Jingled Bells!

The true story of how Santa bruised his ego(and other bits) and ended up on a merry go round…..

It’s Friday in the first week of December, the children at the pre-school are beside themselves with excitement. It is their Christmas party and this year Santa has decided that he is bored with arriving in the normal way.

“ This year, children….”, we the teachers proclaim, “Santa has a surprise for all of you!” Lo and behold, there he arrives on a motorbike- not just an ordinary motorbike- a really powerful motorbike with a throaty roar!

“Has he ever ridden a motorbike before?” we ask, when he tells us of his plans a week earlier? “Ha!” is his reply “How hard can it be! It’s going to be so exciting for the children.” So he borrows the bike from a friend after getting a brief lesson on how to ride said bike.

The children are jumping up and down at the sight of their beloved Santa Claus at the school gate on a motor bike! Santa too, is overjoyed at the sight of the excited faces of the children, who are now in a long line along the verandah watching him intently! He decides to give the engine a few revs to impress the children even more!

He has now lost concentration, he is distracted and in a split second — we watch as his hand seems to slip off the brake. The bike shoots forward with a great roar, with Santa clinging on for dear life! It travels the length of the playground in front of the verandah (relax — the children are protected by the steel gates which enclose the verandah!) The front wheel of the motor bike lifts! “Loook !” shouts a child in awe and points “Father Christmas is popping a wheelie!” The children are clapping and yelling and jumping for joy!!

Whaaaam! The bike collides at full speed into the metal merry go round! For an instant the bike remains upright, hovering. Then the merry go round wins — Santa falls on one side. The bike falls on the other. The Christmas presents are scattered!

For a minute there is total silence and complete stillness. No one breathes.

Santa Claus is lying flat on his back in the playground. We are momentarily stunned into disbelieving silence- our brains trying to catch up with what our eyes have just witnessed. The children have become quiet and wide eyed and waiting.

A groan from the red suited figure on the grass goads us into action!

“Wasn’t that amazing children!” we say in our over-the-top enthusiastic voices “ Let’s go inside and let Santa have a chance to rest a minute before you get your presents.”

We herd them inside, close the doors and leave the principal to check if there is still a pulse!

Yes! He lives! The poor man is winded and bleeding! He is probably lucky he has already fathered two children as he is now clutching some very sore appendages!

He is a hero! He does not want to disappoint the children ! He bravely delivers the gifts to the children after being cleaned up. He winces with every hug! The children are none the wiser and declare it the best party ever!

In a few days…. My husband calls on ‘Santa’. It is a business appointment. ‘Santa’ does not know that my husband is married to one of the pre-school teachers. Santa’s arm is bandaged and in a sling. He is bruised and hobbling a bit. When my husband asks after Santa Claus’s injuries, he replies “I slipped and fell when I was cleaning the pool!”

My husband nods sympathetically and decides that Santa deserves to keep his dignity!

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