Santa’s Christmas Toolbox

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Santa’s gnomes always set about preparing for Christmas early : shopping, writing cards and making sure that the decorations were curly. Around about January, all the fairies started creating gifts extra – ordinairy. They hammered and nailed, painted and mailed until a huge pile of fantastic toys was made. The sailing boat created by the elves was so good, that when it snowed, off it sailed ! They all celebrated the launch with a tasty glass of fizzy lemonade. Whilst Mrs. Christmas was in the grotto kitchen,all the elves were busy stitching. As she was busy baking, Gerome the gnome was about to put the finishing touches to a doll’s house that he was making. “BANG ! BANG ! BANG !”, the chime of the hammer rang to the tune of “Good King Wencesles” being sang. Suddenly, Santa accidentally dropped something on his foot. Out popped a nail and a loose nut. Santa had knocked his wrench from off his workbench. “Ouch !”, he cried out in pain, trying hard not to put the other foot down and break the toy train. Before any more of his toes got broken, Santa only wished the world’s children would all settle for a book token !

But the best toy of all, was a chess set, which Santa polished regularly and kept on display in the Hall. When the postman came to call, the gnomes hid the new toys in Santa’s sack leaning on the wall. As piles and piles of Christmas cards were being posted through the letterbox, Santa, inside the grotto, quickly filled up mountains of stocking socks. That’s when disaster suddenly struck – as parts of the chess board became unstuck ! The Christmas fairy rushed to the door, with her magic wand – but it seemed nothing could fix the broken toy (not even a wave of her magic hand !). When Frosty the Snowman came to try and help, he only fell over and broke the hatstand !

What was needed quick was a pixi “fixy” trick ! As Mrs. Christmas went to get her knitting needles to repair the unravelling hole in their socks, Santa rushed to get his toolbox and the screwdriver that he usually used for mending broken locks. Santa kept his toolbox in the garden shed, next to the spade that he used to dig in the flowerbed. But whenever Santa went to get something off the shelf, he often tripped over an elf and hurt himself. As he banged his head – it made him see red ! It ought to have been the lawn – mower that was kept there, instead. The snow splattered, as Santa clattered down the garden path. A pane of glass shattered (as if only the broken chess board mattered), Santa crashed into the bird bath.

Santa’s toolbox rattled, musically, as he ducked beneath the snowy fir tree in the garden. Inside the grotto, Mrs. Christmas tried to mend the chess board with glue which she sat and watched harden. But it was useless, she only ended up covered in a sticky, gewy mess ! On each of her fingers was a piece of chess ! The King was on her thumb, the Queen was stuck to Mrs. Christmas’s glass of plum rum. Soon, the Christmases were having a real humdinger – about where Mrs. Christmas had lost the pawn, because it certainly wasn’t on her little finger ! The chess board, of course, was still broken in tiny pieces (just like piecing together a jigsaw, with one of Santa’s nieces).

Although Gerome the gnome tugged with all his might, the sticky chess pieces were still stuck on Mrs. Christmas’s fingers somewhat tight. He pulled so hard in a tug – of – war, the gnome took off in mid – flight and, in candlelight, crashed into the door. His buttons popped and his trousers tore ! He only hoped they had a new one, in the *** superstore. “Mend it ! Don’t bend it ! Getcha finger out !”, Santa shouted out to each of the elves running about, who came to help them out. Santa opened up the toolbox and tried some first aid (of course, fixing broken chess boards was all part of Santa’s toy – making trade !). Santa prayed for the chess board to make the grade – if it wasn’t fixed properly, he never would get paid ! All his knowledge of toys came in very handy – Santa hoped to get the job done quickly and sit by the fireside with a cold shandy. He hammered here and sawed there … soon sawdust flew everywhere ! A splash of paint and a lick of varnish – soon the chess board was sparkling swish more than a Christmas wish.

Santa challenged Gerome the gnome to a championship match – for a certificate that he could hang on the wall in a frame and if it looked like falling off, also catch ! After ten minutes Santa was bored (although chess was a game that Santa adored, the elf first scored !). Yet, since Santa still had to fix the mitre on the Bishop, his place in the final was assured. They still had to fix the winner’s cup, too, so like the chess pieces, that could get stuck on the mantlepiece with glue !

A surprised Santa quickly realised, the end was approaching to their demise : there was no spanner in his toolbox (had Mrs. Christmas borrowed it to get into one of her mince pies ?). Her gewy, gluey shortcrust pastry could sometimes be a little tough, it was true, but no – one had expected that her dough would be so rough, that Santa’s false teeth would become unscrewed, too. Or maybe the Christmas fairy had taken the spanner to throw at the cat … or to fix the broken door of the oven, because mince pies were that fat ! It was only on Christmas Eve, when Santa was getting into the chimney that he heard a clunk in his sleeve. As he put his hand into his pocket, something clanged like a rocket. Perhaps it was the noise made by the reindeers as they tip – toed along the roof. One of them could have accidentally skidded and kicked the television aerial with their hoof !. Santa wondered if it may have been the doorknob on the grotto, (perhaps one of the elves had tried to knock it, celebrating a win on the “lotto !”). But when, the Moonlight shone on the house, Santa saw something glisten – it was his spanner, that he’d trod on, as he dodged a mouse. He’d left it there, when he’d been fixing the drainpipe, yesterday. Thank Heavens that he’d found it – the **** superstore didn’t open until next Saturday !

© Jacqueline Richards 2008

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