Double Trouble for Mrs Claus

Constance Claus loves Christmas as much as she loves her husband but, every year from November until December 26th a disaster happens. And at his tremendous age, Santa hated problems. Constance tried to plan ahead as, let’s be honest; most people like to have a trouble free life.

Last year it was the missing gingerbread recipe. The recipe was ancient, almost as old as the cook who had the job of baking five million perfectly formed gingerbread houses. Every inch of the North Pole was searched. This meant the elves were hungry, a lot more than usual and so Constance spent most of her days cooking and preparing meals. If, she often reasoned afterwards, if she hadn’t been busy feeding the hungry elves, then she would have solved the puzzle earlier.  She found it – under the cook’s hat. It had risen as high as his pastry and was stuck to the top of it.

This year she began her anti disaster plan in July. The first thing she did was to make certain there was a copy of the recipe on her tablet. Next, she checked there was an awesome mountain of buttons for the Minion’s dungarees,then, enough paint for the rocking horses and on and on her list went. But she with the help of chief elf Enda,  worked their way through it.

So by the second week of November she was wondering if she could finally relax.

The workshop was thundering through the long menu of toys and electrical gadgets that needed to be made. The new computer department was turning out to be a great addition as the technicians had rigged up a mechanical serving belt which brought the food straight from the kitchen to the tables at lightening speed.

“Too fast for me,” moaned Santa as yet again he was too slow to collect his dinner off the moving belt and it whizzed on to Slim who snagged it.

But dear you are looking all the trimmer for it,” Constance said.

She was sitting before a pretty log fire with Summer, her cat, snoozing on her lap, when her walls began to shake and rumble. Strange, thought Constance. However, when the rumbling increased she jumped to her feet and went to investigate. Summer slid to the ground, shook himself and went off to find a more reliable less jumpy cushion to snooze on.

Constance wondered if Santa and the elves were playing a trick on her so she was a little wary of opening her front door. This was just as well, because when she opened it a chunk of snow slid off the roof and landed on her doorstep.

“This won’t do,” Constance muttered and picked her way through the mountain of snow.

Then she stopped and stared. She giggled because she couldn’t help it. The reindeers were playing dodge the snowball. And due to their very heavy appearance they were making the ground shake and groan under their hooves.

She frowned. “This is terrible, Rudolph you are looking a little chunky tonight.” She mused and then stopped and sniffed the air. He smelt of chocolate and something else. She stared at him.

“Is that marshmallow sticking to your coat?” He backed away and looked at her with huge sad eyes.

She went back inside but instead of sitting in her comfortable chair she peeped out the window.  She noticed some of the reindeer sniff the air and stroll off towards the elves living room. Constance decided to follow.

In the  elves living room she discovered the elves were having a snack. They had taken their shoes off and were sitting before a huge fire toasting smores. “Where did you learn how to do that?” She asked Santa who was managing to toast four at a time.

“Internet.” He said, “Try some. They are delish.”

She tilted her head to one side, “how long have you been doing this?

“Oh only a week or two. It’s just that we get so hungry with the extra work. It is a nice way to relax and we tell stories then head to bed.”

She looked around the room and noticed many of the elves were already asleep in their chairs. Just then the door opened and a young reindeer entered. He walked straight to a sleeping elf and very gingerly took the uneaten smore from the elf’s hand before moving to the next elf.

Constance did not want to be a spoilsport but she was worried. The reindeer needed to be fit and Santa, she knew would eat until his suit was close to bursting.

Over the next two weeks no matter what she did, the reindeer always found a way into the elves sitting room. She wondered if they were paying the elves to leave a door open. No, that is totally silly, she decided.

It was December and the workshop was producing toys at a frantic rate.

There was a “bang” followed by a “pop” and everything stopped. There was a shocked silence. Enda shouted, “lets find the fault.” An hour later they knew the problem. The generator couldn’t produce enough electrical power.

“We need to produce more electricity.It’s knackered.” Was the final statement from their workshop maintenance team.

“Right early lunch and lets chew on it.” Santa said.

Constance went for a walk. She always thought better when left to think by herself. Rudolph accompanied her, with Summer sitting on his back.

“I know you are trying to get fit and slim Rudolph but it is not working. You need a high intensity work out. Cross fit for Reindeers, I think.”

She let the thought rattle about in her head for a while and when she returned she called the maintenance team to her.

Three days later the workshop was producing more toys by the hour.

Enda smiled and said, “Thank you Constance for your brilliant idea.”

Constance beamed at  him. “You are welcome and I think everyone is happy with this ….or almost everyone.”

