The loneliest people are the kindest. The saddest people smile the brightest. All because they do not wish to see anyone else suffer the way they do. ~ Unknown
IT’S THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN, as Phineas and Ferb are filled with Holiday Cheer.
Waking up on a cold, crisp and snowy Christmas Eve, the boys anticipate the excitement of the coming day—building giant snowmen, decorating the town with lights, stars, and streamers abound, hanging out with the rest of the gang—and later that evening, attend the yearly Nativity service at church with their wonderfully blended family.
“What are you looking forward to the most today, Ferb?” Phineas cheerfully inquires his faithful stepbrother, almost immediately changing into his winter outfit while sitting up straight in bed.
“Definitely the hot chocolate and eggnog, and the Christmas carols we’ll be hearing all around town,” he replies busily putting on his sweater at the moment.
“And you Phin?” Ferb gladly raises an eyebrow to smile back at him, placing a hand on his lap before getting up to grab his coat and scarf off the coat rack.
Phineas curiously pauses for a minute, glancing up at the ceiling. “That’s a hard one, Ferb,” he starts off saying. “You know I have a difficult time having to pick favorites.”
“It’s the presents, isn’t it?” Ferb sneers at Phin with a chuckle.
“No, not the presents. We get those every year…”
“Building snowmen? Decorating the town?”
“That’s festive, but, no.” Phin says, immediately eliminating those options from his mind.
“Kissing Isabella under the mistletoe?” Ferb sneers joyously again.
“I’d bet she’d love it, but no, that’s not it either.” Phineas laughs a little sheepishly at first, but then puts a hand on his chin in a sad and contemplative manner.
“You know I was joking about that last one, right Phin?” Ferb assures his stepbrother firmly.
“Of course, Ferb. We all know you’re quite the jokester around these parts,” Phineas now says, starting to chuckle lightly at the thought.
“Is it Perry?” Ferb interrupts, seeing that their family pet is just starting to wake up from his morning nap.
Somehow, hearing Perry’s name brings back bittersweet memories for Phineas. Glancing over at the teal-colored, fuzzy platypus now climbing up and chattering politely at the foot of his bed, he suddenly recalls the day their family brought him home from the pet store.
“Something wrong, Phin?” Ferb now starts noticing his worrisome face.
“Perhaps, Ferb. But I can’t seem to put a finger, or a hand, on my thoughts at the moment. I’m suddenly finding myself trying to recall some memory from the past that I’m not even aware of right now,” he honestly confesses to his beloved stepbrother.
“Hmm. Well, maybe the memories will slowly come back to you as the day progresses,” Ferb reassures him, placing a warm hand on Phineas’ shoulder. “But you should probably start changing into your outfit. It’s already 9:30,” Ferb advises him, tilting his head at the alarm clock.
“Alright Ferb,” Phin warmly replies with a smile. “I’ll try.”
“That’s my boy! Want me to help you get your clothes?”
“That’d be great Ferb! Thanks!” Phineas exclaims, now feeling a little more reassured than before.
After a hearty breakfast, the boys ask to be excused to the backyard to watch the snow gently fall around them. Linda happily agrees, only advising them not to be too long; otherwise, they’d miss the afternoon caroling.
Upon opening the screen door, a frosty winter wind bites their noses, as the brothers hurriedly dig their gloved hands into their coat pockets.
“Would you look at that, Ferb? The snow’s coming down nicely this year,” he happily exclaims, observing the pure whiteness of the scenery that lay before him. His inner child leaped with joy, becoming fully absorbed in the calm and serene background.
“Remember when we used to build smaller snowmen as toddlers?” Phineas turns back to ask Ferb. He gently nods.
“Wanna build a colossus one this year?” Phineas now starts squealing with delight, eyes lighting up at the image now ever glowing in his head.
“Sure Phin,” Ferb calmly replies, radiating a warm, soft grin from his face.
Perry momentarily comes walking outside. “What do you think Perry? Do you want to see us build a colossal snowman?” He gives a warm smile at Phineas, and delightfully chatters.
