Christmas Confusion written by Elizabeth Langford November 2023

Elizabeth Langford November 18, 2023
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Naomi shivered as the rain massaged her slumped shoulders Naomi shivered there was something that is different her eyes were cast down as she wound her way through the familiar dark forest on her normal way home from school it was the last day of classes before the holidays but she wasn’t feeling excited and she wasn’t in a hurry to get home there was something strange about the day and Naomi struggled to understand why she frowned at something ahead of her and she cocked her head to one side something suddenly caught her eye she squinted into the wet and miserable day she noticed a glowing light ahead of her she narrowed her eyes towards the strange light it was coming from a very special Christmas tree that she’d never seen before this is my forest how in the world have I never seen this tree before? Naomi wondered in amazement it was crooked tree leaning slightly towards her with a tangle of the roots that met just above her head it created a perfect cave she walked hesitantly up to the tree she could almost walk right through it as she explored it a little closer Naomi noticed that it was more like a tunnel than a cave wow Naomi she said aloud as she marvelled at the tree her hands explored the rough bark and she slowly shuffled forward into the tree tunnel there was sunlight beaming through the other side if Naomi thought long enough she would have realised that there was no bright sunlight on this miserable dark day but she was spellbound and herself moving towards the sunlight but she walked into the tunnel of roots Naomi suddenly felt her world slipping away from her as she was thrust forward she was meeting pickle sweet she bowled head first into bright sunlight with her breath held the story was true she went twisted and turned and in a flash it was all over she landed on something cold but incredibly soft as if landing on a soft pillow of whipped cream on the other side of the tree she squinted as her eye got used to the light she brought her hand to her face to protect her eyes from the brightness the sky was a vibrant shade of turquoise and the ground shimmered white Naomi stood up and stepped slowly into this snowy cold world and she involuntarily wrapped her arms around her body tightly as her eyes adjusted to the brightness she realised that she stood on a snowy ledge above a village of miniature houses she frowned as she watched a tangle of green and red moving objects far below her she was usure what they could be she felt a pull towards them and knew with certainly that she was going to find out Naomi had to get closer she turned around and faced her strange tree that stood strangely firm in this white dusted land now don’t you dare go anywhere she instructed the tree a branch shook with a sudden burst of wind and it seemed that it had a sled hanging from its branches amazing she breathed this will be awesome Naomi grabbed at the sled and threw it on the ground she had always been known as a bit of s daredevil and today was no difference she threw herself headfirst onto the sled and hurtled down the mountainside at top speed towards the strange little village below Naomi screamed as she came to an abrupt halt she opened her eyes to see the shoe of a particularly large elf no it couldn’t be could it? an elf? her eyes slowly lifted upwards as she took in the elf’s as stripy green and red tights his big black buckle his green shirt and his big friendly eyes on his head stood the crooked and green had of an elf now Naomi knew it was true she was in the heart of Santa’s Christmas village elves stood everywhere staring in disbelief at this strange girl lying in the snow Naomi rose unsteadily to her feet and she looked at the elf Naomi was a whole head taller than the elf she slumped down and her hand out how do you do? she said politely my name is Naomi her voice shook with uncertainty the elf rose an eyebrow but he didn’t say a word there was this beautiful tree that Naomi was suddenly cut short well why didn’t you tell us the little elf shrieked as if a tree explained everything there was a little fairy appeared in front of her who was called Geraldine suddenly elves chattered happily and busied themselves around her the fairies were very kind in a haze of red this is a little tale they chatted quickly and loudly to each other racing here and there and everywhere Naomi’s chin dropped open as she took in this unbelievable scene in front of her the elf that had met Naomi first pulled her close to him and he guided her as he spoke to he in a high pitched squeak nice to meet you Naomi I’m Pickle sweet well it is a surprise to see you today of all days It’s almost as if that tree knows what am I saying it always knows I don’t know it does but it always does you mark my words that tree will be fixing our problems forever sorry Naomi shook her head problems? you mean I’m here to fix a problem? well it’s Santa you see something quite peculiar has happened something peculiar? to Santa? Naomi said uncertainly slowly calculating the days until Christmas but there is only five days until Christmas that’s right but you know what to do I do? Naomi shook her head I’m just an ordinary kid that walked through a cool tree I must’ve bumped my head she pinched her arm and the elf looked at her quizzically she sighed what do I know? oh that tree knows all right it’s no coincidence Naomi ducked as they walked into a little coffee shop they ordered a marshmallow sandwich and some chocolate honey tea so she took