Enda grinned. “Well if Santa insists on eating so much then he has no choice. He can’t have it all his own way, even if his name is Santa.”

They both looked over at the line of reindeer waiting their turn to get on the exercise wheel. Beyond the exercise wheel there was another line of reindeer happily munching on smore flavored hay.  Santa walked alongside the reindeer. A giant pedometer declared, “well done Santa just 5,000 more steps to earn a whole smore this evening.”

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Santa wasn’t worried as he had a date on the 25th with a dog called Bob who was currently stashing marshmallows in his christmas stocking. The deal was, Santa would trade his jelly babies for Bob’s marshmallows, then it would be home to smores and more smores.

 

The hunt for the Snow Dragon.

Snowflakes twirled and danced about Molly. ” I love snow,” she said.

“Woof” Bob said jumping around her.

Molly whispered, “Quiet Bob. A  Snow Dragon might hear us and run away.”

The dog nudged her with his nose, making her giggle.

They began their search in the garden. No Snow Dragon. They walked through the gate, looking right and left. Molly walked past Gran’s kitchen door. They looked in the garden shed, and behind the coal bags but didn’t find a Snow Dragon. They did meet many birds and Gran’s fat cat.

They walked to the front garden. They met the postman. “Hi Molly. Where are you going?” he asked.

“We are going to catch a Snow Dragon.” She whispered.

“Well – don’t let him catch you.” He said.

“No we won’t.” Molly told him.

Bob looked behind every tree.  Molly looked at the bare branches. No Snow Dragon. “Not even a squirrel, Bob.” She said.

Molly looked behind them. The snow was falling onto the ground covering her footprints. She couldn’t see her house. “Let’s go home,” She said.

Molly made a snow ball. She threw it. “Go get it Bob,” She said.

He sat and watched it land.  Molly sighed. Bob never chased tennis balls.

“Lets make a snowman instead.” She began by making a small ball and then dropped it on the ground. As she rolled it along the ground the snowball changed from being a round ball into a wobbly, wonky shape. It was big and getting bigger. Finally she reached her garden,  they left it there and went indoors .

It was warm inside. Molly felt tired. She forgot about her snowball but told dad about her search for a Snow Dragon.

“I think there are no Snow Dragons,” she said. Molly felt sad.

“Maybe they are shy, creatures. Perhaps you should send an email to one and see what happens.”

“What would I say?” She liked this idea.

“That you believe in them but you would love to know what they look like. Wait then and see what happens. Granddad always said, they were magical creatures.”

Molly wiggled her nose as she thought about this. “Let’s do it, can you help please?”

The email was sent and Molly went to bed.

Next morning she got up and peeped out the window.

Her heart jumped for there in the garden was a large dragon. He was white and very still. Molly raced outside to see him. “Its a Snow Dragon.” She said to her dad who came to look at it. “He is not alive though he is just made of snow, how did he get here?”

“Molly you did say you would love to know what they look like, didn’t you?”

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“I did. Now I know they are amazing.” She giggled, “he looks like Bob does when you say no to him.”

They took pictures of the Snow Dragon and a large picture hangs on Molly’s bedroom wall in case she forgets what they look like.

Christmas and the magical mince pies

It was snowing and yet the huge green ogre named Breeze was asleep. He was tucked onto his favorite branch high in the tallest oak tree in the wood. His excuse was – he was keeping watch for Santa.

Breeze adored the magic of Christmas. So when the very first flake landed on his nose, he stopped snoring and woke in a hurry, slid down the trunk of the wrinkly crinkly old tree and raced through the wood shouting “it is snowing. Christmas is coming, Santa is getting ready to leave the north pole.”

His friends, shook their heads and said, “he is never unhappy at this time of  the year.”

However when Breeze bumped into Lovisma, he lost his happiness. For she had hold of a wooden santa claus and was dangling him upside down. “I’ think I should fly up to the moon and drop him, lets see him fly then, ” she giggled at her own joke.

Lily, was sobbing “Please, don’t do it, he is only made of wood he can’t fly. He needs reindeer and magic.”

Breeze frowned.  “Lets see if Lovisma would fly if we took her broomstick away and tied her up nice and neat like a Christmas pudding.”

Lily stopped sobbing and looked at him. “Could you do it?”

“I would if you asked me.”

Lovisma instantly dropped the wooden Santa and flew away. Breeze told Lily some jokes to cheer her and then they made a giant snow rabbit before they both went home for tea.

All evening long Breeze thought about the nasty witch. “Time I scared her good and proper,” he decided. He needed to think long and hard because Breeze knew that every witch has something she is terrified of.