Another two hours pass as the snowman outgrows the size of the house. Putting the last finishing touches on Frosty’s gargantuan carrot nose and face, Linda Flynn calls the boys in for a quick lunch, whilst reminding them of their afternoon priorities.
“We know, Mom,” Phineas replies in between bites.
“You can go across the street to wish Isabella and her family a Happy Hanukkah when you two are done, ok?”
“Ok Mom!” Phineas gives his swift response.
“C’mon Ferb! We gotta go decorate the town before the caroling begins!” he exclaims, turning to Ferb again, before pushing in their chairs at the dining room and running out the front door.
As the bros gather up the rest of the gang around Danville, everyone hurriedly starts getting into the Spirit.
And not before long, the city itself begins glistening brightly with streamers, ornaments, and wrapping paper abound, as Christmas music starts ringing throughout the streets, accompanied by a multitude of fellow Danvillians.
Despite all the festivities, however, Phineas’ sheer optimism still could not resolve the issue of the hollow memory he cannot seem to recall from this morning when he was in bed. Surprisingly, throughout the entire afternoon, he could almost imagine hearing a voice inside of him somewhere telling him that everything was going to be all right. He just needed to believe, and trust in that voice.
By nightfall, as the caroling continued in the distance, he started hearing the words to The Little Drummer Boy being sung more coherently, as the Flynn-Fletcher family approaches the local church in a horse drawn sleigh.
As Lawrence and Ferb Fletcher thank the sleigh driver for the ride, Phineas’ ears become sharply attuned and fixated on the slow and peaceful hymn.
Pa-rum pum pum pum
I am a poor boy, too
Pa-rum pum pum pum
I have no gift to bring
Pa-rum pum pum pum
That’s fit to give our King
Pa-rum pum pum pum
Rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum
Slowly but surely, the music jogs Phineas’ memory as he suddenly remembers a time when he and Candace were younger, years ago, their biological father would read them the story of The Crippled Lamb every Christmas Eve, as they both would snuggle up-close in his loving arms, until they fell fast asleep with warm smiles on their faces.
Back in the present time, as the family now strolls in through the church doors and into the main sanctuary, the boys catch a glimpse of the marvelous stained glass windows adorning the facade above the altar, and a large wooden cross hanging on the wall behind the podium. A few feet away to the right, a dazzling six-foot Christmas tree strung with lights, streamers, and ornaments sits on the stage, and right away, Phineas is amazed by the colors and the lights.
“Welcome Flynn-Fletcher family. So glad to see you all again this year,” Reverend Johnson, a man in his mid-thirties with fine hair, extends a hand of gratitude to the parents and the boys.
“Glad to see you too Reverend,” everyone immediately replies, except for young Phineas.
Noticing that his face was fixated on the tree, and then the stained glass windows above, the reverend chuckles and bends down to greet Phineas. “Enjoying a view of the sanctuary, I see, eh Phineas?” he kindly asks.
Spontaneously breaking his concentration, Phineas suddenly exclaims, “Oh, yes. Hi Pastor.”
“Good evening, my boy. Merry Christmas!” Reverend Johnson replies with a wide grin on his face and a gentle ruffling of Phineas’ hair.
“Merry Christmas to you too sir,” Phineas replies and smiles while glancing back up at the stained glass windows.
“And who do we have here?” Reverend Johnson humorously greets Perry standing on the floor, stroking his head.
“Oh, that’s Perry, our pet platypus,” Phineas shortly replies, looking down at Perry.
“Why, hello Perry. Welcome to church!” the reverend exclaims, continuing to stroke his fur until you can start to hear him purr.
“As you know, I love animals, and don’t place any restrictions on families bringing their pets to services, unlike other pastors and their churches,” the reverend explains while finishing stroking Perry and standing back up to face the family. “All are welcome in the House of God!”
“Bless your heart Pastor,” Linda joyfully says to Reverend Johnson.
“Thank you Linda. We will be starting service shortly. Why don’t you all take a seat momentarily?” he gestures them towards the pews closer to the altar.
