A Fable for Olivia’s First Christmas
Earlier this year — as part of The Encouragement Sessions — we invited people to ask for help. What we had (what we have) is positivity, experience, words and as much encouragement as folk can handle. People’s requests for help took many forms. One of our favourites was from Harry Watson who has a longstanding tradition of writing a Christmas story, which is shared with his family. We love that idea. This year, Harry needed some ideas around plot lines … we were happy to throw some into the mix. Inspired by Harry and the arrival this year of Olivia, our granddaughter, I decided to try my hand at writing a Christmas tale. It is a gentle fable, if you will; a celebration of kindness in keeping with the traditions of the season. It might be a little early for Olivia to appreciate it … but we might just be starting our own tradition.
It was the day before the night before Christmas.
Santa Claus was so tired. He had been busy making sure there were presents for all the good girls and boys.
Mrs Claus was tired too. She had been wrapping presents, baking mince pies and keeping up with all the children’s letters to Santa.
Santa Claus came into the workshop. Big tears rolled down his rosy red cheeks onto his big white beard.
He was holding his large red and white socks.
“Oh dear, Mrs Claus”, he cried. “There are holes in each of my socks … the presents will fall out.”
“Oh, dear Santa Claus”, said his dear wife. “We are both too tired to mend them. How can we possibly deliver presents if they keep falling out of the holes in the socks?”
They hugged each other and cried loudly … they cried SO loudly, they woke up Mr and Mrs Robin, who had been asleep in their nest, high in the rafters above the workshop.
Santa and Mrs Claus sat down in their chairs by the lovely warm fire to rest.
“Oh dear, oh dear, what will happen in the morning when the children wake up and there are no presents”, said Santa, sadly.
Santa and Mrs Claus were SO tired that their yawns could be heard high in the rafters. Before long, they were both fast asleep.
Mr and Mrs Robin flew down from their perch. They whispered to each other; “we must help Santa and Mrs Claus … they have always been so kind to us”, said Mrs Robin. “Oh yes”, tweeted Mr Robin, “all those lovely gingerbread crumbs for us to feed on in the long, cold winter months”.
All afternoon, Mr and Mrs Robin flew this way and that, gathering wool and picking up needles. All afternoon, they moved this way and that, a blur of colour as their red breasts flew around the workshop.
All afternoon Santa and Mrs Claus slept in front of the fire.
When Santa and Mrs Claus woke up in the evening, the reindeers were stirring, ready to pull the sleigh.
Mrs Claus remembered the holes in Santa’s socks. There was no time to mend them … what would happen to Christmas?
Mrs Claus picked up the socks, and what did she see?
“Santa”, she shouted excitedly. “Look, the socks have been repaired. Quickly, get the sleigh loaded up with all the toys. Christmas is saved”.
High up in the rafters, Mr and Mrs Robin snuggled together and smiled.
When they woke up on Christmas morning, there was a surprise for Mr and Mrs Robin. Next to their nest was one of Santa’s socks … and it was full of gingerbread crumbs. Down below, sitting by the fire, Santa and Mrs Claus were smiling up at them: