Father Christmas

I was so excited.

It was nearly Christmas

and I was going to meet

Father Christmas himself.

I was so excited, 

wearing my best coat and bonnet,

hopping from one foot to the other

in the long queue of children

waiting with their mums

to be allowed into Santa’s Grotto.

I was so excited.

We were nearly there.

I could see the grotto

with it’s tinsel and fairy lights


I was going to sit on his knee 

and have my picture taken,

and that was in an age when

photographs were even rarer

than Christmases..

I was so excited.

There were the elves...

But wait..

they were cardboard.

Where were the real elves,

the magic ones,

why weren’t they there?

“They’re much too busy”,

my mum said.

“But Father Christmas will be real”.

We paid our money

and there he was.

He really was.

I couldn’t wait to climb on his knee

and examine his beard.

I’d never seen a beard before.

But he was very tetchy when I pulled at it

and told me to stop.

Then it went lop sided

and I realised 

it was a false beard

and I told him so, angrily.

He put it back.

“Stop thy wriggling”, he said.

“You’re not the real one,

I don’t want to sit on your knee” 

Flash went the camera.

And outside there was a queue of children


to be addressed.

Hands on hips.

“He’s not the real one.

He’s got a false beard.

He’s not magic at all,

they’re cheating you!”

It’s a swiz!

Then the store manager came..

I was so excited.



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