As the family slowly files past each other and takes their seats, Phineas still can’t stop staring at the tree and the stained glass windows with child-like wonder and excitement.
As the opening music starts to fade, Pastor Johnson takes his place at the pulpit on stage.
With his Bible laid out in front of his view, and a mike gripped in his right hand, he introduces tonight’s sermon:
“Good evening ladies and gentlemen, children and pets, members of the LGBT community, beloved Children of God. As you all should know, tonight is a very commemorative night. What’s the occasion?”
He holds the mike out to the congregation. “Christmas Eve!” the crowd shouts in unison.
“That’s right! It’s Christmas Eve, the night before…”
“Jesus is born!” the congregation shouts again.
“Right, but only according to tradition,” Pastor Johnson now chuckles into the mike. “Most of us here should know Jesus was not really born in the wintertime. Otherwise, He’d freeze to death!” Some in the crowd start laughing raucously. “No, many scholars hypothesize Jesus Christ, our Beloved Lord and Savior was probably born during the late autumn months…around September or October.”
“But in all seriousness folks, it should not matter when we celebrate the birth of the awaited Savior, but why. Amen?”
“AMEN!” the congregation shouts joyfully.
“Amen! Praise God! Now, I encourage you to open your Bibles provided in the folds in front of your seats to the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 1.” The sound of hundreds of Bibles being opened and pages being turned furiously thunder throughout the room.
“Matthew, Chapter 1, starting with verse 18…
18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus,[f] because he will save his people from their sins.’
22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 ‘The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’[g] (which means ‘God with us’).
24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.”
~ Matthew 1:18 – 25 (NIV)
After he had finished reading aloud the Scripture, Pastor Johnson proceeded to elucidate on the meanings behind the famous story:
“I’m certain you’ve heard of the Nativity story many times growing up, and throughout your adult life. Mary’s the Holy Virgin who gives birth to the Son of God, who is essentially God in the flesh, God Incarnate. The Catholic Church decided to develop a doctrine in the 19th century called the Immaculate Conception, of which they bestow upon the Holy Mother of God, the Virgin Mary. This concept seems to make sense in theory, but there’s one problem with this doctrine here: the actual Scriptures do not state ‘Mary was sinless.’ It only states, ‘Mary’s a virgin, and Joseph’s her wedded husband by the Jewish law and custom of the time.’ Amen?”
“Amen!” The congregation shouts again.
As Pastor Johnson’s sermon continues, he explains his analysis on the significance of the Magi and the mysterious yet awe-inspiring Star of Bethlehem, showing a few clips from The Nativity Story to help drive the narrative:
The Birth of the Christ Child
The Visit of the Shepherds and the Magi
The Flight to Egypt
As the film credits start to roll and the hymn to Silent Night gently plays in the background, the boys cannot help themselves but sob together in each other’s company, remarking how beautiful the story is—and coincidentally, allowing the pastor to take a fifteen-minute intermission.
“You alright boys?” Pastor Johnson warmly asks, approaching the two in the aisleway.
“We’re alright Pastor, thank you,” Ferb reassures him in between the sniffles. Phin, though, still seemed to be shedding tears.
“Movie was too beautiful for you, huh Phin?” the pastor initially tries joking with him.
“Yes Pastor, but the movie brought up several vivid memories from my childhood I thought I had all but forgotten,” Phineas now confesses to the two sitting close to him. “Beautiful, but sad memories,” he finishes saying, wiping away more tears.
“I’m sorry to hear that, Phin,” Pastor Johnson now says in a sincere and solemn manner. “You are always welcome to come talk to me about them after service tonight, if you’re still feeling down. You also happen to know you have a very loving and supporting family, right?”
“Yes sir, I do. And thank you,” Phineas smiles with a gentle gaze from his tear-streaked face.
“It’ll be alright, my boy,” the pastor reassures him emotionally, before shortly having to return to the stage in a few minutes.
There it is again—that saying. ‘It’ll be alright,’ Phineas musingly ponders for a long time on those very words. What does he exactly mean when he says those words? The question continues to loom and echo inside his head…
Just then, Pastor Johnson signals the end of the intermission by preparing to speak again.
