Santa’s Christmas Washing Day

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One Christmas, Santa got a new washing machine as a present. He really had only wanted perhaps a book token, or expected a teddy bear, (even one with only one eye would have been better than the broken fishing rod that he got last year). Some dumbells that weighed a ton would have been alright, but this year’s present was very handy : a new washing machine – great for getting all the house – keeping done, that he found beneath the Christmas tree on 25th December night.

“Great !”, Santa thought, looking forward to washing day, as he quickly got started straight away, sorting out the coloureds from the whites (even if the different piles of clothes got mixed up, he washed them anyway !). After a trip around the world, of course, his boots were rather muddy. So Santa could hardly wait to jump into a hot bath, all bubbly, fresh and suddy ! He wanted to get rid of the bit of grit he’d picked up in China and some dirt from Asia Minor. Some grease from near Greece, and some dust, Santa scrubbed and dried all the clothes in a North wind gust.

To lift a week’s dirty clothing took a great deal of strength. Then, Santa studied the manual at great length. Before Santa’s cleaning could begin, he turned the washing machine motor to fast spin. He’d never had so much fun as the Christmas that he spent washing machine – ing ! and then got all the ironing done. The numbers dial was a little bit confusing. Was twenty or forty the best temperature to do the washing ? All the stains on his red and white suit weren’t at all amusing ! Every gnome had a shirt, every Christmas fairy had a skirt. All of them covered in grotto dirt. So, swish … swash … swish … swash … there was rather a lot to wash … Santa slipped in a puddle and cried, “Gosh !”.

As the washing machine began to spin louder and louder, Santa noticed that in his Christmas stocking, there was also some powder. Santa checked the news on the television, to make sure that the weather report wasn’t going to be dull. He piled up all the damp clothes into a basket – soon, it was completely full ! Santa shook the drips off the clothes and caught one or two of the elves, with his wet throws. But they didn’t mind being splashed at all, since soon, some of Santa’s Christmas magic was squashed inside the watery bubbles, like a crystal ball. It was only later that the gnomes realised that magic had occured, when their hats flew off, as the wind stirred, faster than the robin bird.

As soon as the Sun started to shine, Santa hung all the gnomes’ clothes out on the washing line. There were in total, nearly one thousand stockings that he had to dry. But luckily, there was a warm gail blowing in the sky. One of the soapy bubbles floating through the air caught some of the fairy’s magic as it floated off everywhere ! Before long, there were Christmas tricks being performed here and there. The pegs jumped from out of the bag as if they had legs, then fastened themselves on the washing line one by one, magically hanging up every single rag in the Sun. The washing line made a great skipping rope, the reindeers found, though they often skidded on soap !

In each drip, that tumbled to the floor, some of the fairy magic dropped some more. It watered Mrs. Christmas’s flowerpots with so much magic that they grew and grew.

Even though the washing was still soaked through, as the wind strongly blew, a thousand Christmas angels appeared and over the dryer flew, (doing washing day magic as only fairies can do). Frosty the snowman was mending the sledge and watching the icicles harden on the rooftop ledge. Along the hedge in the grotto garden, the Christmas imps started to dance. There was a patch on Santa’s pants, which covered a hole, where he’d ripped them in France. The seam was torn where Santa had delivered presents to children in the jungle and been chased by elephants. But luckily, the imps carried a magic needle and thread, by chance. They stitched all the buttons that had fallen off and embroidered the gnomes’ clothes. A cut here and a cut there, they re – fashioned Santa’s trousers until they were like new. The Christmas that Santa got a washing machine as a present, everyone in the grotto got dressed up much more than usual, though they were soon splattered with magic soap bubbles, too !

© Jacqueline Richards 2008

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