It is hard to believe that another year is almost gone. Everywhere you look, Christmas Trees are trimmed, turkeys and puddings fill store windows, and oversized decorations hang from lamposts.
2017 has been quite a year for myself as a writer. I completed my second NaNoWriMo in five attempts. My short story Stick Point earned a Highly Commended in the Bert van Bedaf Short Story Competition. This month, I started researching for my first non fiction book.
Thank you for following my blog, and reading my work over the past twelve months. I hope that you have enjoyed it. Look out for new fiction in 2018.
Wishing all of my friends, readers, and followers a peaceful and merry Christmas,Bronwyn Joy
The Great Chimney Dilemma
It was Christmas Eve and Tim was in a panic. How could he have forgotten something so important? A month earlier Tim and his parents had gone to look at their new house. It appeared to meet all of Tim’s requirements. He would have his own room and there was a cubbyhouse and good climbing tree in the backyard.
Moving day was two weeks before Christmas and Tim was already counting sleeps. He had put off writing to the North Pole until after the move, so that Santa would have the correct address. Tim had made doubly sure that his change of address was noted when he saw Santa at the shopping centre. There had been only five more sleeps until Christmas that day.
When there were three sleeps to go, presents started to appear under the Christmas tree. There were presents for Tim and his little brother from Mum and Dad and presents for Mum and Dad from each other, and presents for Mum and Dad from Tim and his brother. Tim recognised the fishing rod that Mum had helped him pick out for Dad by the shape of the present. Tim was proud of the fact that Mum had only caught him shaking a present once.
Now there was only one sleep until Christmas. Tonight, if he had remembered to update his address book, Santa would come and leave presents for Tim and his brother. Tim had decided what to leave Santa for a snack – chocolate crackles and a glass of orange juice. Tim had wanted to leave Santa a glass of beer, but Dad said that juice would be better, in case the police pulled Santa over. There was also a bunch of carrots for the reindeer.
Tim and his brother each had a large pillowcase that they put out for Santa to leave presents in. Tim’s was orange with his name printed on it. He had had it since he was in kindergarten.
It was not until Tim went to peg his pillowcase to the fireguard that he realised his mistake. When he saw the house that day, he had forgotten to make sure there was a chimney! How could Santa leave presents if there was no chimney to come down? Tim’s old house had had an open fireplace at the bottom of the chimney, so there was never a problem on Christmas Eve. But this house did not even have a proper chimney and instead of a fireplace, there was a gas wall heater.
Tim was terribly upset. All his planning had been for nothing. It did not matter if Santa knew that Tim had moved to a new house, because he would not be able to get in.
Dad said that he could stay up until Santa arrived and let him in the front door. That would not work, Tim pointed out, because everyone knew that Santa would only go into a house when everyone was asleep. Mum thought that maybe they could leave the living room window open. However, while the windows were certainly big enough for Santa to climb through, they all had wire screens on them.
Then Dad came up with an idea. Before he went to bed, he would turn on the light on the back porch and leave the door open. That way Santa could land the sleigh in the backyard and come through the backdoor. Tim decided that this was the best plan and went to bed, hoping it would work.
The rule in Tim’s house was that nobody was allowed to get up too early on Christmas Morning, just in case Santa was still there. Tim woke up and looked at his Woody Woodpecker clock. It was only seven o’clock. Tim lay in bed and wondered if Dad’s plan had worked and whether or not Santa had been. At quarter past seven, Tim had an idea. He quietly got out of bed and looked down the passage to the backdoor. The door was closed!
By seven-thirty Tim could not wait any longer. He got out of bed again, put on his slippers and headed for Mum and Dad’s room. The lounge room door was opposite Mum and Dad’s room. Tim’s resolve not to peek failed. He stuck his head through the lounge room door. There was an empty glass on the coffee table and the chocolate crackles and carrots were gone.
Tim turned round, went into Mum and Dad’s room, and woke them up. Mum told Tim that he could go into the lounge room after he woke his brother up. Tim almost ran down the hall to his brother’s room. A minute later, the boys were in the lounge room.
Tim and his brother were very happy with all the presents that Santa had left in their pillowcases. Each of the boys got a swimming mask and snorkel, which they could take on their holiday to the beach after Christmas.
After they had emptied their pillowcases, the whole family opened their presents under the Christmas tree. The biggest surprise was a present that Tim had not asked Santa to bring him. Mum and Dad had bought Tim a proper wind-up watch.
Tim knew that he did not have to worry next year and that even without a chimney and proper fireplace, Santa would still be able to leave presents. Provided Tim had been good, of course.