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Alice in Wonderland Christmas Story – chapter five

Chapter Five

The Trip of a Lifetime and the Fright of her Life

 

As the sleigh sped bumpily through the snowy terrain, illuminated by only a pale quarter moon hanging lazily in the rapidly darkening sky, Alice marvelled at the wintry landscape, watching it rush faster and faster toward her. Her eyes, watering from the icy cold blast of wind, saw many strange things in that half-light, like igloos, and beavers, small houses and kittens, babies and hatters and even a walrus reclining next to a coat stand. She saw all these things – and more – in that bitter cold night of the far north.

“Oh, I do hope that’s not Dinah,” she said in concern, when she saw a small feline, alone. “And if it is her, she’ll surely catch her death of cold out there…”

The sleigh sped ever faster, and although Alice was fascinated by these strange and bizarre things she was half seeing, she began to wonder why the magical sleigh was still set firmly upon the ground. For the moment, however, she decided to say nothing, for although Father Christmas was undeniably an amicable old man his attention was set fully on driving his sleigh.

“Rarr, rarr,” he shouted at the top of his voice. “Rarr, rarr,” he shouted again, his eyes fixed firmly upon the terrain ahead.

Following his gaze, Alice became immediately aware of the reason he was getting so worked up. You see, directly in front of the sleigh (they were approaching it at a frighteningly fast speed) was the biggest, darkest forest she had ever seen.

“Rarr, rarr,” the old man shouted, spurring the reindeer to gallop faster and faster. “Rarr, rarr,” he shouted again, wrestling to keep control of the reins.

‘We will surely drive right into those trees, and be smashed to pieces,’ thought Alice, ducking beneath the blanket, in fright.

For a split second Father Christmas looked across to Alice, to see that she was securely seated. Then shouting, roaring at the top of his voice, he said, “RARR, RARR, RARR” And with that, with one huge effort from his loyal reindeer, the speed of his sleigh increased exponentially and it rose from the icy cold ground, missing the trees by mere inches.

It was quiet up there, in the black of the night sky, and although Rudolf and his companions were still galloping at full pelt, not a sound could be heard from their hooves pulling on the cold air for traction.

Looking across to Alice, whose head was still tucked firmly beneath the warm blanket, the old man said, “I’m sorry if I gave you a fright, back there…”

Alice peered out from under her blanket and when she saw how high they had already climbed, she let out a gasp of astonishment.  “Are we really flying?” she asked.

“As sure as there is a Father Christmas,” he replied laughing.

Alice liked that; in fact she liked everything about the old man.  “It’s so quiet up here,” she said, looking tentatively over the side of the sleigh, into the inky darkness far below. “How high are we?”

“Not yet at our cruising altitude,” he said, “but when we have achieved it, we will be nine hundred feet, give or take a couple.”

“Nine hundred feet,” said Alice, in surprise that anything could be so high. “Is that as high as the moon?”

“No, I’m afraid that it isn’t.” Father Christmas chuckled. Then gazing up, he said, “The moon is over a quarter of a million miles away, not even my magical reindeer can get us that far.”

Alice laughed at the funny old man, and he laughed along with her.

“You can relax now, Alice, we’re at our cruising height, nine hundred feet,” said Father Christmas. “The air up here is as smooth as a hippopotamus’ hide.” And it was, they might well have been on the ground for all the sense of movement Alice felt.

“Where do you think he is?” she asked, feeling down, thinking she might never catch up with the hard-to-find Rabbit.

Stroking his bead, giving Alice’s question some considerable thought, the old man eventually replied, “It all depends…”

“It all depends on what?”

“On where you think he might be…” he replied. Uneasy with this answer, Alice asked him to explain further.  “You already know that things behave differently up here, in the north,” he went on, “how left can be right, and up likewise down.”

“Yes,” said Alice, recalling her conversation with King Tut.

“Being here for so much of the year, I tend to forget this, but for someone like you, Alice, on a mission, this is perhaps the most important piece of advice I can give…”

The old man said no more after that, nor did Alice, as they crisscrossed far above the icy cold wastes, searching for the Rabbit’s house.

And he was thorough, for hour after hour Father Christmas searched doggedly, trying to find the Rabbit’s abode, until the coming dawn, chipping away at the darkness, heralded a new day…

“I’m afraid that’s about it,” said the old man, finally admitting defeat (and tactfully saying nothing about Alice’s accident with the black cube). Pulling on the reins, Father Christmas said, “Come on, Rudolf, Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blixen – we have a home to return to…”

NO!” Alice shouted, surprising even herself by her forcefulness. “No, I must go on,” she said, her eyes desperately searching the bleak terrain far below. Then she saw something, something moving. Letting out a shout of wild excitement, Alice tugged at his sleeve, saying, “Look, Father Christmas, look, there’s someone down there.” And there was, far below, barely visible in the deep snow, a lone figure was moving silently through it, apparently oblivious of the eyes staring down on him.

