, but then she gives up when he brings her some rice pudding as a bribe, and Bernice promises to bring extra friends to weekly story-hour.
7. Lewis learns to play the piano in attempt to play Christmas carols for holiday sing-a-longs. So he practices the piano day-and-night, and Bernice’s family has to wear ear plugs and sleep with their heads under the pillows. Once Lewis starts playing the piano, he won’t stop for anything other than eating rice pudding. He also sings along with his piano playing. His singing is sometimes off-key, but he is sure he is ready for Christmas sing-a-longs during the upcoming season.
8. Eager to keep Christmas all year long, Lewis decorates Bernice’s house and insists that the decorations not be taken down. Any decorations that Bernice’s parents take down, Lewis puts them right back up until Bernice and her family give up. They decide that it’s easier to go along with Lewis’ enthusiasm instead of arguing with him. They just ask if he could at least rotate the decorations to the proper holiday season, according to the normal calendar year.
9. Lewis turns on the TV for the first time to find all kinds of troublesome programs, but he enjoys the 24-hour Christmas music station, which he now plays constantly and recommends to all his new friends with his own advertising campaign. Bernice introduces him to the pop songs on the radio, but he thinks they are boring compared to holiday jingles.
10. Lewis mistakes the washer and the dryer as devices that he can use to wash and dry himself. He invites the dogs and cats in the neighborhood over to give the machines a try. His favorite is the dryer because it is so warm and cuddly, and he can fluff himself up and look his best, tying a red Christmas ribbon around himself when he is clean. When he asks Bernice to try hopping in the washer and dryer, her parents have a fit, and Lewis is banned from using the machines again.
11. Lewis borrows the family car and takes a spin through the London neighborhood, accidentally denting the bumper and getting ticket the police. Bernice’s parents think she decided to drive the car illegally, and she is grounded until Lewis humbly apologizes for his wrong doing. He promises to get them a new bumper for Christmas and pay the police fine.
12. Lewis explores London as a tourist and gets stuck on the clock hands of Big Ben. He goes round and round the clock face until the British police free him and send him home to Bernice and her family who had been looking for him all day. He simply explains that he was counting the minutes until Christmas.
13. Lewis goes grocery shopping with Bernice and her mom, and he enjoys the dessert section too much, eating up the whole aisle, thinking it was a pre-Christmas feast, and Bernice defends him to the grocery store owner until her mother can calm the owner down and write a check for the gobbled-up desserts.
14. Lewis opens the ice box for the first time and loves it so much he wants to sleep there because it reminds him of the North Pole. Bernice’s family can’t get him to sleep in a bed with a pillow again, and they are worried that he will freeze to the ice box with the ice cubes and frozen meat. After getting a bit frost bitten, he warms himself with the hair dryer and cuddles with Bernice.
15. Lewis bonds with the new family dog that he tries to ride like a Christmas reindeer. He even dresses him in antlers and a Christmas sweater until Bernice explains that a dog is not a reindeer and Lewis, and her new dog must be friends.
16. Almost lit by a birthday candle, Lewis bursts out of a birthday cake for Bernice at her 11th party, telling her that birthdays are the closest thing to Christmas, and he plans to help celebrate birthdays all year long.
17. Lewis dumps bubbles into the bathtub and hops in for a soak when he forgets to turn off the faucet and water runs out the bathroom into the hall. After looking at the mess, he decides it’s never too soon to clean up for Christmas. He undertakes a huge house cleaning, and Bernice’s family is shocked and thrilled at the results.
18. Lewis rides the Tube, asking the passengers what they want for Christmas, especially the children, because he says that their requests should be filed with Mr. Claus by the end of summer at latest. He gets kicked off the Tube for soliciting, but he thinks he’s done enough good to spread the word.
19. Lonely, Lewis writes Mr. and Mrs. Claus a long letter, explaining that London is more difficult of a place than he expected, and if Mr. Claus could bring some back-up friends during the next Christmas Eve run, Lewis would very much appreciate some help in England. He done all he can do but feels that Bernice and her family might be more enthusiastic about celebrating Christmas if Mrs. Claus could send him some friends. In the meantime, he starts Christmas shopping for Bernice and her family.
20. After much turmoil with a terrible winter storm that almost cancels Christmas, Mr. Claus arrives at Bernice’s house late on Christmas Eve with new five friends for Lewis and Bernice that were handmade by Mrs. Claus: a Christmas girl bear named Joyful, a Christmas donkey named Rascal, a Christmas lamb named Kindness, a Christmas dove named Blue Eyes, and a Christmas elephant Big Ears. Although the sleigh ride was tough, Lewis welcomes his new friends with rice pudding around the fireplace with Bernice and her family.
Copyright 2022 Jennifer Waters