Time to tell a Christmas story, because Christmas is a time for stories and every year I try to write a Christmas story.
All the best stories start with that traditionally vague (or vaguely traditional) introduction “Once upon a time” which I suppose could be any time, and this is a Christmas story, so
Once upon a Christmas time …
The story I’m telling though, starts a few days before the yuletide festivities, so
Once upon a nearly Christmas time (that’s better)
Once upon a nearly Christmas time , (when seasonal songs started to sing about everything beginning to look a lot like Christmas), Santa plonked down in his big comfy Christmas armchair in front of a roaring fire. It was a big friendly fire for roasting chestnuts or toasting marsmallows, which Santa should have been doing. Instead he just flopped into the big saggy chair and let out a long Santa sigh, a long tired, sad, Santa sigh. The sort of sigh that we all make when nothing is going right and no matter how hard we try we can’t make things go any better and it’s actually not our fault that everything is going wrong in the first place.
“Oh dear” sighed Santa
“Oh dear” he sighed a second time.
“Still no toys dear?” queried Mrs Santa.
“No toys anywhere. Nothing! Not even as much as measly marble. There are simply no toys.” And Santa sighed again.
“Where have they gone?”
Leon Skum. That awful boy has bought every single toy in the whole world and now there’s nothing left for anyone else. All the girls and boys waiting for their presents won’t get anything.
Who is Leon Skum? (you are asking) – he is the richest boy in the whole world and he’s also the most horrible boy in the whole world, which is why no one likes him and he likes no one. And because he doesn’t like anyone, and no one likes him, he doesn’t see why everyone else should enjoy themselves at Christmas whilst he is all alone and miserable in his big mansion with all his money and no friends and no family. Leon Skum is so horrible that his mum and dad and brother and sister ran away.
“If I can’t have a fun time at Christmas and no one is going to give me a present, then no one else in the whole world is going to get a present this Christmas” Leon said to himself one morning at breakfast (which he ate on his own). And after his last mouthful of toast, Leon rang his advisers and workers and servants and told them to buy all the toys in the while world and deliver them to his mansion.
And so it was, within a few short days, Leon Skum bought all they toys in all the world right down to the last measly marble, and there were none left anywhere for anyone.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Santa lives at the North Pole and next to his house there is a huge workshop full of Elves who make all the toys … YES, it used to be like this, but now there are more children than ever and there aren’t as many Elves as there used to be, and nowadays instead of making toys, Elves can get jobs acting in films, and who wants to sit in a freezing workshop at the North Pole, when they can be making films for Netflix or Amamzon Prime?
So, that’s quite a few years now ,that the toys haven’t been made by Elves. They are made by normal people in factories all over the world, and the Santa’s pointy-eared helpers look after logistics.
Santa sighed again. No toys, meant no Christmas and if millions and millions of kids had no Christmas, Santa would get the blame.
How could Santa save Christmas?
He’d either have to sit down and start making all the millions of toys himself , or give every kid in the world a rain check or find someone richer than Leon Skum to buy all the toys back, or he might just have to go and see Leon Skum and persuade him to let the kids have Christmas.
To be continued (maybe)