On Friday, I visited the Christmas Market in Birmingham and had the best time. I love how traditional all the markets are, all the gifts and food are handmade and the atmosphere is pure magic. This inspired me to write a little festive story which you can read below. Your thoughts on this are always greatly received and appreciated.
Merry Christmas everyone!
The city was engulfed in every colour light you could possibly imagine as evening drew in fast. The Christmas market was at its most magical at this time and no-one could walk past without so much as cracking even the smallest smile at the festivities.
Jolly the elf was skipping along the sparkling streets merrily, breathing in deeply to inhale the scents of Christmas spices, hot mulled wine and roast meats when he suddenly leapt into the air with joy and ended up face-first into a rather hard rubber-soled shoe. “Oh!” He exclaimed in surprise. Looking up, he saw a man, no older than thirty, he decided. “I am ever so sorry.” He apologised. The man simply shook his head, stood up and began to walk away. “Hey!” Jolly called. “Merry Christmas, sir!”
“Hmph.” The man grunted, without stopping or looking over his shoulder. Jolly blinked twice and followed the man. He ran and ran as fast as his elf-sized legs would carry him, took one leap and clung for dear life onto the man’s leg, just above the knee, causing him to stumble and finally stop. “What do you think you’re doing, you crazy…you crazy…” He burst out in exasperation.
“Elf?” Jolly suggested.
“Yes!” The man yelled.
“You mean you’re not bothered that there’s an abnormally small, magical creature talking to you right now?” He asked, rather taken aback.
“Don’t be ridiculous, this is all just some stupid Christmas joke somebody’s trying to pull off. Elf? As if!” He laughed bitterly.
“No it’s true!” Jolly began to explain. “Every year, Father Christmas sends some of his elves all around the world to spread the Christmas spirit and patrol the festivities and I can see that you, my friend, have a severe case of the Christmas blues.” He concluded.
“Christmas is for families.”
“What about your family?” Jolly asked sensitively.
“Mum died when my sister and I were small and we lost Dad in the New Year. Penny wanted a fresh start and moved to Canada in October. Christmas means nothing to me any more.” He told the elf downheartedly.
“Don’t you believe in Christmas miracles?”
“Miracles?” The man raised his eyebrows.
“Did you buy your sister a Christmas present?” Jolly questioned.
“No. She promised me she would pass on her address since she settled down but I’ve not heard from her in over a month and I don’t know when I’ll see her again so what would be the point in buying her a present?” He responded.
“Christmas miracles.” Jolly said again, so surely. “Come on, let’s go and look at the market and find something really special for Penny.” He smiled warmly.
“Alright.” The man said unsurely. “But on one condition.” Jolly looked at him quizzically and the man tapped his shoulder. “You’re like Hurricane Elf. Sit up here.”
“Hurricane Elf!” Jolly chuckled. He laughed even more. “Hurricane Jolly!”
“That’s my name.” He informed the man. “And you are?”
“Adam.” The man introduced himself. “Climb on, Jolly.” He said as he bent down. Jolly stepped onto Adam’s hand and climbed up his arm onto his shoulder. He nestled himself into the fawn woollen scarf Adam wore around his neck and declared himself ready to go.
On Jolly’s direction, Adam wandered down the fairy-lit streets, taking in the sights, sounds and smells of Christmas, starting to appreciate the time of year a little bit more than he had done half an hour ago. They explored all the stalls, looking at glass animals, scarves, confectionary, wooden toys, snowglobes, and decorative lights. There was so much to see and buy, so many beautiful gifts but nothing seemed quite perfect for Penny. The two wandered down the final stretch of stalls, with Adam’s Christmas spirit almost completely scuppered, when they came across a stall boasting the most beautiful Christmas decorations either of them had ever seen. The kind of decorations you would see on a Christmas card or read about in stories. The kind of decorations you could only dream of putting on your own tree. Adam and Jolly stopped to admire these decorations and all of a sudden, something caught Adam’s eye, the exact gift he had been looking for, though he only just realised this.
“That’s it!” He cried excitedly, his eyes lighting up. “See? The glass angel.” Adam gestured to the very back of the display, behind the ornamental reindeers in the very centre of an empty space, stood a single hanging glass angel no more than three inches high. She was so delicately made, her dress made with white crystals, her head and wings with the clearest glass and finally, her halo and the candle she held elegantly in front of her were a rich gold. “It’s perfect. Penny always loved to put the angel on top of the tree at Christmas.”
Jolly was beaming. “She’ll love it!” He confirmed. With no more convincing needed, Adam bought the angel and handed over the money. He took the wrapped decoration from the stall-holder and tucked it safely in the pocket of his felt winter coat. As they walked away, a single flake of snow fell and landed on Adam’s nose. “Snow?” He said, surprised. “We never have a white Christmas!”
“It’s a Christmas miracle.” Jolly grinned.
“Now if only I could get hold of Penny.” Adam sighed. He continued walking and the buzz of the Christmas market faded gradually as they got further and further away. He made a point of admiring all the decorations on each house as he made his way home, hoping desperately to hear from his beloved sister. The snowflakes seemed to multiply by the second and before they knew it, Jolly and Adam were in the midst of what seemed to have set in to be the first white Christmas for many, many years.
“Well, I believe my mission here is complete.” Jolly announced as Adam walked up the driveway to the house that was once his childhood home but was now simply the place he lived and no more.
“You’re going?” Adam asked, rather sadly, for had grown rather fond of the little elf.
“I must. Come on, Adam! It’s Christmas Eve. There’s still so much for us elves to do before tomorrow. Christmas spirit to spread, and all that.” Jolly explained as he got up. Adam gave him a helping hand down to the low garden wall.
“Thank you, Jolly, for all your help.” Adam said sincerely.
“It’s a pleasure. Good luck.” The elf held out his hand and Adam shook it. Before he had a chance to say another word, a sudden flurry of snow swirled around Jolly and he was gone.
Adam exhaled heavily and fumbled in his pocket for the house key. He unlocked the door and stepped inside, placing his wallet and keys on the wooden table in the hallway as he always did.
“Merry Christmas, Adam.” A voice said to him from behind. Adam whipped round in surprise and felt a wave of joy and relief as he saw his sister stood in the living room doorway. He immediately flung his arms around her.
“Penny! I’m so glad to see you!” He exclaimed. “How are you?”
“I’m fine. Listen, I’m so sorry I’ve not been in touch. I just needed to get away for a little while, shut everything out, all the memories…” Penny confessed, a single tear rolling down her cheek. Adam insisted that everything was fine, that he did not blame his sister for her feelings at all. Remembering the gift in his coat pocket, Adam released his sister from the embrace and found the small parcel.
“Here.” He said, handing the small, wrapped packet to Penny.
“What’s this?” She asked as she unwrapped the silver tissue paper. Penny gasped in delight as she saw the angel and embraced her brother once more.
“It’s a Christmas miracle.” He whispered.
A Christmas Miracle by Rebecca Jayne is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.