It was Christmas eve and the wood was looking sparkling and festive. The trees were wearing their best winter coats and the birds had decorated some of the lower branches with holly, though the berries were missing.

Elegant witch had solved the problem by asking the knitting group to knit holly berries and attach them to the branches. She added her own dash of magic then making the berries twinkle with bright lights.

Breeze had baked. This was an event in itself and the mince pies did smell awesome, which he kept saying. However, Lily wondered why he had put a box of six pies to one side.  The label on the box said, For Lovisma, “Mr Breeze why did you give that nasty witch six mince pies and there will only be one for everyone else.”

He winked at her and said, “these are special pies just for her. Don’t let anyone touch them or there will be trouble.”

She wondered why he sounded a little cross but decided one of his mince pies would be enough for her. Besides Santa was coming.

The table for the midnight party was set and suddenly there was a cold rush of air. A cackle of laughter announced Lovisma’s arrival. She was looking really nasty in a purple and silver pair of leggings and a huge purple flouncy dress.

Yuck, you look like a giant blueberry. Matt announced.

Her answer to him was with a flick her wand to turn him into a snow ogre. Breeze said, “Be nice or no Santa.” She flicked Matt from snow ogre back to green ogre.

Ooh mince pies, Lovisma said. I want one.

You can’t have one, Breeze told her. But you can have six to take home to Elegant witch. I made them for you both.”

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Lovisma smiled sweetly and said, “I think I will have one, just one now.”

However, once she started she couldn’t stop. Lovisma kept stuffing mince pies into her mouth until the box was empty.  “I feel a little odd.” She said.

Lily smiled. “YOu do look a little odd.” And she moved further away.

Not a moment too soon as Lovisma began to shake like a jelly, then spun around so fast she was a purple blob. Suddenly there was a loud pop and when everyone looked she appeared to have vanished leaving the purple dress in a heap on the ground then it began to move in hopping movements. Lily was the first to spot the new improved Lovisma. “OOh a frog I love frogs, can I pet her?”

“I can’t be a frog. I hate slimey frogs.” Lovisma the frog shouted.

Lily said ” but you are, look in the reflection in the glass. This is you a cute purple frog. ”

Each time Lovisma attempted to jump onto her broom she slid off, instead she hopped away screaming in horror.  “I hate you Breeze almost as much as I hate frogs.”

After that everyone was happy she had left but they were a little afraid of eating any of his mince pies.

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A Christmas Post

This is a retelling of a story I published on decidinglybob.wordpress.com

It will pull the child from every adult and get us in the festive mood.

Constance Claus and an elves wish.

Christmas Eve –  two am – Constance Claus decided it was time. She tiptoed through the snow filled square. Though the sound of the elves snoring was reassuring Constance was being extra careful. She knew Enda could hear a feather drop in snow.

“I wish I could snore in harmony like them.” She paused, mid step to listen. “Ahh. I know the name of this tune. Let’s get this party started.'” Bending down to rub her white cat, she murmured, “we agree, don’t we Summer?”

The cat shook her paws before continuing on to the doorway of the workshop.

Constance believed her idea was brilliant. She was tired of listening to the elves moaning about the amount of snow. They are getting themselves in such a state that they are catching cold. She shivered at the thought of catching such a dreadful thing.

With her hand on the door knob, she paused to check again. Their snores floated on ice cold air to her. Satisfied she walked inside, flicking on lights as she went.

The workshop looked empty and vast. It wasn’t that way an hour ago.

*   *   *   *   *

Panic had been the order of the day. For a start, getting Santa into the sleigh  proved to be difficult.

“Steady on, mind my trousers.” He shouted as the elves formed a line and pushed him into the sleigh.

“Let’s fit the other toys in around him when we squish him down,” Enda  suggested.

“Hey Enda, less of the squishing. I can sit down.” Santa roared.

“You do the squishing bit.” Enda’s brothers, Slim, Noel and Sam, sang. They preferred to stay out of his way during the fraught filled minutes of final preparations.

Constance walked up to Santa, “Wait dear, you forgot your thermal insulated gloves.” She narrowed her eyes, “did you remember to put the matching socks on?”

He gave a nod then grimaced because they were hotter than he liked.

She said, “Good. I packed you a snack.”

At the mention of food he cheered up.

“And some liquorice for the reindeers.”

When he scowled, she chuckled, “a thermal mug of hot chocolate and a barrel of ginger nut elf biscuits for you. Take your time. Remember the list. Drive carefully Mr. Claus.”

