I have been missing lately and it is all down to Santa. You see, I am one of the committee that runs Tregaron Christmas Fair and this year it was an intense couple of days.
This year was different though. Normally I would have a soft toy stall, but with the business closing I decided not to. Honestly, I don’t think I could have handled the extra work.
At the end of last year I picked up the costumes and took them back. They were in my care for twenty-four hours and cost a lot… So, I thought – I’ll make them next year.
This year Santa’s story started with a long length of red fabric. I thought about it before I made the suit though. After all, what I was creating was a story. I wanted Santa and his elves to create magic and tell a tale of Christmas. I was about half way through when I realised that I was sewing a story.
I was trying to create an illusion that made children believe in Santa. They had to think that this man was Santa and that the elves were really elves. So I create a character…
And it worked!
I hadn’t thought it was until I had a conversation with a five-year old…
Me: You going to see Santa?
Child: Yes…. Is he here?
Me: He is.
At this point the child’s eyes got huge and he started to jump from foot to foot.
Me: Did you hear that?
Me: It’s those reindeer again…. They are making too much noise on the roof.
Me: Oh, yes. He parked them on the roof and they keep stamping about. Can’t you hear the bells?
Child: No… Is that an elf?
He pointed at one of the elves. This one was in dark green with a red fur trim on her hat and tunic.
Me: It is.
Child: Why is it big?
Me: What do you mean?
Child: Elves are small and she is big.
Me: She is. But she has to be. Otherwise the larger presents would squash her. You see they are only small when they make the toys. So they can do all the intricate painting, on the face and stuff. But in our world they are big so they can help Santa.
The child had gaped at me and then the elf had called him through. He hesitated a moment and then mum and son moved forward. And she looked at me and at the elf and smiled.
In that moment I believed my own tale. Santa was real and he was here. The child truly believed and after seeing him the kid came down the stairs clutching the present. I know he had thought every word I’d said was true. There was no doubt. Santa was here.
I am a story-teller. That child showed me that even a few ideas spoken can tell a profound story. It just depends on the audience.