- Family and Parenting
Pippin and the Christmas Fairy (a Christmas Story)
This a Christmas fairy tale written and illustrated by my sister Hayley James. She has given me her full permission to share this story with all of you, in the hope that both adults and children alike will have a little magic put back into their Christmas after reading it.
Happy Christmas Everyone
Pippin and the Christmas Fairy
Pippin the Christmas tree pixie had been bought by Mrs. Jones when she was a little girl, long before her own children, Tara and Tim had been born. Back then his tunic glittered, his boots shone and his eyes sparkled, but now with his faded clothes and rusty wire poking through his stained felt hands, those days were just a distant memory.
Each Christmas Mr. Jones said: “Isn’t it about time you chucked this horrible old thing away my love?” and on more than one occasion Mrs. Jones had had to rescue Pippin from the rubbish bin.
Pippin always had to be placed on the tree where he wouldn’t be seen too closely while his friends the snowman, the reindeer, the robin and the foil–covered-chocolate-Santa-that-nobody-ever-wanted-to-eat, all took pride of place.
Christmas is a magic time when all toys come to life at midnight and play for hours, after which Pippins friends would spend a long time trying to comfort him because he was so lonely at the bottom of the tree by himself.
“Cheer up!” said the snowman kindly “One day Mrs. Jones is sure to repair you and then you’ll be able to sit with the rest of us”.
“It’s more likely that Mr. Jones will just finally succeed in getting rid of me” Pippin smiled sadly. Secretly, his worst fear was that Mr Jones might even just throw him on the coal fire one day. Pippin shuddered at the thought.
Then the toys would take up their poses on the tree and become lifeless objects once more.
One day, about a week before Christmas Mother came home and called the children over. Holding one arm behind her back secretively, she beamed and said “Guess what I bought today”
“What? show us show us!” the children demanded excitedly, jostling each other for a better look.
They gasped, for there was the most beautiful Christmas fairy they had ever seen. She had long curly golden hair, real eyelashes, a lovely pearly smile, dimples, and skin which was as pale as a snowflake. The bodice of her gown was in white satin and the skirt was made up of layers of white gauzy material. Each layer was nearly see-through which gave her a floaty magical look and on each layer there was just a teeny bit of white glitter which made her look as though she had been sprinkled in winter frost. Her wings were transparent with pale glittery blue edges and the finishing touch was her sparkly crown and a long magic wand with a silver star.
Immediately Tim snatched the doll and began zooming her through the air on her pretty wings as though she was a model aeroplane.
“TIM! please don’t do that Here, give her back to me. You must be careful with her, she’s very delicate and quite expensive. This is not a play thing you know.”
Mother went over to the tree and carefully fastened the fairy to the top branch. Here by the window she would also be admired by passers-by.
That night other toys climbed up the top branches to make friends.
“You’re beautiful” said the foil-covered-chocolate-Santa-that-nobody- ever-wanted-to-eat. “Are you coming down to play with us?”
Suddenly the pretty dimples vanished as the fairy’s face creased into a scowl: “Why on earth would I want to play with you? Just think what would happen if your wrapper split? I’d get my lovely dress covered in your horrible stale chocolate!”
The other decorations were shocked into silence by the fairy’s rudeness, then the robin thought he’d give her another chance. “Oh don’t worry, if his wrapper has lasted this long it will probably last forever. Come on. I’ll fly down with you.”
The fairy snorted. “What do you mean ‘you and I’, together? Why we’d look ridiculous! me gliding on my graceful wings -then you with those dowdy moth eaten feathers.”
The reindeer was upset and finally snapped. “Madam, I don’t know where you come from, but around here we believe in good manners”…
The fairy interrupted loftily; “Rudeness has nothing to do with it. It’s perfectly obvious that the reason I can’t play with anyone here is simply because I’m a better quality of decoration, but since you raised the subject of ‘where’ I come from, I’ll have you know that I was made in Santa’s own workshop, which surely proves my point? Whereas you -poor reindeer- when you fell off the tree earlier and landed belly up, I couldn’t help but notice the words Made in China…. The reindeer was so upset that he started to cry and the snowman was so angry that he shouted at the fairy very loudly. “Earlier today we thought you were beautiful, but now we realise how ugly you are. I don’t believe you come from Santa’s workshop at all. His toys are all nice. You would have been a reject!”
The fairy stuck her nose in the air. “You’re only jealous, which isn’t surprising looking at all of you. Why, take that scruffy little pixie for example, - (that is what you are, isn’t it?) Well you look more like a tramp. Even the lowest branches of the tree are too good for you. Santa would never have allowed it. Now in his toyshop the toys had class. Did you know that I’m part of a limited edition? that means that only a few fairies like me were ever made and because we’re so rare that also makes us very expensive, but you my dear Pixie I should think that even when you were new, you were only a pound shop toy!”…Pippin’s faded eyes filled with tears. His friends roared in anger at the fairy’s cruel words. The reindeer even tried to butt her off her branch with his antlers.
“Don’t hurt her” pleaded Pippin “I know she’s right, -oh not about you of course, - but I know she’s right about me. I think I want to go back to my branch now.
“Oh don’t take any notice of her” said the chocolate foil- covered- Santa that- nobody- ever- wanted- to- eat, “she’s just a vain idiot whose beauty is only paint deep”, Pippin smiled bravely but inside he was very badly hurt indeed.
