We are now in the month of December. Its the build up for the ‘BIG DAY’ – Christmas Day.
Today’ children experience the activities a little different than of when I was a child. Now-a-days the ‘computer/laptops’ are used. As I have little contact with the child of today I’m not sure how they go about asking Father Christmas to fill their stockings. This short story, written a few years ago, is based on my experiences of writing to father Christmas.
Grandma what was it like when you were a little girl?
“On the first Sunday of December I wrote my letter to Father Christmas.
When I got home from Sunday school it was dark. I always had tea of bread & Butter with home-made jam and home-made cake sitting in kitchen
The Best Room was only used for special occasions such as Birthdays; christenings; funerals; Easter & Christmas days and very important visitors.
After tea the tin bath came out and filled with warm water.
My night clothes and the big towel were hung on the fender in front of the range, to warm.
After my bath I was allowed into the Best room. Here the fire had been lit. It was kept going with the logs and fir-cones collected earlier in the year.
On the highly polished table lay the pen, paper and a white envelope.
When I was little Mother put cushion on the dining room chair so I could reach to write my letter.
In my best hand writing I wrote my list for Father Christmas.
It would start ‘Dear Father Christmas.’
I could then write ‘Please may I have’ or ‘Here is a list of the things I would like.’
My parents had warned me never to write ‘I want’ as my wishes would not be granted and I would get coal in my stocking. One year out of curiosity I did write those words. You do not demand but ask nicely. I’d been told.”
Grandma got up and went over to the side-board where her treasure box stood. Opening it up she took out a white envelope and showed it to her Grand-daughter.
“This is the very one I wrote.” She opened it up, took out the letter and began to read.
1st December 1946
Dear Father Christmas,
I want a dolls pram; crayons and colouring book; coloured plastercine;
I want a balloon; jigsaw and a reading book.
I want Bubbles to blow.
I want chocolate money and a chocolate Father Christmas and an orange and a banana
“When visiting Father Christmas in his grotto just before Christmas he gave me a lump of coal and no toy. He gave me another chance and told me to write again. I did and instead of a sack of coal he left me some of the things I’d asked for.
After that I always wrote my letters politely.
When it was written Mother would check for spelling mistakes. If there were any I had to write the letter again. It was placed in the white envelope and sealed. I then wrote ‘To Father Christmas Lapland,’
Giving my letter to Father I sat on the mat to watch. This part was dangerous for children to do because trying to put the envelope into the fire little hands could get burnt.
He carefully placed it into the twisting, twirling smoke and the letter flew up the chimney and into the night sky. Everyone clapped at this point. As it was nearly bedtime I was allowed to have my supper in the Best room.
Father got out the toasting fork and placed a thick slice of white bread on the fork. He gave it to me and I toasted both sides. It was spread with butter and I ate this and drank my mug of cocoa before going up to bed.
The next time I would go into the Best Room would be Christmas Eve but that’s another story.”
© miss mary