Christmas Tales – White Christmas

Whole loads of snow fell up here on Santa’s Secret City at the North Pole. The snowflakes floated gently on the breeze, landing wherever the wind took them.  One of them chose to land right on Martha’s nose, who giggled and tried to lick it off. Lick! Slurp!

 “Oh come on, slow coach!” Darfo waved up and down impatiently and the butterfly girl hopped into the sleigh. Santa’s sleigh. With a mixed team pulling it.

 Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen were with the front sleigh; behind them were the other butterflies’ sleighs and reindeer, all joined together with ropes.

 The sleighs were so heavily laden that the little rascals were not able to steer the front one all by themselves, so they sat with Father Christmas.

 They had a good reason for this set-up. The first three sleighs were full of presents and the last two were full of carrots and candy floss, which were used to cajole the teams into action.

 “Be sure to be back in time for tea,” said Mrs Claus, pinching Santa’s cheek as he looked at her lovingly.

 “We will be, we will be!” he promised his wife.

 The Christmas elves waved once more before taking off with their sleighs and setting to work.  Santa and the butterflies were going away on business – it was certainly no holiday!

 Once they’d gone through the check list, Ol’ Whitebeard took the reins and pressed the red ‘hover’ button. The Christmas convoy shot up into the sky to a big “HO, HO, HO!”

 “I’m sure we’ll get it all done,” Johnny whispered to Sonya, who nodded positively.

 Father Christmas drove Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen higher and ever higher, working them really hard. They didn’t mind one bit because they knew they were granting children’s wishes: it was for the well-being of mankind.

 “I’ve wished for some heart-shaped ones,” Martha whispered to Darfo, who squeezed her hand happily. It was quite romantic sitting there in the red and green sleigh… well, at least until the three electric blue fireflies appeared from between the piles of presents behind them and joined them on the front bench.

 Johnny and Sonja looked at the stowaways in surprise, when PLOP, the phoenix appeared next to them out of nowhere with a cheeky grin. It was understandable that they all wanted to be part of this mission!

 It was a bit of a squeeze to fit in, but nobody minded. Before long they were flying through a thick blanket of clouds, rattling their way right to the centre of High Cloud City.

 As soon as Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen noticed that they had reached their destination, they slowed down and Santa pressed the red and green hover button.

 They landed on the clouds and slid gently before coming to a standstill.

Nestling atop the cloud was a gold-glowing palace. The palace gates were open: their visit was expected.

 Santa parked the convoy of sleighs so that they could still be seen from inside.

 HOP, HOP, HOP! They all hopped out of their sleighs and, awestruck, entered the massive audience room. Their host had already taken his place behind his desk. Next to him sat his colleague Mother Hulda, an elderly lady with white hair and a rather large bottom.

 Darfo was about to take the lead in front of Santa – he’d been here loads of times before and knew his way around. Martha held him back with a smile.  Today, that was Santa’s job!

 The Christmas Chief greeted the Chief Weather Maker, St. Peter, with a big  “Ho! Ho! Ho!” and nodded to Mother Hulda, who was sitting next to him.  Mother Hulda gave her friend Martha a secret little wave and Martha nodded back.

 “Sit down, sit down!” said St. Peter, lifting his arms and PING, PING, PING, enough chairs for everybody appeared out of nowhere.

 “How’s your wife?” St. Peter asked Santa with a smile.


Read the Book

 “Fine thanks, and she’s still cooking as well as she did when I first met her,” he replied.

 “I can see that!” said St. Peter, looking at Santa’s tummy, laughing.  Mother Hulda gave him a glare.  Darfo and Johnny looked at one another – surely there was something going on between those two, “Tee, hee, hee!”

 “Right, let’s get down to business, this time it’s not just a social call!”

 “I can see that,” said St. Peter, pointing to the sleighs outside the palace gates.  “What can I do for you?”

 “Well this year is quite unusual… there’s one particular gift that is at the top of every child’s wish list!”

 “Well I don’t make toys, you know…” said St. Peter, shrugging his shoulders and licking his lips at the sight of the candy floss. Ooh great butterflies, he could just eat some of that!

 Martha and Darfo grinned at one other. There was a very good reason for supplying him with super-duper ultra-high-quality candy floss all year round… and for stopping those deliveries just a few days ago!

 “Well no, I wasn’t talking about toys, I was talking about…”

 “Come on, spit it out!” the Chief Weather Maker urged impatiently, glancing back and forth between the candy floss and his visitors.

 “Oh well, okay we’re here to collect a guaranteed white Christmas off you!”

 St. Peter looked up in shock and fidgeted about in his chair… until Mother Hulda lovingly squeezed his hand under the table.

 “Oooh!” thought the butterflies, being small enough to be able to see under the table. They opened their eyes wide: “Caught them!!!”

 “But…but…but…but… you know I can’t promise that!” stammered St. Peter.

 Santa, however, signalled to him with his eyes that there are ways and means of doing everything.

 Martha and Darfo were much less tactful and pointed straight at the red telephone on his desk.

 “You only need to make one call!”

 He glanced first at the candy floss, then at his visitors and then at Mother Hulda. She nodded gently. The children, it’s for the children, the most beautiful face of all the heavens said to him.

 “Hmmmm,” he hesitated for a second and then reached for the handset. A phone automatically rang a few storeys higher and somebody answered it.

 “Uh, this is, uh, St. Peter… oh, you already know? Oh yes, of course… uh, boss, Father Christmas and the butterflies are here with me… oh, you know that too? Yes, erm, they want to know… oh, you already know that too, really? …I should do that? Aha, oho, hmmm, …not for ages, hmm, yes, okay, alright boss, mmm, okay? …Not a word… okay, I’ve got that, thank you!”

 St. Peter hung up and turned back round. Stunned, the butterflies gawped at the Chief Weather Maker. The electric blue fireflies flicked their ears to snap them out of the trance.

 “Oooh!” they came to their senses just in time to see St. Peter signing a letter, which Mother Hulda adorned with the High Cloud City seal. SPLAT!

 Then she passed the envelope back to St. Peter, who was by now a bit more relaxed and finding great comfort in eyeing up the candy floss sleigh:

 “That load stays right here!”

 “Of course, of course” stammered the Butterflies.

 The Chief Weather Maker turned back to Father Christmas. “This,” he said, pointing at the envelope, “is for every child on earth, to be delivered by you.”

 Santa nodded calmly – that was all part of his job. Then he got up, bowed and turned to leave High Cloud City.

 “Hang on a minute!” said Darfo. “What about our white Christmas???”

 St. Peter understood the little butterfly’s impatience and grinned, pointing to the envelope in Santa’s hand.

 “It’s all in there, be it this year or next, it’s all in there!”

 Darfo jumped up and ran to Father Christmas. With great leaping bounds into the air, he caught a glimpse of the secret letter. He could just make out some writing at the top of it. Father Christmas grabbed the envelope and quickly stuffed it inside his coat. He shrugged his shoulders and made for his sleigh.

 “Sorry, my friend, we won’t be opening THAT until 24th December, the Festival of Love.”

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