Write a Christmas story

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Rugby Cafe Writers were challenged to write a short story beginning with the words Do you believe in Father Christmas? Here is a selection of their contributions.

Do You  Believe in Father Christmas?

Of course I believe.  He and I get on well, sharing the work. I see to the people on my list; he serves all the other believers in the rest of the world, and he always leaves me a little something as a thank you gift.

One year, during the war, I doubted his existence  I asked for a doll, but he left a little paper cut-out lying in a cardboard box, about twice the size of a Swan Vesta matchbox, with a piece of pink felt for a cover.  I still have this tiny blanket somewhere, as a reminder. The paper doll disintegrated. 

That year he must have been short of money, struggling to make ends meet and living on meagre rations, like the rest of us. Those wartime years were difficult for my family, too, but I still remember the disappointment that Christmas morning.as I sat eating a slice of toast, spread thickly with dripping,  for my breakfast.

Now I begin to wonder if he will give in his resignation, as children are requesting too many expensive items in their Christmas letters.  Perhaps he should deliver paper dolls again. Wendy Goulstone

“Do you believe in Father Christmas?”

“NO!” cried Natasha, stamping her foot.

Peter and Jane exchanged a knowing look.

“Tash, we need to go your bedroom and have a talk,” said

Jane, leading Natasha out of the playroom.

Natasha’s tantrums never lasted long.

In the bedroom, Jane explained, “Tash, many children and grown-ups

like to pretend that Father Christmas exists and comes to bring

presents on Christmas Eve.  They think it’s fun.  Jonathan

still believes in Father Christmas, so at least pretend that you do.”

Natasha looked pensive for a few seconds.  “Do I still get

a Christmas stocking?”

“Yes.”

“All right.”

Jane brought Natasha back to the playroom, where Peter was playing with

Vanessa and Jonathan.

Peter and Jane exchanged another look.  They had had the same talk with

Vanessa five years before, and they knew they would do the same with

Jonathan in about three years. Jim Hicks

Do You Believe in Father Christmas?

“Yes. On Christmas night Father Christmas brings presents to everyone.” She twisted in her seat. The light was very bright and made her eyes hurt.

“How does he do that?”

“He has a sledge pulled by reindeers. They fly through the sky. Father Christmas goes down the chimney with the presents. The reindeers’ names are Dancer and Prancer, Cupid and Comet, Donner and Blitzen.” She giggled. “Mummy says that means Thunder and Lightning, but Daddy says it’s Damn and Blast.” 

“If there isn’t a chimney?”

“Magic? Mummy puts out mince pies and a glass of milk, and carrots for the reindeers. In the morning they’re gone.” She rubbed her tummy.

“In every house?”

“That’s why he’s so fat!”

“One human delivers presents to everyone in the world on one night – by himself?”

“Yes, but only if you’re good. If you’re naughty, he leaves you a lump of coal instead. Can I go now?” The interrogator pressed a button and the child disappeared.

His head swivelled and he said to the watchers, “I have questioned many humans and they all say the same thing. If one human can do all this in one night, then I fear we will not be successful in conquering Earth.”

The alien fleet abandoned their invasion and set off on their long voyage home. The interrogator hoped Father Christmas would bring him a piece of coal. He was hungry. Fran Neatherway.

Do you believe in Father Christmas, Sarah” teased Kate 

Early December and the 3 Sisters Two sat round the old kitchen table and listed intently for the yuletide songs switching between channels to speed things up

 “It’s called ‘I believe in Father Christmas’ ” replied Sarah sternly “and the game is on . Your turn Sue” 

DAB blasted ‘ Fairy-Tale Of New York “your turn Kate and you’re a cheap lousy maggot for suggesting this game”. 

Now played ‘ Stop The Cavalry ‘ “Bub-a dub a dub. And I’m clear “, crowed Kate,” Your turn Sarah”

 ‘ All I Want For Christmas Is You ‘ “your turn Sue” 

‘ I Wish it Could Be Christmas Every Day ‘, ‘ Merry Christmas Everybody ‘ ‘ Do They Know It’s Christmas? ‘ They chopped and changed between the Xmas pop-up stations 

Eventually.

 Now playing ‘ Jingle Bell Rock “ your turn Sarah”

 radio played ‘ Rocking Around The Christmas Tree “ your turn Sue”

 DAB blasted ‘ Merry Christmas Everyone ‘ “your turn Kate”

At last they heard ‘ Last Christmas ‘ “Damn!” cried Kate

 “Whamageddon!!” Chorused Sue and Sarah 

“Ok .Mum can stay at my house Christmas and Boxing Day.” Said Kate. Chris Wright 

Do you believe in Father Christmas?

