Monday, December 9, 2013


Welcome Victoria,                                         

Thank you so much for sharing this adorable Santa memory with us. Your dad sounds like quite the clever and inventive man.

Take it away.

Victoria Chatham
 We decided to spend Christmas at my parents’ house which caused great consternation amongst my three young children.

How would Santa know where they were? And, because Gran and Gramp didn’t have a proper fireplace, how would he get down the chimney? Assured by me and their father that Santa always knew where good boys and girls were and being so magic could get down ANY chimney, we set off.

The children reviewed the offending fireplace, a circa 1970 coal-effect three-bar electric fire set into a tiled surround with a small hearth, still unconvinced that anything good could possibly come from this defection from the norm. My Dad, however, had a grand scheme.
On Christmas Eve the children watched him roll out a sheet of paper on the hearth, set on it a glass of milk and a cookie for Santa and a dish of coloured sugar strands, those used to decorate cakes, for Santa’s fairy helpers, and assured three still disbelieving children they would see for themselves the following morning that Santa could, indeed, get down any chimney.
Once the children settled down and finally fell asleep, he set to work. Taking out his whittling knife and a circular eraser, the like of which I never saw before or since, he carved tiny foot prints around the outside edge of the eraser. Next, he took his hiking boots outside to the site of his garden bonfire and pressed the heavy-treaded soles into the ground, coating them with a mixture of dirt, soot and ashes. The boots were then marched over the paper, looking for all the world as if Santa just stepped out of the chimney and walked across the hearth to sample his treats.

The little carved eraser wheel received the same treatment. Dad whizzed the wheel this way and that across the paper, running his gadget between Santa’s footprints before finally scattering some of the sugar strands across the paper, off the hearth and onto the carpet. Messy fairies! He ate the rest of the strands, along with the cookie out of which he took just one bite and left the rest crumbled beside the glass, now drained of its contents.  

Christmas morning dawned bright and clear, and far too early for the adults in the house but we had to get up and follow the children downstairs. They pushed open the door – and fell silent. They ignored the massive stack of gifts making the room look like Aladdin’s cave and made their way to the hearth. They pointed out the fairy footprints and the scattered sugar strands,   Santa’s big boot print, the empty glass and the cookie crumbs. Wide-eyed with wonder, they all began talking at once, thrilled that Santa really had found them. 

I’m not sure who enjoyed that Christmas the most but, even after my children were old enough to handle the truth about Santa, they never forgot the magic of it. Thanks, Dad. 
Thanks to dad, Santa didn't miss them after all. A treasured memory, I'm sure.
Books by Victoria can be found HERE
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  1. What a beautiful story, brought a tear to my eye.



    1. Thanks, Margaret. It was for sure a special Christmas that year.

  2. Replies
    1. Like so many grandads, my Dad loved spoiling my children by doing and making different things for them.

  3. I love the fairy footprints! (And the eraser-on-a-wheel used to be standard issue when architectural and engineering drafting was done with pencil and paper. I might even still have one somewhere. And I have really dated myself now.)

    1. Thanks for the info on the eraser. And that would make sense given my Dad's occupation in an engineering field at the time.

  4. What a wonderful Christmas memory!

  5. Lovely story, talk about the true meaning of Christmas. :)

    1. I don't think any of us remembered what we had for Christmas that year, and the story of the fairy footprints was told so many times at school that I was asked to go in and tell my kids' teachers what it was all about.

  6. That's beautiful! Be sure to print that one out and put it in the family scrapbook!