“Let me off, please,” said Alice, feeling a newfound confidence in her quest to find the Rabbit.

Looking down at the figure, and with a great deal of uncertainty, Father Christmas asked, “Are you sure that you want to do this? You have no idea who he might be… You are more than welcome to stay in my workshop, especially with Christmas being so near.”

“Christmas so near?” said Alice. “But it’s not yet past October!” Putting the matter, for the time being at least, to the back of her mind, she said, “Yes, I am certain that I want to do it, to meet that person, whoever it might be!” After saying that Alice refused to say anything more on the subject, as she kept her eyes set firmly on the figure below.

“Rarr,” Father Christmas whispered to Rudolf, “Rarr,” he whispered again, guiding the sleigh to soft landing in front of the lonely figure.

It stopped; the figure, which had been making its way silently through the snowy terrain, stopped. Jumping out from the sleigh, Alice thanked the old man and his reindeer for the wonderful ride.

“Take this,” said Father Christmas, handing Alice another black cube (though this one being a great deal smaller than the first). “If you need me, you can use it to call.” Lifting the reins, shouting, “Rarr, rarr,” he guided the sleigh up and away. Alice watched as the nine galloping reindeer whisked the old man high into the early morning sky. He was gone.

After placing the cube safely into her coat pocket, Alice approached the silent figure. Straining to see its face (there were so many layers of torn and tattered clothing surrounding it), Alice said, “Good morning, my name is Alice, and I am pleased to make your acquaintance.”

It said nothing; the figure, its head lowered, remained eerily silent.

Undaunted, Alice repeated, “Good morning, my name is Alice, and I am plea–,” Alice froze in fright, for the creature had raised its head.

Staggering away, coughing, heaving with fright, from the terrible visage that she had seen – a skull and bones, that she had supposed to be human, Alice dove a hand into her coat pocket, trying to find the cube that she been given only minutes earlier. As her trembling fingers caught hold of it, and she withdrew the cube from her coat pocket, Alice began wishing so much for the old man’s speedy return.

She heard nothing; she saw nothing in the rapidly lightening sky, as all the while the brooding figure, slowly lifting its bony arm and even bonier fingers to where its lips should have been, whispered, “Wait…”

“Wait?” Alice whispered, afraid.

Whispering again, it said, “Wait…” Alice watched in horror as it pointed its bony arm and fingers ahead of them, into the heavily falling snow.

“What are you?” she asked, yet afraid to hear its reply.

Barely audible, it said, “I am Death…”

“Death?” Alice whispered, shuffling away, in her growing fear.

“Yes, Death,” it replied, “but also Life…”

Now this confused poor Alice, and she began to wonder whether the terrifying figure might perhaps be only a figment of that overactive imagination her parents were so fond of telling her she had. Having said that, the figure remained stubbornly present, so guessing that it had to be real, she plucked up enough courage to ask, “How can you possibly be both Life and Death, when the two things are such opposites?”

The figure, its breathing laboured, its bony arm outstretched, showing the way forward, said nothing else, it just glided away from her.

“Do you want me to follow you?” Alice asked quizzically. “I thought I was supposed to wait!”

Without answering her, without saying a single word, the figure continued on its way, through near whiteout conditions, and Alice obediently followed.

After the wonderful friendship and warmth of Father Christmas, not to mention his little helpers, Alice felt only an icy coldness from the skeletal being gliding over the ground, ahead of her. However, despite its foreboding demeanour, she so wished it would speak some more. She so wished it would say something – anything friendly – to cast away the fear she harboured that it was pure evil.  But it didn’t. It just kept on gliding; its bony arm outstretched before it, pointing the way forward…

The snow continued to fall, but Alice struggled on, doggedly following the frightening figure, picking her steps carefully in the treacherously icy conditions. It

was hard going, with no rest breaks, and only a bony, brooding figure for company, and with the faint hope that the White Rabbit’s little house might be somewhere ahead.

Alice walked. The figure glided. She was tired. It kept on going. She felt as if she had been following it for hours, as it continued moving, gliding over the ground a few yards ahead of her, without saying another word.

A blister began to form on Alice’s foot, and with each new step that she took it grew that little bit more painful, that little bit closer to the point where she feared she would have to say, she would have to shout, ‘NO, I can’t go on another step.’

Despite her acute pain, Alice forced herself on for another mile (or was it two?), until her blister, suddenly bursting, soaked her foot in its clear warm liquid, sending her crashing to the ground, in agony. “I can’t go on another step!” she shouted, “I CAN’T!”

The bony figure stopped; the travelling was over, the journey complete – but had the purging been done?

