Was there a special gift or toy you wanted as a child but never received? What was it?
Patsy was so excited. She could hardly sleep. Christmas was in two weeks and tomorrow she could visit Father Christmas and tell him what she wanted for Christmas. Mum and dad told her that Father Christmas always did what he could to fulfil all the childrens’ wishes all over the world, but she could only have one wish.
She awoke early the next morning.
“Mum, what shall I wear?”
“It’s cold outside and you will have to wrap up nice and warm.”
“But Father Christmas lives in a grotto in the big shop in the city. He only has a red jacket. I have never seen him wear a long winter coat.”
Patsy’s mum had to dig into her psychological clever answer brain to answer Patsy’s questions. She was very inquisitive, although only six years old.
“Father Christmas does not need a Winter coat Patsy, he lives at the North Pole and is used to the cold.”
“I thought there were no humans at the North Pole.”
This conversation was becoming complicated even for Patsy’s mother.
“Of course there are no humans at the North Pole, but Father Christmas is something special. He lives in his special grotto under the ice most of the year, getting the Christmas presents ready for the children. No-one sees him. He only comes out of the ice in December where he collects his reindeers and mounts his sledge.”
“Aha, but how does he get the sledge into the big shop in the High Street. I have never seen a chimney there where he can arrive.?
“It’s all magic Patsy. One of Father Christmas’s secrets.”
Later in the afternoon it was time to go.
“Help me into my coat mum, can we go?”
and Patsy was out of the front door with her mother running after her.
“Slow down Patsy, Father Christmas is there until this evening when the shop shuts.”
Patsy’s mother took her hand and they walked along the road to the underground station which took them to the centre of the city. Patsy just loved this time of the year. Decorations were hanging across the road, sparkling gold and silver.
“Look mum, the Christmas gnomes have put stars across the street”. She was so excited and then she saw the entrance to the Christmas grotto where Santa was living. Patsy was just a little bit disappointed.
“Mum do we have to pay to see him?”
Another difficult question: “Of course dear, Santa has to buy food for his reindeer and he needs money for that.”
“But I thought we always put out a bowl of milk and leave some biscuits for the reindeer when they visit us at home.”
“Yes Patsy, but there is still two weeks until Christmas, and the reindeer need food before they visit.”
“What are all those other children doing here? I thought Santa was just going to see me today.”
“That wouldn’t be a good idea. Santa just does not have the time to spare seeing only one of the children. He has to make sure that no-one is left out. Otherwise it would not be fare.”
and Patsy gripped onto her mother’s hand and waited patiently until the other children had told Father Christmas their wishes. It was now Patsy’s turn.
“Mum, can I take my coat off, it is warm here, and I cannot sit comfortable” She gave her coat to her mother and walked up to Santa.
“Ho, ho, ho” said a booming male voice from somewhere behind a bushy white beard, its synthetIc wisps reflecting the light of the colourful lights surrounding his throne.
“Hello Santa, where am I supposed to sit?”
“On my knee of course, little girl.”
“But my mum said I shouldn’t get close to strange men.”
Father Christmas looked across to Patsy’s mother, who was holding the Winter coat and had a worried expression on her face.
“Patsy it is OK. Santa is not a stranger, all the children know him” said her mother.
“Ho, ho, ho, of course. Now come and sit comfortably.”
“Santa, you smell like my dad. Do you smoke as well, my dad smokes and smells sort of cigaretty.”
“You are inquisitive little girl. Now let us not worry about things like cigarettes. You are here to answer a very important question. So tell me what would you like me to bring you for Christmas.”
“Santa. I live with my mum and dad and sometimes it can be a bit boring at home on my own. So I thought it would be a good idea for me to have a baby brother. When he grows up we can play together.”
“Oh, well let’s see” answered Santa, throwing a long glance at Patsy’s mother, who was still holding the Winter coat in front of her. Not only Santa looked at her mother, but all the other parents waiting in the queue decided to see if it was just a wish, or perhaps reality. Patsy’s mother dropped the coat suddenly, more out of shock than anything else.
There was a silence for a few minutes, and Santa’s face seemed to turn red under his beard.
Then he spoke to Patsy. “How about a nice doll for Christmas. I am sure you would love a doll with beautiful golden locks.”
Patsy turned her head and looked into Santa’s eyes and said in a nice clear loud voice “but I want a baby brother”.
“Now that is a big present little girl. I am afraid you will have to wait. I am sure when you visit next Christmas, your mum will be holding a baby brother in her arms, instead of your Winter coat. “
He looked across at Patsy’s mother and gave a sly smile through his beard.
“So time to go Patsy” she said and dragged her daughter out of the Christmas grotto.
“What do you think mum, will I get my baby brother next Christmas.?”
Patsy and her mother travelled home in silence. Patsy looking forward to next Christmas visiting Sant in his grotto with a brother in a pram, and her mother with mixed feelings. Yes, she would have to have an intensive conversation with her husband in the evening. Decisions will have to be made.