posted on Dec, 1 2021 @ 09:07 AM
James already had everything he wanted. For his eleventh birthday his parents had bought him his first phone, and his grandparents had clubbed
together to buy him a Nintendo Switch. Those, along with his XBox and BMX he got last year made him feel like he wanted for nothing. So, when his
parents kept asking him in the weeks before Christmas what is on his Christmas list for Santa, he couldn't think of anything important.
When school broke up for Christmas holidays he would volunteer for the homless shelter, which he really enjoyed. Listening to the stories of the
visitors was incredibly exciting, and also sad at times. The military people would tell him of heroic stories of fighting in foreign lands; some
people had enjoyed exquisit lives but then something seemingly so small had turned their lives upside down. Families breaking up over silly arguments.
There were so many stories. He also dressed up as an elf and handed out gifts to the children in the hospice in town. At weekends he ran the odd
errand for the elderly people in his street. Most of the time he refused to accept his 'tips', but occasionally there was a sweet treat he simply
As usual, there were dozens of Christmas movies on TV, and James tried to watch as many as he could - even though he saw the same ones last year, and
the year before that. Living in Australia meant there was one big thing missing from his Christmas, but was in every Christmas movie on TV - snow. The
sesons in the southern hemisphere were completely opposite to those in the north, so Christmas was always roasting hot. Even in proper winter there
was very, very rarely any snow. How he longed for snow. How he wished so much for snow this Christmas. James quickly penned out a letter to Santa and
dropped it into the post box at the end of his street. "It's Christmas Eve, so I hope my letter reaches him in time", thought James, "I'll see if
I can catch him at midnight to make sure he gets the message." James set the alarm on his phone for 11.55pm and placed it under his pillow so it
did't wake his parents. He laid down and dreamed of Christmas day.
"Brrr, brrr, brrr" His phone alarm woke him with a start. For a moment he didn't know where he was or what was happening, but then he remembered.
He scooped off his duvet and quietly slipped out of bed, softly tiptoeing out of his room and down the stairs. Opening the lounge door he could see
the Christmas tree lights were still on, twinking red, green, blue and gold. Under the tree was a mound of presents wrapped so beautifully they looked
like the hoarded treasure of a pirate, or a king, or a frocious dragon.
Out of the corner of his eye he thought he saw movement. He quickly turned towards the fireplace, mouth wide open. It was Santa!
"Hello James", he whispered, "I read your letter." James said nothing; he couldn't. He just stood, frozen, mouth open.
"I'm not one for spoiling surprises, James, but remember to look under the tree in the morning. Now, get back to bed or you'll be tired tomorrow.
Merry Christmas, my friend."
James did what he was told, still not quite believing what he'd just seen and heard. "If this was a dream, it was a damned good one", he thought.
"I hope I remember it in the morning!".
James was woken by his parents in the morning, because usually it was the other way around. "Hey sleepyhead, it's Christmas!" his mum announced.
"Yes!" cried James, as he jumped out of bed and ran passed his parents, straight downstairs to the tree. "Hey you, how about merry Christmas or
good morning?" his dad shouted after him. James had no time for pleasantries just yet.
At the tree was exactly the same pile of presents he had seen in his dream. "This is so unreal." he said out aloud. His parents joined him at the
tree, smiling to each other.
"You can open a few presents before breakfast, son", his dad said, "but not all of them!". "Pancakes?" his mum asked. "Oh, yes please!" said
James. "He's got his manners back" his dad happily announced to his mum.
With breakfast finished and all presents opened, he surveyed his treasure. Pyjamas, a couple board games, a new set of lights for his bike, a pile of
adventure books, a new game for his Switch, three tickets to see a show in the city, and loads of other trinkets and odds and ends. A good haul. His
parents cleared the kitchen and started peeling potatoes, preparing the turkey and all the other things that parents do for Christmas dinner.
James turned on the TV and flicked through the channels until he'd found a Christmas movie he recognised and settled in on the sofa. Everything was
just right. The movie, the Christmas tree, the pile of presents, the Christmas tree, the hot chocolate, the Christmas tree. James's eyes kept going
back to the tree. "Remember to look under the tree" kept circling in his mind. It was his dream - he remembered his dream! "But there's nothing
there!" he thought to himself, "Just a few presents for grandma and grandad, and my cousins...". He crawled over to the tree and moved aside the
half dozen unopened presents to see if anything was behind them, but still his mind kept on repeating "Remember to look under the tree". He slid
under it on his belly. Nothing. A few specs of glitter, a few dropped pine needles, but nothing else. "Remember to look under the tree..."
He laid there for a minute or two, confused. "Santa told me to look under the tree" he reminded himself. He turned over onto his back and looked up
into the tree. Lights, decorations, candy canes, that's it. Something fell into his eye. He rubbed it, thinking it was glitter, or maybe a pine
needle, but it was wet - and cold. He looked up again. Another spot of wetness on his cheek, and another, and then another. And then six, eight,
twenty. It was snowing! Under the tree! James thought about calling out to his parents in the kitchen, but then stopped. "There's no way they'll
ever believe me" he thought to himself, "I'll enjoy this present on my own."
"Thank you Santa, merry Christmas" James whispered into the tree.