A Christmas dummy
It was Christmas eve, 1952. I was four years old and my parents were in the local pub.
I was in my cot, gazing through the window at snowflakes the size of potato crisps, fluttering down from the sky, hoping for a white Christmas. I could hear Mantovani’s orchestra on the radio downstairs playing their number one hit single, “White Christmas,” and I pondered over what my mother said before leaving. If I went straight to sleep, Father Christmas would visit. He would take my dummy, but leave me lots of toys in its place.
By rights, I should have been excited as this seemed a fair exchange, but I was actually petrified of this rotund red giant with his bellowing “Ho-Ho-Ho,” and teeth like white marble grave stones. Nor did I relish the idea of him creeping around my bedroom. For all I knew, he could be a burglar disguised as Santa, and maybe the toys in his sack were actually stolen from the kids he visited? All this was pretty scary enough, but even more terrifying was, the fact I wouldn’t have my dummy to protect me.
I scanned the skies for signs of his sleigh, hoping Santa had cancelled tonight’s flight due to hazardous weather conditions.
Suddenly, a terrifying thought struck me. What if I couldn’t sleep? No way did I fancy meeting this character in the flesh. Chomping reassuringly on my dummy, I decided it would be best to hide under the blanket , figuring if I couldn’t see him, he wouldn’t see me. Finally, I drifted into slumber.
I remember nothing until my mother’s distant voice. “Wake up love, Santa’s been,” she said. I shot upright, wide eyed as I ripped open each parcel. I couldn’t believe it. All this and I still had my dummy. My plan had worked.