Finding herself outside a strange building, Alice was at her next destination. With no warning as to the how or the why, the pain in her foot suddenly stopped. She was so surprised by this she tore off her shoe and sock, to inspect the blister in fine detail.  As she gazed down at her bare foot, Alice was astonished to see that the blister had gone, that it had healed completely. “To be sure,” she said, “it’s gone. What a curious thing to happen, but then, come to think of it, hasn’t everything up here been curious?”

After donning her sock and shoe, Alice stood up and inspected the building she was outside. It was large, with leaded windows and ornately carved columns, one on either side of a tremendously sturdy front door. And attached to this door

there was a holly wreathe. “Perhaps Christmas really is near,” she said, feeling the prickly leaves with a gloved hand. “I wonder where I can possibly be?” she said, taking hold of the door knocker and giving it a good bang. “If there is anyone inside,” she said confidently, “they will be in no doubts at all that they have a visitor and, hopefully, I will be invited inside, where I can warm myself in front of their fire, away from this awful snow. Alice shivered at the mere mention of the word snow.

The door, creaking slowly open, invited Alice to enter. Seeing no one behind it, she asked, “Hello! Is anyone there?” But she received no reply. The wind began to pick up, sending the falling snowflakes through the open doorway and far into the building. “I will catch my death of cold if I remain out here,” said Alice, stepping into the eerily quiet building.

Making her way down a long corridor, Alice called out again, “Hello! Is anyone there? Is there anyone at home?”But for a second time she received no reply. Undaunted, Alice opened a white painted door at the far end of the corridor, and passing through it she entered a large room devoid of furniture.  The only thing within it was a crackling log fire in a grand old fireplace. “Well, at least I’m out of the cold,” she mused, warming her hands in front of the golden flames, “and away from that frightful figure. He had such dreadfully bony fingers, in fact he had such dreadful bony – everything.”

Out of the corner of her eye, Alice thought she saw something moving, a little mouse running. She looked again, and she was right, she had seen a mouse running, and it was still running, scuttling along the white painted skirting board, circumnavigating the room. Having nothing better to do, she decided to follow the little rodent as it disappeared beneath a door at the far side of the room.

Carefully opening the door, Alice tiptoed into the next room. Once inside (it was as sparsely furnished as the previous room), she caught another, fleeting glimpse of the mouse as it scuttled along the skirting board and then under the door at the far side.  Again showing no hesitation

or fear, Alice turned the handle, opened the door and passed through into the next room. However, unlike the previous ones, this room was anything but sparsely furnished – there was furniture absolutely everywhere. In fact there was so much furniture Alice had difficulty in finding a free place to stand, without bumping into something or other.

Holding her breath, keeping her tummy in, Alice tried to make her way through the jumble of furniture, squeezing past tall cupboards, presses, wardrobes and tables, until she arrived at an open area, to the rear, where two exquisitely carved chairs were standing.

“My, they are so beautiful,” she said, “I must try them out.” Sitting upon the first and larger one, Alice liked it enormously, but she felt it was perhaps a little too firm. So moving across to the second chair, she sat upon it, trying it out for size and comfort. “I do like this one,” she mused. “It’s so comfortable, I feel like taking a little nap.” Alice yawned and yawned again, and before long she had fallen fast asleep, snuggled up upon the wonderfully comfortable chair.

CONTD

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Alice in Wonderland Christmas story

Chapter Four

A Most Unexpected Encounter

After placing her foot onto the first step of the escalator, and then holding on tightly to the fast-moving banister, Alice began rising from the ground.

“This is indeed a fast escalator,” she said as she tried to admire the countryside that was soon far below. “It’s a pity it’s so fast, though, I might have enjoyed the view immensely if I had risen at a more leisurely pace.”

As the picturesque countryside grew smaller and smaller beneath her, the speed of the escalator increased, forcing Alice to hold on for dear life in the increasingly blustery conditions that she was exposed to. Nevertheless, Alice was enchanted by the many wonderfully coloured birds she saw flying above and below her, and all of them enjoying the weather more than her. “Oh, this wind is just too much, “she complained, trying to stop her hair from flying about as fast as the birds. With her hair flapping wildly in her eyes, Alice never saw the top of the escalator as she approached it. And tumbling ungainly off the top step, she made an ungainly entrance to the top of the world.

On hands and knees, Alice inspected the place she had entered, hoping to see the White Rabbit’s neat house, and thus putting her silly game of catch up at an end. But she didn’t. It wasn’t. All that she saw was snow, snow and yet more snow.

“It’s so cold up here,” she said, shivering, her teeth chattering like mad, “this must surely be the top of the world. I must have wished too hard, and gone all the way to the North Pole itself!”