Santa scowled. “That incident with the plane was not my fault, the idiots came closer for a second look. The reindeers lost their bootees with fright. As for the traffic lights in the main street, it wasn’t my fault, Mrs. Claus, I didn’t know they could swivel.”

The elves scurried away to check the reindeer’s boot laces.

She kissed the tip of his nose then worked her way around the reindeers planting a kiss on top of every head or they would be jealous.

“Have a nice rest, be kind to yourself Constance do something for you just for a change.” With those words he left.

“I will indeed,” she said.  Armed with a giant cup of creamy coffee embellished with a sprinkling of coco and a flake bar,  to get her creative motor running she began to plan. She liked inventing things, and tonight she felt like doing so.

 “Deciding to invent something is easy. The problem is doing it without causing further complications along the way.” Constance bit into her flake bar.  “Oh dear I will have to be careful. I remember poor little Elsie’s hair. Poof, up it went in a rainbow cloud of smoke when I made a hair curling tongs for her. And poor Jake tested my first sock warmers. He couldn’t bear to reveal his scorched foot to anyone for a long time. It looked so hideous. I got sick when I changed the bandages, but then I suppose that was my punishment for the damage I did.”

To dispel that nasty image she nibbled on the flake bar. Summer neatly caught the bits that fell towards the floor. There was silence for a long time as Constance sat and considered if, maybe, this was another stupid idea. The clock chimed. She glanced up at it. A scroll flipped down. It read, “late Christmas eve, go to bed.”

She muttered, “You are correct. I should but I won’t get an opportunity for another twelve months. So lets start.”

*   *   *   *

Once in the work shop she began by grabbing her tool box and plugging in the compressor. Bright blue sparks flew about her. Steel screeched as she cut and shaped. She didn’t realise she was finished until she reached for the last nut and bolt and discovered there was no more.

 “Now for the fun bit, testing and trying.” She hesitated. “Bother health and safety but I can’t ignore it.”

Getting ready for the test took more time than she bargained on. She dressed with care but she frightened Summer who raced towards the woods.

“Coward,” declared Constance as she pulled on the goggles and the thick safety gloves, before checking everything. “Right let’s check first,  safety harness for climbing. Hard hat, in case I slip. Bright obnoxious yellow jacket to make me highly visible, in case I get stuck under the snow.” She lifted one booted foot and stopped, they were of course safety issue, heavy and cumbersome.

 Saying a quick prayer to her guardian angel she went to drag her monster invention out of the workshop. It wouldn’t budge.

She stood looking at it wondering how to get it moving, then spotted a pair of roller blades, “perfect.”

Minutes later it sat outside in the snow, looking like a forlorn giant dog. Humming merrily she pressed the on switch. Clipping her rope to the central Christmas Pole in the middle of the square she took a look at the trampolines. They were lined up in strategic spots. They were used for hanging up lost and fallen lights or icicles. “Tonight I have another task for you,” she said.

Taking a leap she began to bounce along the trampolines hovering all of the snow from sight!

Constance was woken by a loud rumpus. It roared in her left ear. Sitting upright in her bed she discovered wasn’t easy as elves were climbing up onto her bed. From the muffled sounds beneath her she guessed a few were hidden underneath her bed.

“It’s been stolen, Christmas has been nicked.” Enda squeaked. His brothers took up the shout. “Not one snowflake left. Christmas is lost.”

“Not at all. It’s….” Constance smiled. “Isn’t this what you wished for?”

“No course not. It’s gone.” There were elves sobbing and moaning all around her.

She chewed on her bottom lip while considering the problem. “Let’s make the most of it, pretend we are in Hawaii.”

The elves moved into a huddle. There was frantic whispering. Enda appeared beside her.  “Slim is googling it on his iphone.” He ducked back inside the large circle.

“Can we barbecue? Make flower garlands, wear grass skirts? Try limbo dancing?” Sam asked.

She grimaced and worked her way around the vision of a hundred elves who can’t cook attempting to barbecue while wearing grass skirts.

Constance nodded. “Of course we can, but we’d better make sure there is a giant bucket of water standing by just in case..”

The words, “Christmas gets burnt,” died on her lips as she quickly added, “in case you get thirsty.”

Constance watched them race from her room chattering about sun lamps and sun burn. She wondered how she was going to explain this to Mr. S. Claus. With a sigh she tumbled from her bed and went to search her cookery books for tips on barbecuing.

“I suppose if the worst comes to the worst, the reindeers will not get lost this year, they will be guided home by the flames and aroma of one hundred turkey’s burning.”