“Hello, beautiful ladies and gentlemen. I hope you’ve had an enlightening and uplifting experience so far tonight. The Nativity Story, to me, you see, is not just one of mystery, but of miracles…”
Several amens and cheers can be heard emanating spontaneously from the crowd.
“Whenever I visualize the story of the Nativity, I don’t just see the birth of a divine Christ child. I see the literal Spirit of God dwelling among us, living inside of us, and thanks to His work on the Cross, we can now live with Him,” he firmly emphasizes pointing a finger up at the sky.
“The Scripture says, ‘For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.’
That’s from the Letter to the Hebrews, Chapter 4, verses 15 – 16.”
“That is the sole message I want to leave you with tonight, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls. Jesus didn’t come to this Earth to live a comfortable life. No, He came to empathize with us, understand us, and live with us. I mean, really think about it. God in the flesh—a Holy sinless God taking on the body of a mere mortal man. That’s a miracle right there,” Pastor Johnson now emphasizes, pointing a finger at his audience. “That’s the Christmas miracle.”
Applause soon erupts throughout the building, as he quietly gestures towards the worship band to play their selections of closing songs for the night. And they couldn’t have picked a more suitable track either:
As the worship leaders lead the audience into the song, and as the clapping intensifies and surges throughout the sanctuary, Phineas finds himself emotionally slain in the Spirit, raising his outstretched arms to praise the Almighty. He even starts to pray quietly under his own voice, muttering:
Lord, I thank You for Your unconditional love
I thank you for my family, my brother Ferb, our platypus Perry
Upon saying this, Phineas gently ruffles Perry’s head and smiles
I am amazed at the wonders You do every day for me, Lord
And I am always broken when I enter Your presence…
At this point, the music swells immeasurably, that the volume drowns out Phineas’ words. He smoothly rejoins the harmonizing of the crowd, until a roar of applause thunders from every corner of the sanctuary, ending the first song, and leading into the second one.
Pastor Johnson momentarily intercedes to give a quick prayer, eyes closed and head bowed:
Lord, You are such an awesome Father, an awesome God
No human words can ever come close to describing how magnificent You truly are
The Psalmist writes Your Hands declare the work of the heavens,
That You are a lamp unto our feet
Father God, we thank You ever so much for Your Christmas miracle
Even after two millennia, we will still never be able to fathom the depths to which Your Son was born into
But it moves our hearts and spirits every time
We praise You Father
In Jesus’ Name
The second song opens as Pastor Johnson disappears back under the spotlights into the shadows.
As the crowd steadily chants and worships with one heart and one voice, several even quietly praying in tongues, Phineas hears a voice echo and reverberate in the stillness.
“Be brave, my son.” The voice sounded exactly like that of his late father, Francis Flynn.
Phineas quietly shudders at the very thought. Could it be? he wonders.
Another verse later, Phineas hears his father’s voice again. “I am here, son. I am here with you.”
Still thinking he’s under some sort of hypnotic trance or hallucination, Phineas tries blinking a few times to see if he’s still wide awake.
Again, the voice returns. “I am here, son.”
Suddenly finding himself under a bright light, young Phineas tries to peer at the source with a hand over his eyes. As the image gradually comes into focus, he sees a man whom is none other than his father Francis, standing a few feet away from him.
“I’m here, son.” He repeats again with a wide smile across his face.
“Dad…” Phineas blurts aloud. “Dad, I thought I lost you,” he now loudly exclaims, running into Francis’ loving arms once again, trying not to sob.
“My boy, look at how you’ve grown!” Francis startlingly remarks upon observing Phineas’ current state.
“I miss you so much, Dad.” Phineas starts to say in between his sobs. “When I heard you got struck by that car so many years ago, I…I-” he can barely even continue to explain without wanting to cry and embrace his father tightly.
“Phineas, my boy,” Francis begins to say. “No need for apologies here.”
“But the pain hurts, Dad! I want you to come home with me!” Phineas screams with bitterness and frustration.