It began snowing. At first Alice danced around in delight, marvelling at the beautiful particles falling upon her. But in spite of their beautiful appearance, these snowy particles were cold, so cold Alice soon realised that she had to find something warmer to wear, and fast. “A fur coat, a hat and some gloves are what I need,” she said, “lest I catch my death of cold out here. But where will I find such things, when all that I can see is snow?” Slapping her arms around her back, Alice tried her best to keep warm. “And a pair of fur boots, if I do say so myself, will keep my toes snugly warm,” she added.

The snow fell heavier and heavier, and thicker and thicker until poor Alice was almost totally covered by the white stuff. Shaking her head, setting free the white particles that had settled upon it, Alice wished and wished and then wished again, that someone – anyone – might come to save her from being frozen to death.

Bells, Alice heard the sound of bells in the distance. “Where are they?” she said, her eyes searching the frozen landscape, with intent. “Oh, where can they be?” she huffed, trying to see through the heavily falling snow. Then she saw something, Alice saw something coming closer and closer. “I wonder what it might be?” she said, straining her eyes, trying to see the mysterious object.

“Whoa, whoa,” a voice boomed, “whoa.”

Alice blinked; only half believing her eyes.

“Whoa, good, stay, stay,” the voice boomed out again.

“It’s a sleigh, a dog sleigh!” she said in sheer disbelief, watching as the fur-clad man settled his dogs, before making his way across to her.

“Here you are,” he said, offering Alice some fur clothes to put on. “And when you are ready, I will bring you somewhere warmer.”

Even though Alice had no idea who this man happened to be (he might well have been Jack the Ripper for all she knew), she obediently donned the fur clothes – coat, hat, gloves and boots – before jumping onto the sleigh and burrowing deep into the mountain of fur blankets heaped upon it.

“Rarr,” the man shouted, urging his dogs on, “Rarr,” he shouted again as the sleigh, with Alice snuggled warmly inside, disappeared into the blizzard…

When the sleigh had finally come to a halt, the same kindly voice as before said, “There you are, little girl, safe and sound.” Searching their way through the many blankets heaped high upon the sleigh, two large, timeworn old hands tried to locate Alice.

Peeping out from under the mountainous heap of warm, snug blankets, squinting in the bright light, Alice wondered where she had been taken, hoping against hope that it might, just might be the White Rabbit’s little house. “Where are we?” she asked.

The round-faced, bearded old man replied, “You are in Santa’s workshop, of course.”

“Santa’s workshop – are you sure?” she asked, her head turning round and round, inspecting the room, with curious eyes.

“I’m as sure as I can be,” the old man replied, laughing heartily, “considering the fact that I am Santa Claus”

“Santa Claus?” Alice spluttered (you see, she really did believe in him), recalling the wonderful present he had given her, last Christmas, the very same one she had asked for in the letter she had taken so much time to compose. “Are you really Santa Claus?” she asked.

The old man nodded. “Though, I have to admit that I prefer to be called Father Christmas. I’m a bit a traditionalist at heart. Santa Claus sounds so colonial.”

“And I am Alice, “she said, trying to find a way out from under the heavy blankets.

“I am pleased to meet you, Alice,” he replied, with a jovial laugh. “Let me help you,” he said, lifting her out from the sleigh, onto the heavily waxed floorboards.

Still struggling to believe that he really and truly was Father Christmas, Alice asked, “Where is your red and white suit?”

Chuckling, he replied, “That’s only for Christmastime – another import from our colonial friends across the water, I’m sorry to say. For the rest of the year I find these clothes more comfortable.” He pulled at his loose-fitting jumper and jeans.

Up until then Alice had not even noticed what the old man was wearing, but now that he had pointed them out, she laughed at the very thought of Santa – Father Christmas – wearing jeans and a woollen Fair Isle pullover.

“Why are you laughing?” he asked, truly ignorant of the reason.

“Oh, it just seems so funny,” she said, with a mischievous giggle, “you wearing such ordinary clothes.”

“I used to wear a green and white suit for Christmastime, in the old days,” he confessed. “I’ve been playing around with the idea of returning to that colour scheme – what do you think about that, Alice?”

“I think it sounds like a splendid idea,” she replied. “Much more Christmassy than red and white, if you ask me.”

Changing the subject, Father Christmas, clicking his fingers, said, “You must be hungry?”  Alice nodded that she was.

Two little men suddenly appeared (Alice assumed they were some of his elves), each carrying a tray, the first piled high with crispy, tasty-looking biscuits, and the other with the largest mug Alice had ever laid eyes on, full to the brim with piping hot chocolate drink. Bowing, they offered her the refreshments.

“Take them,” said the old man. “And there’s more where that came from. Oh, I almost forgot,” he said. “If you want sugar, just wish for it.”

