Letters from Father Christmas, long a staple in the Batchelder family holiday tradition, had always been received on or before Christmas Eve. The letters, usually a recant of the past year’s events, were always filled with humor and truth as befitted The Jolly One, and individualized to fit each recipient.
This year, however, it was December 27th, and the Batchelder family was still not in receipt. Needless to say, the absence of said letters has cut deep into the frivolity of the holiday, leaving the elder members grasping at straws in an attempt to soothe the younger with possible excuses.
“I don’t need an excuse!” proclaimed Lucinda, the eldest at sixteen, from her perch on the window seat, as she twisted feverishly at a lock of hair in precursor to a meltdown. “What I NEED is my letter from Father Christmas, and I will sit here until I get it!”
“Oh my!” “Oh Dear!” “What shall we do?” the frustrated cries of the elders rang out. With no solution forthcoming, father stoked the fire, mother put the kettle on, Grandy took up her embroidery hoop and none of them even noticed when twelve-year-old Timmy snuck up the backstairs.
“Dearest Lucinda,” Timmy wrote in his very best cursive, “Father Christmas apologizes for the lateness with which you will receive this letter, but he has been poorly and volunteers have had to be called in to do some of his letter writing for him. I personally volunteered to write yours.”
“The fact that you have developed quite nicely over the course of the past year has not gone unnoticed. Nor has the fact that you have become unduly preoccupied with thinking about boys. Those hours you have spent gazing at yourself in the mirror have been taken into account too.”
“Therefore, Father Christmas has decided to send you a boy for Christmas this year. And being a boy myself, I have personally volunteered for that too.” He signed it Your Neighbor, John Pennyman and added the P.S. “If you kiss me you will live forever” -just for good measure.
Satisfied that his efforts would extricate Lucinda from the window seat and the rest of the family could finally open their presents and enjoy a proper Christmas dinner, Timmy slipped back into the parlor, equally unnoticed, to await the arrival of the postman. Surely, no one would be the wiser.
© 2019 Violet Lentz
You can read more Violet’s work at Thru Violet’s Lentz.