Christmas Tales – The Festival of Love

The darkness of night was broken by the perfect glow of golden, twinkling stars. Softly fell the snow.

 Father Christmas was sat on the veranda after work, creaking to and fro in his rocking chair and enjoying a nice cup of hot honey with a hint of tea. The phoenix had settled down in Santa’s beard, glowing warmly and listening to the fireflies’ stories. Well, as long as they weren’t too scary, because every time he became afraid, he burst into flames and singed Santa’s beard!

 Santa was nodding off. Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen’s muffled chit-chat could be heard in the background.

 The only commotion came from Martha, Darfo, Sonya and Johnny’s young reindeer, who were racing around in their pen. That didn’t disturb the elves though, who were snoring away, their coats hanging up outside their windows to air.

 All was calm at the North Pole: it wasn’t long now until Christmas.

 No-one seemed to have noticed that the little rascals were missing, that is to say, no-one except Mrs Claus.  She suddenly started, looked up and stopped knitting.

 Sniff, sniff, sniff!

 It was absolutely normal to smell mince pies and sherry in these parts, but what else was that that she could smell? Surely the Christmas bakery didn’t open again until the morning?

 She carefully laid her knitting to one side and looked out of the window.

 The phoenix was putting out her husband’s beard in a panic. He seemed to have dozed off and didn’t notice a thing. The elves had apparently all gone to bed… which made her very suspicious!  And where were Martha, Darfo, Johnny and Sonya?

 She was starting to get concerned.  She yanked on her winter boots and draped her husband’s red coat around her shoulders. She could smell his eau de cologne on the white collar, mmmmh!

 She marched through the snow past the reindeer, crunch, crunch, crunch! Then she saw Johnny’s lead reindeer sneaking out of its pen, Martha’s reindeer team making heart shapes in the snow with their hooves and Sonya’s reindeer trying to preach to Darfo’s little darlings about honour and morals.   All quite normal really, except for that smell in the air.

 Sniff, sniff, sniff!


Read the Book

 She was drawn as by an invisible force in the direction of the bakery.  She could already make out the silhouettes of individual butterflies. They were marching through the darkness into the bakery, with fully laden wheelbarrows.

 “Now then, now then,” she thought, tugging the red coat more tightly around her as she hurried on.

 As she got a bit closer, she could hear the oven, flour mills and rolling pins in full action.

 Clatter, crunch, boom, rattle, ping!

 She had soon reached the bakery window and breathed warm air onto the frozen pane, rubbing a little hole in the ice with her hand… She could hardly believe her eyes!  There they all stood, aprons on, baking biscuits. A motherly smile lit up her face as she made sense of things: they didn’t have time to bake during the daytime!

 Martha was stood at the absolutely-totally-extremely ancient leather-bound recipe book, entering new recipes with a wax crayon. Johnny and Sonya were baking them.

 Mrs Claus sniffed with joy. Was she dreaming, or could this be real? She rubbed her eyes hard. Oh my, the ingredients would make Christmas magical for everyone for ever and ever! And they were baking up a big supply, too!

 Wow, she could hardly believe her eyes. She was filled with gratitude. It was really happening, it was true.

 But… but… surely it was impossible – though apparently not. The little rascals had flown up to the stars and had asked them for some more star dust. Magic dust. The dust that cherubs use to bring two people together. One pinch of it was sufficient to last a lifetime. It bound hearts together, taking away hate, anger and quarrelling and replacing them with love and forgiveness.

 “Oooh!” sighed Mrs Claus. “What… what… what a very special gift!”

 Only the butterflies could get dust from the stars… and… and… they were using this special ability to warm people’s hearts forever.

 The stardust biscuits would be delivered to people’s homes: they’d be placed on tables, under Christmas trees and in bedrooms all over the world!

 A tear of joy rolled down her cheek. She turned around quietly and crept back with a nice, warm feeling inside and a feeling of thankfulness towards the little creatures.

 She finally reached the veranda and looked at the rocking chair. The phoenix was dozing amid a gentle glow in Santa’s beard, alongside the electric blue fireflies. Her eyes welled up as she looked down at her husband. She leant down and gave him a gentle kiss.

 “Thank you,” she whispered to him, as her lips touched his cheek.

 Now she understood why the butterflies were here on earth – and they had their very own interpretation of the Festival of Love …

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