A Christmas Fairy or Five

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I came across this poem by Winifred Sackville Stoner Jr and loved it!  It’s called the Five Best Fairies and I particularly like the first verse.

The  joyous CHRISTMAS SPIRIT
Is flying through the air,
He’s  in our homes and in our hearts,
About us everywhere.
We  see him in the night time
When we have gone to bed,
Sitting  on our pillow,
Or floating round our head.
We  hear him in the morning
As soon as we arise,
“Don’t  forget the aged
And little ones,” he cries.
“If  you are well and happy
Still happier you’ll be,
If  you will open wide your heart
And say ‘COME IN’ to me.
I’ll  tell you of your neighbors
Who are both ill and sad,
But  who by deeds of kindness
You may make very glad.
And  for your Christmas presents
Oh, how I hope and pray
That  Earth’s five best good fairies
To you will come and stay.”

“The  first is GOOD HEALTH FAIRY,
Whose aid all mortals seek,
For  he is life’s elixir
And gives strength to the weak.
Without  this gracious fairy
No one can ever know
A  single hour of perfect peace
Away from GOBLIN WOE.
So  treasure this good fairy
And keep him safe with you,
For  he will be a faithful friend
And one that’s ever true.

“I’ll  ask GOOD COMFORT FAIRY
To all your wants give heed,
So  you may never suffer
From dreaded SPECTER NEED.

“A  third most precious fairy
I know will stay with you
If  you have HEALTH to make you smile
And MEANS so you may do
The  little deeds of kindness
And little acts of love
Which  bring true gladness to this earth
From radiant realms above.

“With  health and comfort and true love,
No fairies, it would seem,
Would  be quite necessary
To make this life a dream,
But  as most every mortal
Has hopes of great success,
Reaching  high for certain goals
Toward which they go in quest.
I  pray SUCCESS, the fairy,
Will help to win your part
In  everything you undertake,
In finance, science, art.

“Now,  with good health and comfort
And love and great success,
There  always travels side by side
THE  FAIRY HAPPINESS.
Oh,  may these five good fairies
Forever dwell with thee,
And  then you’ll be as happy
As any one can be.”

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A Tree Without Presents

Written for my son’s first Christmas with memories of my childhood Christmases

“When is it going to be Christmas Mummy?” I had asked this question every day, sixteen times a day since half term was over.  

“Christmas is ages away yet…you’ll just have to wait.”

“But it’s been ages since the last one! Why can’t we have Christmas every day?” I never got an answer to that – grown ups just laughed and patted me on the head.

Finally the time got nearer and nearer and exciting things happened at school like nativity plays and Christmas dinner. The tree went up at home which I was allowed to help with. Baubles, tinsel, fairy lights and all good things.

“But where are all the presents Mummy? The tree has nothing under it. Does this mean we haven’t been good?”

“Father Christmas brings the presents on Christmas Eve so we’ll have to wait and see if he’s brought anything for us.”

“When is Christmas Eve Mummy?”

“Tomorrow.” I gave a little jump of joy.  

Tomorrow came. It was time for Father Christmas to bring his presents. I waited all day long and nobody rang the doorbell or left packages on the doorstep. Where was he?

We had lots of jobs to do…shopping to do and things to pick up. Mummy didn’t seem concerned that we hadn’t had any presents yet.

“When is Father Christmas coming Mummy?”

“He comes during the night when you’re fast asleep, but you have to promise to go to bed on time and sleep all night – he knows when you’re awake! Now shall we make him some mince pies? Do you think we’ve got enough carrots for the reindeer and brandy for Father Christmas? Did we get the magic reindeer food to show him where to land his sleigh?”

The day was going so slowly….we all cuddled on the sofa to watch a film and drink hot chocolate. The tree looked so pretty twinkling in the corner. How much better it would look if there were presents though!

We put the carrots and a mince pie on a little plate with a small glass of brandy. “Does Father Christmas really like brandy Mummy?” It smelled revolting!

“Oh he loves it!” She assured me.  

“But if he eats mince pies in everyone’s house he’ll never fit down the chimney!”

“Ahh but you forget that Father Christmas is magical and he can do anything.”

It seemed like night time would never come. I was so excited that I knew I wouldn’t sleep. Bath time and pyjamas and a glass of milk; my stocking was ready on the end of the bed. Mummy and Daddy lay on my bed with me to read The Night Before Christmas.

“Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.”

By the time Father Christmas was wishing everyone a good night my eyes were closing. I could see my flat empty stocking lying across the bottom of the bed. Would he come? Would I get to see him? What did he really look like? Zzzzzzzzz

I woke up sleepily not knowing where I was for a second and felt a heavy weight pinning my legs down. It was Christmas! “Mummy he came!” I ran into their room with my heavy stocking and jumped on the bed to open all my presents in a mess of wrappings and bows. “Wait I have to check something.” I zoomed downstairs. I peered in the lounge half expecting to see Father Christmas snoozing on the sofa. The mince pie was gone with just some crumbs left, the carrot too and the brandy was half gone and I turned to look at the tree and there was a MOUNTAIN of presents under it in every colour and size. I sat and stared in wonder and thought that now the Christmas tree looked just right. It was Christmas.   

 

Christmas Shopping Scrooge

Full of Christmas cheer, I went forth into the shops, and I am a person who loves Christmas.  It wasn’t long though before I was transformed into Scrooge and was muttering “Humbug” under my breath!  The queues; the unhelpful shop assistants; the grumpy faces; the children screaming; the Christmas CD playing on the tannoy; the inability to find anything decent to offer as a gift.  Grrr!

“What’s Christmas time to you but a time for paying bills without money; a time for finding yourself a year older, but not an hour richer…If I could work my will every idiot who goes about with ‘Merry Christmas’ on his lips should be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of Holly through his heart.”  Scrooge, A Christmas Carol, Dickens 

Scrooge, from Charles Dickens: A Christmas Car...

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That was pretty much how I felt coming out of the car park (again a queue to get out!).

However, as I say, I love Christmas.  I got home and my lovely boyfriend had made me a Christmas CD which we put on; we decorated the tree and turned my flat into a Christmas grotto.

“I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.  I will live in the Past, the Present and the Future.” As above

Some seasonal snippets

“Dumb Cakes were a Christmas tradition reserved exclusively for single young girls keen to know who their husband would be.  On Christmas Eve, maidens would make a cake in complete silence, place it in the oven and, at the stroke of midnight, open the front door.  If they were in luck, their husband-to-be would appear, walk through the door and turn the cake.”  Taken from Schott’s Christmas Miscellany

I love this idea of a man just appearing like that – he was probably on his way home from the pub and smelled the cake cooking!  But what happened to the girls who had no-one coming through their front door?  Poor things…destined to bake in silence and stare out of the front door.  At least they had a cake to comfort them.   God bless Mrs Pankhurst!

So once the girls have baked their cakes in silence and their dream fellow has come through the front door, it’s time to bring on the mistletoe!  Not so quick though – they’ve only got as long as the berries last!

English: Mistletoe (Viscum album) in Northeast...

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“The custom of kissing under the mistletoe may be linked to the superstition that the plant had unique powers of fertility.  One tradition is that every time a kiss is obtained under the mistletoe, a berry is removed; once the berries are gone, the kissing must stop.”  Also taken from Schott’s Christmas Miscellany