a deep breath and leaned forward with baited breath what is the problem? well there was a tickle fight in the factory Santa was there of course he always starts the tickle fights but there was some liquid laughter that was spilt on floor and some candy canes and a little icicle dust and Pickle sweet fiddled with his napkin silently go on Naomi encouraged oh Naomi he exclaimed in a piercing squeal he fell and bonked his head and at first we thought he was ok but now he’s bouncing everywhere and hiding all the presents for girls and boys Naomi took a moment to process what Pickle sweet had said I don’t understand Naomi said slowly he thinks he’s the easter bunny Pickle sweet whispered wildly the easter bunny Naomi exclaimed she shook her head sadly as she pondered the dilemma Santa hopping around hiding presents instead of delivering them well that was one mighty a big problem but how could she fix it? Naomi grabbed Pickle sweet by his shoulders as an idea popped into his head first things first we must gather up all those toys he has hidden shall we try to convince him that we’ve hidden the presents and he needs to find them? like a confused bunny? Pickle Sweet made a funny face it’s a crazy idea but Santa is crazy right now and it just might work Pickle sweet grabbed Naomi by the hand as pixies dust exploded behind Pickle sweet and they gathered speed and then there they were standing in front of an enormous factory the walls were made of marbled maple and were carved with beautiful pictures of happy children gazing up at Santa’s sleigh and all this reindeer the building shimmered like it was alive Naomi’s mouth dropped open wide as she took in the sight it was beautiful suddenly there was a loud bang from inside the factory and hundreds of screaming elves came racing out of the factory almost bowling over Naomi and Pickle sweet what happened? Naomi shouted to no one in particular what is going on? Pickle sweet pulled the nearest elf towards him Pickle Sweet pulled the nearest elf towards him and demanded to know Eek the elf shrieked looking over his shoulder at the factory his voice shook as he told his story we were super droopier busy making all the tiny playmobile characters and tiny Hachiman animals for all the boys and girls and suddenly, suddenly tears started forming his eyes yes Naomi encouraged gently Santa came out of nowhere and scared us all with a loud bang we all started to run because as everyone knows elves are easily scared but I looked over my shoulder and I saw Santa gathering up all the finished toys and running all over the place hiding them right said Pickle sweet that does it it is time for the operation confused bunny Naomi slowly pushed open the giant factory doors which were strangely lighter than a candy cane Santa appeared out of nowhere and Naomi stood eye to eye with him hi easter bunny Naomi said cautiously as Pickle sweet hid nervously behind her legs that’s me Santa said that’s me Santa said bouncing up and down. I’ve hidden the toys for you they are everywhere over here and over there and everywhere Santa was breathlessly pointing wildly in all directions but it’s not easter mister bunny Santa looked deeply into Naomi’s eyes and a big tear slowly rolled down his face and nope sire Pickle sweet up nervously peeking out from behind Naomi in fact it’s almost Christmas Naomi said and I’ve hidden toys all over the factory for you now Naomi said it’s up to you to find them all and pop them into this magical sack Pickle sweet ran to the end of one of the big machines and picked up a relatively small looking bag Naomi took it from him this sack needs to contain all the toys I’ve hidden for you Naomi was as amazed as Pickle Sweet, when Santa reluctantly started to find the toys and slowly filled the magical sack Santa was sad as he put toy after toy into the sack he had so much more fun hiding them music drifted in through an open window high in the factory It was jingle bell rock and it was Santa’s favourite Christmas song Santa began to climb the colourful jelly bean staircase slowly at first and then faster and faster Naomi didn’t realise that Santa had picked up his pace and was now bouncing effortlessly straight for the open window when Pickle Sweet figured it out it was too late Santa was a bounce away from jumping out the window Naomi and Pickle Sweet screamed together as they watched as Santa disappeared out the window they took one look at each and other and raced back out the factory door and around the corner they stared up in amazement as Santa snoozed happily on the back of dancer one of Santa’s reindeers I was just out here minding my own business learning a new dance routine when I saw Mister Santa here jump out the window Naomi and Pickle sweet let out a sigh of relief phew dancer gracefully landed on the silver flower beside them thank you dancer if you weren’t out here dancing we would’ve had a serious problem lucky I was there well let’s get Santa over to his bed I’m not used to carrying him on my back and he’s sure getting heavy dancer Pickle sweet and Naomi walked together silently over the soft snow each of them had their heads bent and were deep in their own thoughts tying to figure out what to try next the three of them made a funny looking team as they pushed and pulled at Santa and moving him from dancers back and onto his giant bed of marshmallows puffs as they shut the door to Santa’s bedroom they turned and faced of red suits and worried eyes Naomi stepped forward and hushed them everything will be ok Santa thinks he is the easter bunny but I think we can trick him into being Santa we just need you to