I wrote this little Christmas children's story quite a few years ago... I hope you like it!
Santa's Little Helpers
Once upon a time there was a little girl called Lucy who lived in the Algarve. Lucy didn’t believe in Santa Claus. She had always thought the idea of a fat man travelling around the world in one night just ridiculous. That is, until one rainy Christmas Eve…
“Mum, why don’t we ever get snow here in the Algarve?” Lucy asked.
“Because it’s not cold enough sweetheart. It has been known to snow briefly up the Monchique mountains though”, answered her mother, “maybe if it’s really cold again this year, it’ll happen again”.
“If it does, can we drive up to see it?” the little girl asked.
“Sure we can. Now, have you written your Christmas letter to Father Christmas?” her mother asked her.
“Oh Mum, you know that Santa Claus doesn’t exist. I’m old enough to know that!” she replied hastily as she entered her bedroom and closed the door behind her.
That night while Lucy was sleeping, something unusual was going on in her bedroom. Her two favourite toys, a ragdoll called Mafalda and a teddy bear called Henry, seemed to come to life.
“Lucy doesn’t believe in Santa, Henry. Did you hear?” whispered the ragdoll.
“I did and I think we should do something about it, otherwise Saint Nick will be a bit upset. I think a visit would be the best thing to do. Are you ready?” Henry asked Mafalda, who nodded in agreement.
The toys climbed onto the bed and whispered into Lucy’s ear:
“Santa’s little helpers
Are watching over you,
Take us into dreamland
And they’ll make it all come true!”
Suddenly, the three of them were standing in the midst of a beautiful green forest, blanketed with snow. There were hundreds of tall Christmas trees, all covered with thousands of bright twinkling fairy lights.
“Wow – it’s beautiful. It’s so pretty. I must be dreaming” whispered Lucy.
“That you are”, replied Henry.
“This is your dream Lucy. You brought us with you. Look, you’ve made us the same size as you!” chirped Mafalda.
The odd looking threesome – a small eight year old in pyjamas, an overgrown pink ragdoll and a huge brown teddy bear – strangely didn’t look out of place in this charming yet mysterious place.
“I’ve never seen snow before” yelled Lucy as she bent and sifted the cold stuff through her fingers.
The three giggled and began throwing snowballs at each other.
Suddenly there was a great whoosh and a flash of light. The sound of jingling bells could be heard from above, then a high-pitched friendly voice called out: “Oh, what fun! What fun! It never ceases to be so much fun!”
Then there was a loud crash and a huge sleigh appeared from nowhere – the rider tumbled from it and landed directly at their feet.
The plump elf-like fellow slowly climbed to his feet, dusting away the snow from his green furry cape.
“My, oh my – I must practise my landings”, he giggled
“Hello Billy”, said Henry and Mafalda in unison – clapping big kisses on his cheeks.
“Oh, how wonderful to see you again Mafalda, Henry. And you…you must be Lucy. We’ve been expecting you”.
“You have?” she asked questioningly.
“Why, of course. Santa heard overheard you say that you didn’t believe”, Billy said with a wink to the two toys.
The strange elf-like creature took Lucy’s hand in his, “come, we shall travel in a more traditional manner”.
And with the blink of his eyes, the four of them were instantly transported to what appeared to big a giant dolls house.
“Where are we now?” asked Lucy, her wide yes taking in every detail of the exquisite white and red building which smelt distinctly of strawberry shortcake.
“This is Santa’s Grotto”, replied Billy with a cheeky twinkle in his eyes.
“If you listen carefully, you can hear all the helpers singing”.
Lucy strained her ears and closed her eyes. Sure enough, the sound of happiness and cheer echoed throughout the land.
“Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle all the way…”
As the four characters stepped towards the giant house, the door opened – revealing a huge hall where hundreds of creatures, similar to Billy, busied themselves, making what appeared to be children’s toys.
The singing continued, although the words seemed to change:
“Welcome Lucy, come on in,
This is where the games begin
Dolls and teddies
And jigsaws too
We make happiness just for you…”
Giggling happily, Lucy clapped her hands with delight, forgetting that it was merely a dream.
The foursome skipped through the gigantic hallway, occasionally stopping to receive hugs and friendly handshakes from the elves. At the far side of the chamber they were greeted by what appeared to be another elf – except this one was a lot larger and plumper, and was dressed differently. He wore red trousers and a red coat – both with a white fur trim. He had on black boots and a big black belt, and to top it all off, he wore a big floppy red and white hat which was too big ands falling over his eyes.
Lucy had never seen such amicable eyes. She knew who he was before he had even introduced himself.