After she had finished the wonderful repast (without having the need to wish for any sugar), Alice felt strong enough to resume her quest to find the Rabbit, but being in Santa’s – Father Christmas’s workshop, a thing that most children would give their eye teeth to see, she held back on saying so. And, anyway, she had so many questions to ask the old man, like what he did during the rest of the year, when the rush of Christmastime was over, and was he really considering returning to the green-and-white theme, she was in no rush to leave.

“I suppose you would like a tour of my workshop?” Father Christmas said, stepping away from the window he had been looking through. “It’s still snowing, out there, so you can’t be in any great hurry to go, can you?”

“I love the snow,” Alice replied. “But I do admit that I was getting a bit too much of it, before you saved me.”

“I found you,” the old man insisted. “You were in no real danger. There are so many of my elves out there, going about their business, I’m surprised that no one spotted you before I did.”

“Why were you out there, anyway?” Alice asked.

“Sport,” Father Christmas replied, “sport and exercise, to be precise.”

“But with dogs?”

“Of course,” he replied, “Now don’t get me wrong, reindeer are top dog up here (he laughed at this comment), but for sheer excitement, on the ground, you can’t beat a dog sleigh.”

“It was rather exciting,” Alice giggled, “even hidden beneath all of those blankets…”

Rubbing his long beard (you know, Alice was sure she saw rainbow colours shimmering within it), the old man asked, “And might I be so bold as to enquire what you were doing out there?”

That question returned Alice’s attention, and with a start, to the matter of the missing Rabbit, and she told Father Christmas her story, from the Rabbit’s sudden appearance, to how she had ended up being lost in the snow (though Alice omitted to say anything about her really being a grownup, with no idea how her adventure had begun).

“My, my,” said Father Christmas, rubbing his beard once again. Alice watched in amazement as some rainbow-coloured particles fall slowly from it. “That is quite a story.”

“It’s the truth!” she said, fearing he did not believe her.

“I am sure that it is,” he chuckled. “And it seems that you could do with a hand in finding this Rabbit of yours?”

“Oh, yes please,” she said clapping her hands with delight.

“I think we can kill two birds with one stone,” he said, clicking his fingers again.

“Kill two birds with a stone?” Alice asked, worried for the birds, wherever they might be (you see, she had never before heard this expression). He laughed; Father Christmas laughed his Merry Christmas laugh.

Three elves, entering the room through a small, green painted door that Alice had up until then not seen, approached the old man and listened to his instructions. Then exiting through the same door, they disappeared from sight.

“Where are they going?” Alice asked, watching the door close behind the last elf.

“I have asked them to ensure that everything is ready for our search,” he replied, standing erect in his jeans and pullover that Alice found so amusing.  Then strolling over to a regular-sized green painted door, adjacent to the smaller one, he asked, “Are you ready for your tour?”

Jumping up, Alice clapped her hands again, answering, “I still can’t believe that I am actually here, in Santa’s – sorry – Father Christmas’s workshop.”

“Come on,” he said, opening the door, leading the way through…

Passing through the doorway, Alice found herself transported (as if by magic) to a huge room – a workshop – where a multitude of elves, both male and female, were feverishly working on the toys for Christmas.

“I always wondered what you did during the rest of the year,” she said, marvelling at the piles of toys reaching almost to the ceiling. “It must take the whole year to make this lot!” Picking up a simple black cube, Alice asked, “What sort of a toy is this?”

“I was hoping you’d ask me that,” said Father Christmas, picking up another one of the cubes as he spoke. “It’s new,” he said proudly. “We developed it ourselves…”

“But what does it do?” she asked, confused by its simplicity.

“It’s a wishing cube…”

“A wishing cube?”

“Yes, go on, give it a go,” he insisted. “You never know what you might get…”

“I just wish for something?”

“That’s it – but don’t tell me what you are wishing for, it has to be a secret – go on…”

Alice thought hard and long of all the many things she might wish for, but in the end there was only one thing she felt important enough  – the whereabouts of the White Rabbit’s neat little house. So closing her eyes, she wished and wished and wished…

All of a sudden, Alice felt a tingling in her fingers, and this tingling slowly began travelling up her arms and into her body. Opening her eyes, she gazed at the cube; it was now filled with bright shining stars, too many to count. The cube then began fading away, slowly, slowly, until it had all but disappeared, but the stars, the wonderfully coloured stars, now growing in size and intensity, surrounded Alice. They began spinning, round and round they went, and faster and faster until Alice was feeling quite dizzy. Just as she was about to complain, to say how sick she was feeling, they stopped, giving her leave to study their full beauty. And they were so beautiful. Alice might have watched them forever. But this beauty, like all things in life, was transient, blurring and fading almost as fast it had appeared.