Christmas

A poem about Father Christmas?

No chance, said she,

To show it.

There are no rhymes for Christmas,

She said. 

As a poet.

But I thought

-as the years just whizz past,

Perhaps she doesn’t know it.

But I loved her 

and I could clearly see

That just to make the fizz last,

Perhaps I’d just agree.

So to live in lovers bliss wi’t lass,

Yes yes, yes yes, says me. Phil Gregg

‘Do you believe in Father Christmas?’ 

was the title of my new book. 

A pile of them sat on the table in front of me untouched. 

It was Christmas Eve 

and I was doing a meet-the-author session 

at Waterstone’s in Oxford Street, London, 

my favourite bookshop in the whole world. 

Except no-one wanted to read the book or meet me. 

My apparent proof that Father Christmas didn’t exist 

wasn’t proving attractive. 

Neither was I. 

My partner had left me, 

my dog was on the way out. 

Christmas would be alone. 

No love, no magic. 

The clock ticked on ominously. 

I looked around, sighed, tapped my feet. A minute until closing. Then, 

‘Did you write this?’ said a woman’s voice. 

I looked up. 

A vision of intelligence, beauty and warmth. 

‘I’d been hoping to meet you. It sounds fascinating.’ 

This was going well. 

‘Have you got time for a chat?’ she asked. 

Had I? You bet.

Somewhere in the distance, 

sleigh bells rang 

and a deep voice boomed, ‘Me-rrry Christmas’. John Howes

Do you believe in Father Christmas?

Christmas Wrapping

INT. OFFICE KITCHEN. DAY.

Steve, 35, is filling the kettle with water in the small and untidy space.

STEVE (singing like Greg Lake)

Do you believe in Father Christmas?

Sally, 38, enters with mug in hand.

SALLY

It’s I believe in Father Christmas, you idiot.

STEVE

I see your usual jovial self is embracing this most wonderful time of year again.

SALLY

How can I be happy? It’s Christmas Eve and I’m stuck here with you. I’d rather be anywhere but here.

STEVE

Like two thousand miles away?

SALLY

Stop it.

STEVE

Perhaps driving home for Christmas?

SALLY

I’m warning you, stop it. Or it will be your chestnuts roasting on an open fire.

STEVE

Ooh, someone’s frosty the snowman.

SALLY

You know I have no patience for your silly littles games.

STEVE

But it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

SALLY

If you don’t stop it, this will be your last Christmas.

STEVE

I can’t stop if you play along.

SALLY

What?

STEVE

Go on, stay another day. You’ll be rocking around the Christmas tree before you know it.

Sally scowls at Steve as the kettle flicks off. They make their drinks in silence. Then Steve raises his mug.

STEVE

Happy Christmas, war is over?

SALLY

Let it snow.

With that, Sally storms out of the kitchen, leaving Steve laughing behind. Lindsay Woodward

Do You Believe In Father Christmas?

“Do you believe in Father Christmas ?”

“Eh, what ?”

“Father Christmas, do you believe in him ?”

“In what way ?”

“What do you mean ‘in what way’ ?”

Exasperated sigh, and short silence.

“Do you believe in Father Christmas ?”

“Depends”

“On what ?”

“Do I believe Father Christmas exists; has always existed.  Or.  Do I believe in Father Christmas as some sort of faith system super-being ?  That sort of ‘depends’.  What do you mean ?”

Exasperated sigh.  Short silence.

“I’m not going to talk to you !”  And he turned on his heel and marched off to the kitchen.

“Hello” said a deep voice from among the rattle of pans and roasting tins.

And in a resigned tone, came the words,

“Do you believe in Father Christmas?” Dot Jeffcott

Do you believe in Father Christmas?

Annie was the originator of our most solemn family mantra. She was  eight, and when she asked the question, it was abundantly clear she  expected nothing but the truth. And our answer was totally honest. At  some time, somehow, that question came to represent the most serious  and heartfelt request for the truth. And still, over thirty years later, it is  our way of saying, ‘Listen, no matter how hard or hurtful it may be,  don’t sidestep or avoid anything, just tell me the truth.’ 

This rather bizarre family code was last used one year ago, when the  most precious, loving wife and mother anyone could wish for, was  diagnosed with terminal cancer. She was taken from us within a few  weeks. It broke our hearts. From that awful moment Annie and I have  been desperately and tearfully clinging to one another. 

Yesterday, I had a lengthy hospital consultation. This afternoon Annie  will visit. I can hear the concern and seriousness that will be in her voice  as I try to rehearse the response I know I must deliver. I picture the  pleading, but determined look her face will display, when she asks,  “Dad, do believe in Father Christmas?” Steve Redshaw

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