“Santa!” she exclaimed, her face glowing crimson with embarrassment, “but I thought you didn’t exist!”
“Dear child, you seem to be forgetting that this is just a dream. I’m simply a figment of your imagination”, he answered with a wink towards Mafalda, Henry and Billy.
“Oh” sighed Lucy with obvious disappointment.
“Don’t look so discontent child – I merely said that this is a dream. I didn’t say that I don’t exist, did I?” he asked cheekily.
“Do you exist, Santa?”
“If you believe in me – then I do”, Santa said as he smiled. His grin lit up the whole room.
“But if you do exist, then how do you it?” asked the little girl.
“How do I do what?” he replied.
“Travel around the world in one night” she queried.
“Now that’s magic. Would you like to see?”
“Oh, yes please!”
Santa took Lucy’s hand in his said to the toys, “Mafalda, Henry, why don’t you stay here and get some rest while Billy and I take Lucy for a ride in the sleigh?”
“Okay, but don’t be too long – Lucy wakes up at 8 ‘o’clock”, replied Henry with a wink and a chuckle.
Outside the giant dolls house, Santa, Billy and Lucy climbed aboard a huge red sleigh which was fit for a king. Behind them sat hundreds of sacks full of gifts.
“Wow!”, yelled Lucy as Santa took the reins and they took to the skies, the dolls house suddenly becoming a tiny dot beneath them.
“Where to, Santa?” shouted a big friendly-looking reindeer with a bright red nose (which, incidentally, looked like the headlight of a car!)
“Rudolph” whispered Lucy.
“England please Rudolph”, he shouted back, and then turned to Lucy.
“Look at your watch”, he whispered. She did so, it was 3 ‘o’clock in the morning. Suddenly the hands began to turn uncontrollably.
“What’s happening”, she asked as they hovered over what seemed to Big Ben in London.
“Time stands still, my dear. That’s the magic. Ho! Ho! Ho!”, he yelled.
All of a sudden, Santa had disappeared from her side.
Billy pointed to a red blur which moved with the speed of light.
“There he is! No, there! Now there!. Look Lucy, over there”, giggled Billy.
She turned her head from side, just catching sight of the blur as he quickly delivered presents to the children of London. And then he was back beside her and they were off again, riding high in the skies, the awesome twinkling lights glittering like stars beneath them.
Santa tapped her shoulder and told her to look at her watch again. It was still 3 ‘o’clock!
“But it seems like hours”, she stuttered, amazed.
He laughed and whispered again, “it’s magic”.
What seemed like hours later, the three of them – and the reindeer, of course – had delivered gifts all over the world, and they were landing safely in front of the grotto. Lucy had known they were returning because she had smelt the strawberry shortcake before she laid her eyes on it.
“Home sweet home! Ho! Ho! Ho!”, rejoiced Santa.
Lucy hopped off the sleigh, stretching and yawning as she did so.
“It’s been a very long night for you, my dear child. Has it not? Perhaps we should find your friends and you should head back home”, said Santa.
And with that, Mafalda and Henry suddenly appeared by their sides.
“Are you ready to go Lucy?”, they asked.
“I wish I could stay here forever, but I know that I can’t. Tomorrow is Christmas day and Mum and Dad would miss me. Thank you Santa for such a wonderful time. I do wish it hadn’t been a dream though. This is one dream I’ll never forget”, answered Lucy happily as she gave Santa a big hug, “goodbye”.
“Farewell child. Perhaps we will meet again some day…and have a truly magical Christmas, my dear”, he said with a twinkle in his eye.
Mafalda and Henry each took hold of Lucy’s hands.
“Goodbye Billy!”, the three shouted, as the cheeky little elf frantically waved to them.
“Santa’s little helpers
Are watching over you
Take us out of dreamland
And we’ll make it all come true”, the toys sang.
The next morning, Lucy awoke with a start. I’ve seen Santa Claus, she thought. He does exist! And then she remembered that it had all just been a dream. She almost cried, but just as she was climbing out of bed, something caught her eye. It was snowing outside! And at the foot of her bed sat Mafalda and Henry, and sitting in between them was a tiny dolls house. It was so small, she could hold in the palm of her hand.
That’s funny, she thought, I’ve never seen that before. Looking at it closely, she saw that it was white and red and was exquisitely made. And then as she brought it closer to her eyes to scrutinise it, she caught her breath. It can’t be. And then she noticed a faint smell…strawberry shortcake! A familiar voice echoed in her room, “Ho! Ho! Ho! It’s magic….” And it certainly was.