At first, Alice thought her eyes were playing tricks on her, but as the stars continued to blur, transforming into a foggy whiteness, she started to panic. “How will I ever see the White Rabbit’s house,” she bemoaned, “in this dreadful fog.” Forgetting about the invisible cube that she was still holding, Alice began waving her hands, trying to disperse the troublesome fog.  Crash! Falling from her hand, the cube struck the hard floor, shattering into thousand pieces, scattering the fog and with it any hope she had of seeing the Rabbit’s neat little house in the near future.

“Oh no,” Alice sobbed when she realised what she had done. “How will I ever find the Rabbit’s house, now?”

Two elves running across to Alice, one holding a brush and the other a dustpan swept up the broken pieces. Watching them sweep away the last pieces of cube, Alice felt hopeful again, and she said, “It was a cube – that’s

it! There are loads more! Oh, dear Father Christmas, can I please try another one?” she asked him hopefully.

Although he was a kind, caring man, Father Christmas replied, “I’m sorry, but afraid that you can’t…”

“I can’t?” Alice whispered, gazing across to the rest of the cubes on the table.

“I’m sorry,” Father Christmas continued, “but their magic will only work on each person, the once.”

Alice was devastated, to be so close to finding the whereabouts of the Rabbit, but to lose it for so foolish a reason was unforgivable.

Trying to take her mind away from the broken cube, to cheer her up, Father Christmas, putting his arm around Alice, resumed the tour of his workshop. As he took Alice around his workshop, showing her so many wonderful, fantastical toys she had never imagined it possible to make, let alone wish for, she forgot about the unfortunate accident.

As the tour drew to a close, Father Christmas called for his elves to come closer. “I am sure Alice would love to hear one of your songs,” he said.

“I would, I would,” she replied in all honesty.  The elves drew closely around them. “I know it’s not Christmas yet,” she said, “but might you sing me a Christmassy song, anyhow?”

After discussing it amongst themselves, the smallest elf, raising his hand, said, “Especially for you, we are going to sing ‘Oh, why wait for Christmas?’” After coughing discreetly, to clear their throats, they sang:

 

“Oh, why wait for Christmas when you can have it every day,

Be it June or September, March, April or May. 

The thing to remember is not the date or day,

But the feeling that goes behind it, so share it right away.

 

Enjoy your time for living; enjoy your time on earth,

A time for celebration, a chance to spend in mirth,

Each day will go brightly as you strike out forth,    

And all of this made possible because of the virgin birth.

 

Oh, why wait for Christmas when you can have it every day,

Be it June or September, March, April or May. 

The thing to remember is not the date or day,

But the feeling that goes behind it, so share it right away.”

Alice clapped; she clapped so much for the beautiful song the elves had performed – and especially for her. “Thank you,” she said, still clapping “Thank you so much, each and every one of you,” she added in true appreciation for their wonderful, impromptu performance.

“I think it’s about time we were off,” said Father Christmas, exiting the room, to the loading bay outside, where he approached his sleigh.

Following the old man, Alice asked, “Where did that come from?” Stroking his beard, he just smiled, releasing some rainbow coloured in the process.

Understanding that it was by magic, Alice said, “Can I say hello to the reindeer?”

“Of course you can,” he laughed, “And where better to begin than at the front?” Leading the way, he brought Alice to the head of the line of waiting animals, to the liveliest one, Rudolf.

“He’s a bit frisky,” she remarked as Rudolf reared up on his hind legs.

“He had some oats this morning – they all had some,” Father Christmas chuckled. “It always does that to them,” he said, chuckling again.

After Rudolf had settled down, Alice asked, “Can I pat him?”

As if he understood her every word, Rudolf lowered his huge antlered head, allowing Alice to pat him as much as she liked.

“He seems to have taken a shine to you, Alice. That one was always a good judge of character…”

“He’s lovely, just like I always imagined,” she replied.

“Come on, Alice, you still have to meet the rest of them,” said the old man, leading the way down the line of reindeer. “This one is Dasher and next to him Dancer. He can also be a handful, that one.”

Alice offered a hand to Dasher. He also lowered his head, ready for a pat. Not wanting to miss out on the attention, Dancer also lowered his.

“I told you he can be a handful,” said Father Christmas laughing.

“They’re funny,” Alice giggled, sharing her hands between the two friendly reindeer.

“Come on, we still have the rest of them to see,” said the old man making his way further down the line of reindeer. “Next we have Prancer and Vixen, then Comet and Cupid, and last but certainly not least we have Donner and Blixen.”

“I love them all,” said Alice, giving Blixen an extra special pat before following Father Christmas to his sleigh.

“Now up with you,” he said beckoning for Alice to step up.

