In the old days, Santa’s elves worked in pretty wooden sheds but now they worked in metal walled factories. The world’s population of children had become too much for the simpler times and with improvements in technology, the choice had been made to allow production to be faster, better and tripled.
Santa walking around the large conveyor belts and machinery on inspection missed the old days. Before the smell of candy canes, fires, newly sawed wood and paint hung in the air. Now it was all oil, smoke, warm plastic and metallic tang.
‘Are you happy elves?’ Santa asked them.
‘Yes, sir!’ cheery voices shouted, ‘we’re not stressed or tried anymore. There’s more time for creating, planning and double checking now.’
Santa nodded, he believed them but he also knew that in their hearts, just like his, they did missing the wooden workshops. Moving with the times had to be done though.
Mr Rickton’s project was slowly coming together. He was currently working on a papier-mache globe that would show how Santa traveled around the world in forty-eight hours.
He smiled, knowing the children in his class would find this amazing. He pictured their little faces staring up in awe and the magic of Christmas sparking their imaginations. The children would go home, full of excitement and looking more forward to the special day.
Looking down at his glue and paper covered hands, Mr Rickton started humming Jingle Bells and continued with his task, he still had a long way to go.
It was a week and four days till Christmas, I had taken the kids shopping to buy presents for mummy and we were now driving home. The kids were dozing in the back, full of pizza, their excitement finally worn out. The sun had almost set and darkness had settled in.
‘Daddy, what’s that?’ Darla asked.
‘In the sky. Is it Santa?’
I looked but couldn’t see anything, ‘it’s probably a plane.’
‘Doesn’t look it,’ Adam spoke up.
‘I don’t see it, but it’s too early for Santa.’
‘Maybe, he’s having a practice flight?’ Kim suggested.
I had this weird dream last night. All these drink cans were alive, they had gather together and formed a choir. They were singing Christmas carols in loud, tin voices. People were throwing them money and singing along, like it was totally normal.
I knew it wasn’t real and I tried to tell everyone, but no one would listen! Then I knocked all the cans over in a rage. I got arrest for disturbing the peace and assault. I had to spend Christmas in jail.
When I got out everyone threw cans at me and said I’d ruined Christmas.
The abandoned building was a good place to hide from bullies. I could get inside a half broken window but they couldn’t. In the darkness I felt safe again with only my breathing echoing and my feet scuffing the floor.
I didn’t bother with a light, I knew the way to the little room where I could sit and wait for the bullies to get bored. A few times I’d even slept there!
In winter, I got some supplies in; candles, matches, a torch, a sleeping bag, snacks, comics etc. and it became little my own little house.
The morning battle began, June wasn’t in the mood, she knocked on her teenage son’s bedroom door to get him up for school then opened the door and took in the mess of stuff scattered around in what little light could enter the room, it was a typical young man’s cave and June felt nauseated by a rising smell of sweat.
‘I’m sick, I’m not going into day and you can’t make me, so there!’ he shouted back from underneath the bedding.
‘Fine,’ answered June, ‘stay like a cocooned bug then and only come out when you have grown up.’
The stormy sea was throwing up all kinds of things and the gulls were going crazy for the fish that were being tossed up in the crashing white crested waves.
It was a sign to get off the ocean to return safely to harbour, the fishing was over for another season and all the boats were making their way back, the last catch secured below decks like a glittering treasure.
On the land, twinkling fairy lights and the sweet smell of food welcomed them back, it was almost time for the end of year celebrations, their families had been working hard to prepare for and now with the additional fish the town would survive through the winter months to come.
This year I’ve tried to be good but sometimes it’s been too hard like when my brother pulls my hair or Mummy says my way of helping is the opposite. I know I should be trying harder in school but its been tough as I’ve had to be on the same table as Rebecca Bentwood and we really hate each other. I hope she’s on the naughty list this year!
I’m trying super hard to be good and helpful now that your elf has appeared to watch me. He has been sitting on my bookcase for the last few nights now and each morning he has left me a chocolate to count the days down with. I have started my list which I hope to send to you soon, this is just a postcard to remind you about me and wish you well.
Mummy said it would be a good idea as you get lots of letters every year asking for presents but not many children ask how you are. Daddy said it was a nice thing to do. I drew you a picture too of your reindeer getting ready to help you.