Thursday, 24 December 2015

Blogmas - The Man Behind the Myth

Everyone knows Santa. At least I hope you do. Surely you must do...he's the most famous man on the globe. Yes, even more famous than Kanye West or Barrack Obama or Benedict Cumberbatch. He's the man who brings hope and gifts to children everywhere. You know, the old one, in the red suit with the beard as white as the snow we always hope for on Christmas day.
But he wasn't always old! In fact, once upon a time, little Nicky Claus was a young boy.

A lonely little boy. No brothers, no sisters, not even a friend. He lived in a tiny village somewhere in the freezing cold wastelands of the very north. And all he had to keep him company was a smelly old dog called Rudolph.

They would often go walking together throughout the village and the surrounding woods. As he went, Nicky would wave at his neighbours who all smiled and waved back. They all adored him. He was sweet and polite and they felt faintly sad that he had no friends his own age.

To try and make him feel happier they would often give him gifts. A pair of shoes from the cobbler, a warm cake from the bakery and seeds for his vegetable garden from the general store. Other families might give him a piece of wood they had carved into a figure, or a new collar for Rudolph or a cup he could use every day. He was so sweetly grateful in response that they would give him more and more gifts until he barely knew what to do with them all.

One day, he had reached the woods on one of these walks. It was a freezing cold day in November and he was wrapped up warm in a coat and gloves and a hat. But it was beautiful too. The snow glinted in the trees, reflecting the pale winter sunlight so it danced around in front of him. He crunched onwards, looking up all the time and was so engrossed by the beautiful winter scene that surrounded him, that he barely noticed where he was going. Before he knew it, he realised he had tramped further into the wood than he had ever done before and had no idea where he was.

He didn't panic though  - after all, Rudolph was with him - and instead he pressed on. As he walked deeper and deeper into the wood, he become more entranced by the nature around him. Until suddenly, the trees became gradually thinner and he was out the other side.

Below him, at the bottom of a fairly steep hill, was another village that looked very similar to his own. He and Rudolph approached it cautiously, nervous of what they might find. Or who they might find. They'd never met anyone from outside their village before.

As they entered, Nicky noticed a little girl sitting on the ground.
'Who are you?' she asked 'I haven't seen you before!'
'I'm Nicky. Who are you?'
'I'm Donna.'
There was a pause as she looked him up and down.
'You came from the wood' she said at last 'Do you live there?'
'Of course I don't. I live in the village over the other side of the wood.'
'There is no village there. And the woods are dangerous, everyone says so.'
'No they're not! I can show you if you like.'

She agreed so Nicky led the way back through the wood and showed her his village and everyone who lived in it were so happy that he had a friend that they started giving her gifts as well.
'Wow!' she cried 'Thank you so much! I have never been given a present before!'

Throughout the next month Nicky and Donna (and Rudolph) became the best of friends and were barely seen apart. They often played in the woods and she introduced him to lots of other children who lived in her village.

Nicky found out that none of them had ever received a gift either. So, one day, in late December, he and Rudolph to decided to plan a surprise for them.  As normal, all his neighbours had given him gifts. But instead of using them, he had stored them away in a sack under his bed. And very early one morning he set off through the wood.

He walked on and on until he reached the other village. Normally when he reached it, he would find Donna immediately and they would go somewhere to play together. Not today though - it was still so early so she was probably asleep. He wandered the village alone and by every house he left a little present on the doorstep for one of the children. Something they needed. Shoes for the child who always went without, a cake for the boy who only ever ate bread, a brand new collar for the girl who was always chasing after her puppy and so on and so on, until all the children had something.

He knew how wonderful it was to receive a present and from that day forward he vowed no child would ever go without again. And so it all began...

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