Poor Alice did try to get up, into the sleigh, but the step was simply too high for her child-sized legs. Laughing, Father Christmas clicked his fingers. Two elves, carrying a small set of steps between them, ran over to the sleigh and placed them against it. Thanking them, Alice stepped up and boarded the sky vehicle.

As Alice settled into the comfortable bench seat, one of the elves climbed up and tucked her in snugly with a warm, thick blanket. Waving a goodbye, the little man jumped down from the sleigh. Before she was able to say Jack Robinson, Father Christmas was shouting, “Rarr, rarr,” and the galloping reindeer whisked them up and away into the cold of the night.

 

CONTD

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Puppies’ Christmas

Puppies’ Christmas
~ Anon

It’s the day before Christmas
And all through the house
The puppies are squeaking
An old rubber mouse.

The wreath which had merrily
Hung on the door
Is scattered in pieces
All over the floor.

The stockings that hung
In a neat little row
Now boast a hole in
Each one of the toes.

The tree was subjected
To bright-eyed whims,
And now, although splendid,
It’s missing some limbs.

I catch them and hold them.
“Be good”, I insist.
They lick me, then run off
To see what they’ve missed.

And now as I watch them
The thought comes to me,
That their’s is the spirit
That Christmas should be.

Should children and puppies
Yet show us the way,
And teach us the joy
That should come with this day?

Could they bring the message
That’s written above,
And tell us that, most of all
Christmas is love.

Alice in Wonderland Christmas

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Alice in Wonderland Christmas story and Cat Stevens Father and Son

Cat Stevens Father and Son (original)

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I penned the following variation of the song Father and Son, to mark the return of Cat Stevens/Yusuf Islam to the world of music and entertainment.

God bless him.

Father and Son, Part Two – Thirty Years On.

Father:
It’s now time to make a change,
Not relax or take it easy.
You’re grown up, that’s so good,
But there’s still so much to do.
You’ve a wife, and a child,
You settled down, and you married.
I am gone, though I’m gone, I am happy.

I can now recall a time, and admit it wasn’t easy,
To be calm in the turmoil we call youth.
But I have travelled, journeyed on,
To a time, a place we all can reach.
Where our yesterdays and morrows are at peace with today.

Son:
You don’t need to explain; though you’ve gone we are now closer.
Though the story’s the same, we have changed.
We were so caught up in talk it was impossible to listen.
It took me time, now I know I don’t have to go away.
I don’t have to go.

Father:
It’s now time to make change,
Get right on, embrace it.
You’re grown up, that’s so good,
But there’s still so much you can do.
You’ve a wife, and a child,
You settled down, you married.
I am gone, I am gone, but I’m happy.

Son:
No more times, wasted times, hiding truth I knew was deep inside,
It’s good, but even better in sharing.
Yes, they were right, I agree, I’m free to know you and me.
Now I can see and I know I don’t have to go away.
I don’t have to go.

(Optional Extra Verse)
Son:
My Father, you and I, we cannot, must not be kept apart in time,
We’ll soon be rejoined in the heavens.
Where time will be all gone; and thus unshackled from our minds
We’ll all be free, and we’ll know we don’t have to go away.
We won’t have to go.

*************************

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Alice in Wonderland on Top of the World

Alice in Wonderland Christmas

Alice in Wonderland Christmas

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Christmas: A Carol Betwixt

Free eBook

Christmas: A Carol Betwixt

A Christmas Carol

Courtesy of The Crazymad Writer

 

 
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Posted by on November 10, 2015 in A Christmas Carol

 

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A Time Comes In Your Life

A time comes in your life when you finally get it. When in the midst of all your fears and insanity, you stop dead in your tracks, and somewhere the voice inside your head cries out ~ ENOUGH!

Enough fighting and crying or struggling to hold on. And, like a child quieting down after a blind tantrum, your sobs begin to subside, you shudder once or twice, you blink back your tears, and through a mantle of wet lashes you begin to look at the world through new eyes.

This is your awakening.

You realize that it’s time to stop hoping and waiting for something to change or for happiness, safety and security to come galloping over the next horizon.

You come to terms with the fact that he is not Prince Charming and you are not Cinderella.

And you realize in the real world there aren’t always fairy tale endings (or beginnings for that matter), and that any guarantee of “happily ever after” must begin with you; and in the process, a sense of serenity is born of acceptance.

You awaken to the fact that you’re not perfect, that not everyone will always love, appreciate, or approve of who or what you are, and that’s okay. (They’re entitled to their own views and opinions.) And you learn the importance of loving and championing yourself; and in the process a sense of newfound confidence is born of self-approval.

You stop complaining and blaming other people for the things they did to you (or didn’t do for you) and you learn that the only thing you can really count on is the unexpected.

You learn that people don’t always say what they mean or mean what they say, and that not everyone will always be there for you; and that it’s not always about you. So, you learn to stand on your own, and to take care of yourself and in the process, a sense of safety and security is born of self-reliance.

