It was the Christmas Eve. Olive was five and a half and she most definitely believed in Father Christmas (Santa Claus). After all, she had seen the empty sherry glass and even the few remaining crumbs (pieces) of mince pie last year. They were next to the fireplace and he must have eaten them quickly before hurrying back up the chimney*.
The big trouble was that Julie, who lived next door and was older than Olive, kept telling her that it was really her parents that brought the presents when she was asleep. So it was that Olive had decided to stay awake tonight and see who it really was.
Outside it was cold and windy. Showers of raindrops occasionally (from time to time) pattered (hit lightly and quickly) against the window panes (window glass). Her Mum and Dad came and kissed her “good night”. They said that Father Christmas would only call with her presents when she was asleep. Olive was determined – “this time I will stay awake and actually see Father Christmas, she thought.”
She had wished for a digital radio for herself and crossed her fingers** under the blanket. She could hear the wind hissing in the leafless trees in the roadway outside. “I hope Father Christmas is safe on his long journey,” she thought. She tried very hard to stay awake, but the more she tried the harder it became. How her eyelids dropped, she did not remember. Slowly and gently she floated away (fell asleep).
She woke up suddenly. It was still dark with a glow from her night light. Then she saw a lumpy sack (a bag with solid pieces inside of it) at the foot of her bed. She leapt out (jumped out) of bed and tip toed as quietly as could to the sack.
“I’ll just open the one on the top,” she said to herself. The parcel (package) on the top was heavy. She opened it with a throbbing heart (faster heart beating).
“Wow, a radio!”
She switched it on and twiddled (turned something around with your fingers) the tuner to see if she could find a station. There were a few crackles (repeated short sounds), then the sound of tinkling (ringing) bells. Soon a deep voice said;-
“Well, that’s it for this year, every child has a present and I’m feeling great – if a little tired. There is nothing in the world as nice as giving things away and making people happy. Now I must get back to Iceland, before the sky gets bright.”
Olive thought that she heard a noise in the corridor. She switched it off, thinking she might have woken her Mum or Dad. She jumped back into the warm bed and soon went to sleep, with a smile on her face.
In the morning, Olive woke up to find the sun was shining. Later, her Mum and Dad came into her bedroom to watch her open the rest of the presents. When Olive opened the last little parcel she, was puzzled. She, then, turned to her Dad and said; – “What are these for, Daddy?”
He laughed, “Well, Olive I thought maybe a bright little button (intelligent little kid) like you would know what they were for. They are the batteries for your radio. It won’t go (work) without them in.”
* It has been said that Father Christmas comes down the chimney to put presents under the Christmas tree or in children's rooms, in their stockings. Some families leave a glass of sherry wine, mince pies, biscuits, or chocolate and a carrot for his reindeer near the stocking(s) as a present for him. In modern homes without chimneys he uses alternative means (other ways) to enter the home, such as a magical key that unlocks all doors. In some homes children write Christmas lists (of wished-for presents) and send them up the chimney or post them. He is often said to live at the North Pole.
** To cross one's fingers is a hand gesture commonly used to wish for luck. Occasionally it is interpreted as an attempt to implore God for protection. The gesture is referred to by the common expressions "cross your fingers", "keep your fingers crossed", or just "fingers crossed". Some people, mostly children, also use the gesture to excuse their telling of a white lie.۰ This entry was posted in Reading stage 1 by Parviz with no comments yet