JUST when we thought Christmas couldn’t get any more trying, another dose of bad news broke on the morning of Christmas Eve.

The day was only just getting going for our daughter, Hannah, when a mug of hot tea slipped out of her grasp and spilled onto her legs.

Thanks to the burns being quickly placed under a cold shower, then dressed with special plasters, the blistering was minimised, but it was distressing and painful nevertheless.

Naturally, news of the drama quickly spread around the family, and clearly left its mark on our little grand-daughter, Chloe, because it came up in conversation when she met Santa Claus several hours later.

Despite all of the challenges brought by the coronavirus pandemic, good old Santa had still managed to make it all the way from the North Pole, arriving at Chloe’s house just after 7pm.

After a ring of his bell, and a hearty “Ho-ho-ho” at the front door, Santa climbed the stairs to find Chloe safely tucked up in bed and shaking with excitement under the covers.

“Well, Chloe – haven’t you grown since last year?” boomed Santa.

“That’s because I’m four – didn’t you know that?” she replied, oblivious to the fact that Santa was wearing her Daddy’s shoes this year.

They went on to have a lovely little chat about how good she’d been: learning her alphabet at nursery, doing well at ballet lessons, and being kind to her friends. She happily confirmed that Mummy and Daddy had also been good, before reminding Santa that she’d sent him a letter, asking for a jumping frog and a baby doll. Oh, and not forgetting Rudolph, she’d left some carrots and a bowl of water downstairs.

Before he went on his way, Santa took out a pinch of “magic snow” out of his pocket and told Chloe to close her eyes.

“Make your biggest wish, Chloe” said Santa, as he sprinkled the snow over her head, fully expecting to hear about other presents she was hoping he’d managed to fit on his sleigh.

Chloe sat up straight, took a deep breath, and replied: “Well, Santa, I have something to tell you – a really terrible thing happened today…Auntie Hannah spilled a cup of tea and burned her legs…and she had to go in the shower…and she had to have some slimy plasters on…and-and-and I wish…I wish…her pain would go away.”

Even Santa, who’s had thousands of years to get used to the wonderful things children say, felt the need to wipe away a tear before saying his goodbyes, and going back downstairs to carry on his journey.

During a telephone call on Christmas morning, Auntie Hannah just happened to tell Chloe that her burns had miraculously healed the previous night, and she wasn’t in pain anymore.

Chloe wasn’t at all surprised. “Yes, I know that,” she replied. “It’s because I wished it to Santa.”

You see, nothing can stop the Christmas magic – not even a pandemic.


AS well as the jumping frog, baby doll and several Disney outfits, Santa also wanted Christmas to be educational, so he brought Chloe a science set.

So, having had her fill of the other presents on Christmas Day, she and her Daddy donned their safety goggles on Boxing Day and prepared to try some experiments.

“What would you like to do first – make some slime or a bouncy ball?” she was asked.

Chloe thought about the question deeply before giving her considered answer with a frown: “Daddy, I think we need to do something about cawonavirus,” she declared.

ONE of the presents Chloe’s daddy unwrapped on Christmas Day was a nice new T-shirt.

“Ooh, a new nightie for me!” his little girl announced, rubbing her hands.

BLOWING the cobwebs off during a walk by the river, Chloe noticed an old boot, discarded on the ground.

“Look, I think it must belong to a Cyclops with two eyes and one leg!” she said.