keep working hard and finish all the toys on his list the floor in front of her was a mass of nodding red hats Pickle Sweet suddenly jumped forward eager to distract the worried elves dancer you were learning a new dance routine to Jingle Bell Rock weren’t you? sure was Pickle sweet you want to see? hoots and hollers encouraged dancer into centre stage someone clicked on the music and dancer began his spray of hoof shaking and tail swirling glitter fell magically from the ceiling and a disco ball flashed in time to the music the elves were singing along merrily nobody noticed when Santa’s door creaked open elves grooving everywhere feet tapped heads bopped and bodies shook and swayed the rest of the reindeers had arrived and Santa’s house was throbbing with the sound of jingle bell rock repeat smiles radiated from everyone’s faces as their problems were forgotten and the dancing began cups were filled from sugar juice fountains that magically poured overflowing colourful concoctions Naomi was the only one not dancing she needed to come up with a plan although it was hard not to enjoy the general excitement she grabbed a cup of colourful sugar juice hoping it would help without warning Santa came bounding into the middle of the dance party and started dancing with his reindeers juice sloshed and toes turned blue as Santa boogied on down to his favourite song he wasn’t bouncing but he still didn’t look himself Naomi wondered if the sugar juice might help she grabbed a cup and began walking towards Santa suddenly she felt strange she tried to keep her feet walking in a straight line but her body began to sway from side to side her toes began to tingle and then her legs then her tummy then her hands the strange tingling sensation worked its way up her body until she thought she might burst and then suddenly she did hic Naomi began hiccup Naomi began her hand rushed to cover her mouth as if understanding what about to come somehow the music quieted and the elves all raced for cover hic hiccup attack of the hiccup the elves screamed as they raced for cover Naomi couldn’t control herself as the hiccups pushed their way out of her body and wildly swung her body this way and that way careening across the floor she knocked into the disco ball which swung wildly overhead she sprayed sugar juice onto pickle sweet and she flipped over the dancer and landed dancer was not expecting another visitor to his back and reared up in protest Santa who was standing behind dancer watching the fiasco fell backwards and banged his head on the dance floor suddenly silent everyone turned and looked at Santa lying uncomfortably on the floor look what you did a little elf screamed and pointed at Naomi I didn’t mean Naomi said on the verge of tears to Santa began to groan gush he said my head everyone held their breath there were no bunny squeaks no nose twitching and there was a rosiness in his cheeks that hadn’t been there before Santa propped himself up onto his elbows he gave a hearty chuckle ho what do we have here then? he looked at Naomi hi I um Naomi was lost for words here was the real Santa standing right in front of her and she didn’t know what to say I just had an awful dream and I think you saved the day is that right young Naomi? the elves all danced around Santa nodding their whole bodies well Naomi thank you for your help Santa jumped to his feet and started to sway a little backwards and forwards Naomi worried about Santa reached for his gloved help to help to steady him he squeezed her hand back He tightly squeezed her hand back. Santa leaned gently towards her and whispered you’ve saved Christmas Naomi blushed and the elves roared happily as they lifted her into the air hip Horary Naomi squealed happily and Pickle sweet hugged her tightly come on he whispered urgently in her ear the day is almost done and it’s time get you home Naomi sighed deeply and looked around at excitement she would never this moment in a million years Naomi breathed deeply as she and Pickle sweet walked up the mountain in big furs and large snow shoes the snow began to down as if dancing their way to the ground the silence rebounded off every rock and snowdrift Naomi squinted in the near darkness she could make out a faint glow in the trees ahead and she pointed it out to Pickle sweet who gave her a small smile together they walked at a snail’s pace towards the tree Naomi felt relieved that her tree was still there but she was also very sad to say goodbye to her new and special friend I’m going to miss you Pickle sweet Naomi said as they neared the tree this is my fifteenth story on the list I’ll miss you too Naomi he chuckled at least I get to see you once a year he grinned happily what do you mean? I help Santa deliver his presents you do? you must be the luckiest elf there is the story was true It was the middle of the story I am and I am lucky to have a friend like you He chuckled Naomi and Pickle sweet hugged firmly both with tears in their eyes the Christmas magic was there Naomi smiled I’m the lucky one pickle sweet to have the magic now she turned the snow towards the tree she felt the familiar little light like a rough bark under the palms of her hands she inched the snowflake closer to the tree tunnel and the darkness behind it the land was with on last over her shoulder and into her dear friend’s eyes and she took a deep breath and turned back to the tree the dream was she felt that familiar feeling as her world slipped away and she trust forward she bowled headfirst into the darkness letting the tree take her home the story ends

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