“My boy,” Francis would gently begin again. “My dear boy,” he says, soothing his son’s tender and broken heart. “My boy, look at where you are kneeling right now. I AM ALREADY HOME,” his voice booms and thunders as he lifts an arm to show Phineas where they currently are.
The sight is astounding. “Is this Heaven?” Phineas suddenly asks in amazement, eyes ever widening at the glorious scenery.
“The edge of it, yes son,” Francis replies with another warm and grateful smile.
“Is this real?” Phineas asks again in amazement and disbelief.
Francis lightly chuckles at hearing his son’s question. “Only when you have faith as small as a mustard seed, then yes, this is real.”
Phineas’ heart experiences a moment of mercy and humility. “I believe,” he utters quietly, prostrating himself in the presence of his father, as he feels Francis’ hand touch his head.
“I know you do, son, and God does too,” Phineas can coherently hear his father’s voice proclaim.
At the sound of this, Phineas rises and re-embraces his father again in smiles. “I love you Dad,” he mutters loud enough so Francis can hear.
“I love you too, Son,” Francis finally replies, this time with tears of indescribable joy streaming down his face.
As the anointing sensation slowly begins to fade, and Phineas wakes up again back on planet Earth, he blinks his eyes open again a few more times to find his family members and the pastor all staring down at him with big, wide eyes.
“Did you have any sweet dreams, Phineas?” Ferb starts asking shortly.
“Ferb? Candace? Perry? Mom? Dad? Pastor Johnson? Where am I?” Phineas starts asking, still in a daze.
“You’re lying in the pews, dear,” Linda Flynn tells him. “Pastor Johnson says you passed out during worship, and the team decided to bring you a blanket and a pillow to sleep on, so you wouldn’t be cold.”
“Where’s everyone else?” Phineas curiously asks, looking around the deserted sanctuary.
“They’ve already went home. It’s almost ten o’clock at night, Phineas,” Pastor Johnson calmly explains.
“Ten o’clock?!” he shouts. “How long have I been out for?” he gravely asks, putting a hand to his head.
“I’d say about an hour, Phineas,” Pastor Johnson answers.
Noticing that the tree is still standing there, lights aglow, he spontaneously blurts out, “Ever notice that tree has no star, sir?”
“Why yes, Phineas,” suddenly turning to face it. “But we don’t usually put the star on top until Christmas Day to commemorate the occasion,” he finishes, smiling at Phineas once more.
Turning his head in a gesture, Phineas asks, “May I, sir?” with pleading innocent eyes.
“Of course Phineas,” Pastor Johnson swiftly replies, slowly leading the family towards the colossal-looking Christmas tree.
As Phineas gets closer to the tree and the stained glass windows above, his eyes seem to light up as bright as the tree itself.
“Do you have any Christmas wishes, Phineas?” Linda Flynn gently asks her son, whose gaze is completely fixated on the tree.
Seeing his own reflection in an ornament, he joyfully replies, “Why yes. Yes, I do” and grins.
Pulling an ornament out of his pocket, and asking Ferb to activate a switch, the ornament blows up into a full-size Nativity scene, complete with Mary, Joseph, the baby Jesus and animal figurines.
“What’s all this Phineas?” his parents, sister and Pastor Johnson cautiously ask the boys.
“It’s a little something Ferb and I invented in our free time. Portable figurines,” he exclaims with a smile appearing on his face again, holding up one more figurine in his palm.
“Who’s that, Phineas?” Candace spontaneously asks.
“It’s Francis, our dad, as an angel,” he replies with a loving grin.
“Francis, our biological dad?” Candace stunningly exclaims.
“Yes Candace. Our Dad. The one who used to read us that storybook every Christmas Eve before we went to bed,” he says, referring to his vision.
“You still remember that?” she asks in sheer amazement.
“Of course! Don’t you?” he replies, giving her a reassuring glance.
“Well,” she starts off, “I have, but I try not to dwell on those memories,” she now finishes with a remorseful sigh.
