“Christmas is a lonely place” thought Bud as he sat back, on yet another lonely Christmas Eve, staring into space; 

Unfinished Christmas story, that I might finish this Christmas

Bud didn’t really know any different. Ever since he was a little kid, he’d spent Christmas on his own. His mum and dad were never there. They were always off on some special mission, deep in Space, exploring distant planets and new galaxies. They’d always told Bud that they were looking for Santa.

“We can have Christmas togtether next year”, said his dad

“That’s right” added his mum. “Next year we’ll be home for Christmas, and who knows, we might bring Santa.”

Bud just sniffed. Everyone knew there was no such person as Santa anymore 

There was a legend, that once upon Christmases long ago, Santa had flown through the skies on Christmas Eve, delivering presents to all the children of the world. Some said he rode a sleigh pulled by reindeer. That was silly

Then one Christmas Eve, Santa never came, and all the children across the world got no presents. And so it happened again the next Christmas and the Christmas after that. And every Christmas forever end ever.

People said that Santa had left the Earth. He was fed up with just how horrible kids had become. Horrible, rude, selfish and lazy kids. They wouldn’t say “please” or “thankyou”. They had no manners. All they ever did was stuff themselves with junk food , and if they did say anything, it was just monosyllabic grunts in between two mouthfuls of  burger. None of them deserved presents. None of them deserved Christmas. Santa decided to leave the Earth and find a new planet where the children were well behaved and deserved Christmas. 

And all that was a long time ago.  A long time ago before rockets and starships and space. A long time before humans could blast off from the Earth and explore the furthest galaxies.  A long before men and women could boldly go where they had never been before.

While some humans went forth seeking new planets and new life, other humans went forth seeking Santa. They were the astronauts of the NASSSA – the North American Santa Space Search Agency. Bud’s parents were both astronauts for the NASSSA.

Every year, as other families gathered for festive fun, Bud’s mum and dad would climb aboard their deep space rocket ship and blast off into the furthest realms of the universe, in search of Santa.

“Why do you always have to go at Christmas time?” Bud asked his dad one day

“Well son” he replied. “If you want to see Santa, there’s no better time than Christmas.”

And then came the Christmas when Bud’s parents blasted off in search of Santa and they flew far beyond anywhere that anyone had ever flown before. They flew so far that they flew off the map of space and right into an enormous black hole and who knows where. 

No one did know where and all the other astronauts in the NASSSA were far too scared to fly so far to look for Bud’s parents. 

The President of the World went on TV, with Bud at his side. He thanked Bud’s parents for their sacrifice. He told Bud he should be proud of his mum and dad. The President of the World then announced that no more astronauts would ever go looking for Santa and that the NASSSA was being closed down.


And this year, as he sat 250 miles above the  Earth, in his capsule, sucking his Christmas dinner from his special Christmas Dinner flavour ration pouch, Bud didn’t feel as lonely as usual. For sure, Christmas is a lonely place, when everyone is going back to the place they call home, and you have no home and no family, but, up here in Space, there was no one but Bud and he could have Christmas on his own just as he wanted. He had no one for him on Earth, so he didn’t miss anyone by sitting here in Space and no one was missing him. 

Bud actually felt better in Space. Somewhere out there in the endless darkness, his mum and dad might still be floating around. They might even have met Santa.

Bud slurped down his last mouthful of Turkey and Trimmings Meal for One, and reached out to grab the Christmas Pudding pouch as it floated round the capsule. 

He tried to remember if he could ever remember having a real Christmas at home with his mum and dad. He was actually having the best Christmas he had ever had. Spinning round in Space, zooming round the Earth at 5 miles per second, eating what he wanted and how he wanted, and all with the best view in the world.

He was happy