You stop judging and pointing fingers and you begin to accept people as they are, and to overlook their shortcomings and human frailties; and in the process, a sense of peace and contentment is born of forgiveness.

You realize that much of the way you view yourself and the world around you is as a result of all the messages and opinions that have been ingrained into your psyche.

You begin to sift through all that you’ve been fed about how you should behave, how you should look, and how much you should weigh; what you should wear and where you should shop, and what you should drive; how and where you should live, and what you should do for a living; who you should sleep with, who you should marry, and what you should expect of a marriage; the importance of having and raising children, or what you owe your parents.

You learn to open up to new worlds and different points of view. And you begin reassessing and redefining who you are and what you really stand for.

You learn the difference between wanting and needing and you begin to discard the doctrines and values you’ve outgrown, or should never have bought into to begin with; and in the process you learn to go with your instincts.

You learn that it is truly in giving that we receive. And that there is power and glory in creating and contributing; and you stop maneuvering through life merely as a “consumer” looking for your next fix.

You learn that principles such as honesty and integrity are not the outdated ideals of a bygone era, but the mortar that holds together the foundation upon which you must build a life.

You learn that you don’t know everything, it’s not your job to save the world and that you can’t teach a pig to sing.

You learn to distinguish between guilt, and responsibility, and the importance of setting boundaries, and learning to say NO.

You learn that the only cross to bear is the one you choose to carry, and that martyrs get burned at the stake. Then you learn about love. Romantic love and the familial love. How to love, how much to give in love, when to stop giving, and when to walk away. You learn not to project your needs or your feelings onto a relationship.

You learn that you will not be more beautiful, more intelligent, more lovable or important because of the man or woman on your arm or the child that bears your name.

You learn to look at relationships as they really are and not as you would have them be.

You stop trying to control people, situations, and outcomes.

You learn that just as people grow and change, so it is with love and you learn that you don’t have the right to demand love on your terms just to make you happy. And, you learn that alone does not mean lonely. And you look in the mirror and come to terms with the fact that you will never be a size 5 or a perfect 10, and you stop trying to compete with the image inside your head and agonizing over how you “stack up.”

You also stop working so hard at putting your feelings aside, smoothing things over and ignoring your needs. You learn that feelings of entitlement are perfectly OK. And that it is your right to want things and to ask for the things that you want and that sometimes it is necessary to make demands.

You come to the realization that you deserve to be treated with love, kindness, sensitivity, and respect; and you won’t settle for less. And, you allow only the hands of a lover who cherishes you to glorify you with his/her touch and in the process you internalize the meaning of self-respect.

And you learn that your body really is your temple, and you begin to care for it and treat it with respect. You begin eating a balanced diet, drinking more water and taking more time to exercise. You learn that fatigue diminishes the spirit and can create doubt and fear. So you take more time to rest. And, just as food fuels the body, laughter fuels our soul. So you take more time to laugh and to play.

You learn that for the most part, in life you get what you believe you deserve and that much of life truly is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

You learn that anything worth achieving is worth working for, and that wishing for something to happen is different from working toward making it happen. More importantly, you learn that in order to achieve success you need direction, discipline, and perseverance.

You also learn that no one can do it all alone and that it’s OK to risk asking for help. You learn that the only thing you must truly fear is the great robber baron of all time. FEAR itself. You learn to step right into and through your fears because you know that whatever happens you can handle it, and to give in to fear is to give away the right to live life on your terms. And you learn to fight for your life and not to squander it living under a cloud of impending doom.

You learn that life isn’t always fair, you don’t always get what you think you deserve; and that sometimes-bad things happen to unsuspecting, good people. On these occasions, you learn not to personalize things. You learn that God isn’t punishing you or failing to answer your prayers. It’s just life happening.

And you learn to deal with evil in its most primal state ~ the ego. You learn negative feelings such as anger, envy and resentment must be understood and redirected, or they will suffocate the life out of you, and poison the universe that surrounds you. You learn to admit when you are wrong and to building bridges instead of walls.

You learn to be thankful and to take comfort in many of the simple things we take for granted, things that millions of people upon the earth can only dream about: a full refrigerator, clean running water, a soft warm bed, a long hot shower. Slowly, you begin to take responsibility for yourself by yourself; and you make yourself a promise to never betray yourself and to never settle for less than your heart’s desire.

And you hang a wind chime outside your window so you can listen to the wind. And you make it a point to keep smiling, keep trusting, and to stay open to every wonderful possibility. Finally, with courage in your heart and with Spirit by your side you take a stand; you take a deep breath, and you begin to design the life that you want to live as best as you can.

~Author Unknown~

 
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Posted by on December 10, 2014 in Christmas

 

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