“It’s alright, Candace. I love both of your fathers,” Linda now assuredly says to Lawrence, Ferb and Phineas listening.
“And I am indeed very sorry for your loss,” Lawrence now says, expressing his condolences for Linda’s first husband.
“I know Lawrence,” she says, now gently kissing him on the cheek.
“Many years ago, when Francis passed away, there was a period of time where I really did believe I could never love another man as I did with him. And then God somehow led me to you,” Linda finishes her sentence, exchanging a smile with Lawrence.
“And I was there presiding over both of your wedding ceremonies!” Pastor Johnson now interjects in the sentimental conversation.
“Yes Reverend. You were. Thank you,” Linda exclaims, holding her beloved children in her arms.
“Well, would you like to do the honors, Ferb?” Phineas now asks his stepbrother, revealing another switch that would make the Francis figurine come to life.
With the press of a button, the Francis figurine grew incrementally into its life-sized form, and could even start moving and talking as well.
“Hi kids!” the figurine calls out.
“FRANCIS?!” Linda cries out, shocked by the figurine’s life-like appearance.
“Hi Linda,” the figurine now calmly greets his former wife.
“Oh my gosh, it is you!” she screams, running to embrace Francis, as his life-like arms held her tightly. “I never thought I’d ever see you again!” she now sobs.
“It’s okay Mom. I just saw the real one in a vision,” Phineas calmly explains, pulling at his mother’s coat.
“You have?” she asks, now in between her sobs.
Phineas gently nods. “Yes, yes I did. He’s with Jesus now,” and lets out another grin.
Under the bright Christmas lights, one can now faintly observe a cross smeared on his forehead, a sign that Phineas had received his blessing from God.
As the family wishes and bids the pastor and Francis a good night and Merry Christmas as they walk out of the church and into the snow, something sparkling—twinkling even—seemed to fall out of the clear night sky and onto Phineas’ head.
“Oof!” Phineas lets out a spontaneous cry.
It was a star! A shining Christmas star that glowed ever so bright!
“But how?” Phineas now asks himself.
Just then, the star leaps out of his hand, flies around and around in circles until it displays a message in the night sky for a good five minutes before the words fade:
All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle. I love you, dearest Phineas.
Now THAT is a Christmas miracle! Phineas would smile brightly and think to himself.
“Thanks Dad!” he would joyfully cheer and wave at the sky, as the star seems to magically wave a hand back, before zooming up to the heavens, creating a sonic boom in the process.
Besides being one of the LONGEST pieces I have ever written to date, and will post on this blog, I pray that this fanfiction will be a tremendous blessing to all who read it from cover to cover.
Having seen a re-run of the Phineas and Ferb: A Christmas Family Vacation special again on TV recently, I have personally questioned the over-commercialization and popularity of Ol’ Saint Nick in mainstream culture and conceptualization, who, in reality, doesn’t bear any resemblance to the actual Saint Nicholas of history at all (sorry kiddies). 😦
Personal acknowledgements to deviant KicsterAsh for creating and conceptualizing Francis Flynn as Phineas’ biological father, as well as for every other deviantARTist I borrow artwork from in advance to use in this page-turning fanfiction.
A personal shout-out to fellow deviant SecretagentG as well, for christening Phineas and Ferb as faithful Christians. God bless you girl! 😀
Additional acknowledgements to the Hillsong United worship teams all around the world for writing and harmonizing their music to bring glory and praise to God Almighty above, and for the Church on Earth below.
The denomination the Flynn-Fletcher family attends in this story is a fictionalized mixture of the (LGBT-affirming sector) of the United Methodist Church meeting Pentecostalism, as I grew up in the (Charismatic) Pentecostal tradition, while my father was raised Methodist from my grandmother, who discovered Chinese Methodism in her younger years. My mother, on the flip side, attended an all girls’ Catholic high school in Taiwan before later on discovering Evangelical Christianity, shortly before marrying my father.
Henceforth, why I mention the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception.
In Loving Memory of Max Horng and Joseph Chen
 Revelation 22:1 – 7
 Matthew 17:20 – 21