After that, the other toys ignored the fairy. At first this suited the fairy very well, but as Christmas drew closer she started to feel slightly fed up.. It wasn’t just the compliments she missed either, there was something else too. This was Christmas after all and she could see the family enjoying themselves, wrapping presents, pulling crackers, singing carols and eating chocolate. The toys were all having fun too with games and parties each night and yet she had upset them so badly that they would probably never speak to her again. She realised that she was feeling - well, lonely. Sometimes she would glimpse Pippin looking at her in a sad pitying sort of way and wondered about saying sorry to him but then would quickly tell herself not to be ridiculous. He was just a grubby faded little imp after all. Ugh! Pippin meanwhile, although stung by the fairy’s words did indeed feel sorry for her. It must be horrible having no friends, especially at Christmas.
It was Christmas Eve when something happened that changed everything. It was after midnight but Santa hadn’t yet visited. The toys were playing in the branches of the tree, the fairy not joining in as usual - her pretty little nose still in the air, when through the slightly open door the family cat Jasper came slinking silently. When he saw the toys playing, pandemonium broke out. With one leap he brought the tree crashing down! The toys scattered, Pippin dived under the armchair, the reindeer jumped into a vase, the snowman leapt under the lid of a sewing basket and the foil-covered-chocolate-Santa-that-nobody-ever-wanted-to-eat vanished inside a roll of gift wrap. The robin flew up to the mantelpiece and stayed very still hoping Jasper wouldn’t notice.
The fairy had come bouncing through the branches to the ground where her crown came unstuck, and was instantly crushed by Jasper’s floundering paws. Hearing her squeals he then spun around to see the pretty full white skirts of the fairy fluttering across the carpet, making her an easy target. He pounced again and a giant set of claws raked through the fine material. From under the armchair Pippin saw the poor fairy being tossed in the air over and over by those sharp claws until her dress hung in rags. Jasper also managed to tear out (-and swallow) a good deal of her hair. The fairy’s wand had snapped and one of her wings was crushed. Then Pippin did a very brave thing, he rushed out and tried to distract Jasper. “Hey Jasper! over here. Yes, come and get me!” Jasper hesitated, the fairy under his paw. Then he seemed to lose interest in her altogether and headed straight for Pippin, but the courageous pixie was ready for him. He had grasped one half of the broken wand and as Jaspers fangs loomed overhead rammed it right up his nose! Jasper yowled and fled.
Just at that moment a strange breeze rushed down the chimney. When it died down, a red glow could be seen by the wreckage of the tree. Slowly and curiously the toys emerged from hiding and watched as Santa himself appeared, his sack of presents ready at his side. His big kind face looked surprised as he took in the scene. “What’s been going on here?” came the deep kind voice.
“Santa! It really is you!” shouted the toys and streamed forwards excitedly.
“Hello little ones. Been partying a little hard haven’t we?” He asked raising a mischievous snowy eyebrow.
The robin began to tell Santa about Pippin’s heroism, but of course the fairy didn’t come out of the story too well. At the end, Santa called her over. “Well my dear I’m not going to scold at Christmas, but you’ve learned a hard lesson haven’t you? “Have you anything to say to this brave young fellow who you treated so badly?"
The fairy looked a sorry sight now. In fact she looked in a far worse state than Pippin. “Pippin thank you so much and I’m really sorry that I’ve been so horrible to you. You didn’t deserve those awful things I said. I’d be glad to share even the lowest branch with you any day- except that you’re much too good for me….”
Just at that moment something caught the eye of the foil-covered-chocolate-Santa-that- nobody-ever-wanted-to-eat and he gasped. He was standing behind the fairy and through the rip at the back of her dress he could clearly see an old faded charity shop price tag saying £1.50! “You fibber” he blurted out, “You never came from Santa’s workshop did you? It was just a story you invented to make yourself seem important”
The fairy blushed and a big tear rolled down her cheek. She felt very silly indeed.
Santa interrupted softly, “Now now, that’s enough, I know the story of every toy in the world, so shall I tell them yours ?” he asked the little fairy gently. She nodded . ”Our friend here had very simple beginnings and there is no shame in that at all. Like many a once loved toy she ended up in a charity shop looking a little –how shall we say- well, tired. One day she was bought by a little old lady for the princely sum of £1.50. Now this old lady truly had the spirit of Christmas in her heart and had already repaired or restored many old toys making them as good as new and then giving them to poor children in the neighbourhood. But just occasionally’ she would pick one very lucky toy indeed and then create something really special! On such occasions, the toys turned out even better than before, which is just what happened here, in fact the old lady became quite a celebrity in her home town with people eventually willing to pay a lot of money for her ‘special’ toys. Your good fortune just went to your head a little didn’t it my dear? Now come on everyone, it’s Christmas and I want you all to shake hands, claws or hooves and be friends.”
After everyone had finished making up Santa rearranged the tree.Then they all shared some mince pies which the children had left for Santa.
“Eventually Santa said, “well I still have a lot of work to do, so now that everything’s sorted out and nobody seems to be hurt I will leave my gifts and go wishing you all a very Merry Christmas”, then with a hearty “Ho ho ho” he disappeared to the sound of sleigh bells and a whoosh up the chimney.
The toys took their places on the tree, with one slight change. The ragged little fairy shyly asked Pippin if she could share his branch and of course Pippin was delighted.
On Christmas morning when the family were opening their presents, there was one parcel for Mrs. Jones which nobody seemed to know about. Inside was some lovely red material inside with a green holly pattern. There was also some red velvet ribbon, some white fun- fur and two little jingle bells.
“How strange” Mother remarked “I wish I knew who to thank, but what I’m supposed to do with all this?”
What happened next might have been just an accident or magic but Pippin suddenly lost his balance and fell from the tree. The family started and Mother went over to replace Pippin when she caught sight of his ragged little companion alongside.
“Oh no! the beautiful fairy – ruined…”
She guessed that naughty Jasper must have had something to do with it, (especially as he had just been coughing up ‘fur balls’ of golden hair.) but how the fairy came to be sitting so neatly on Pippin’s branch was mysterious. Mother suddenly brightened.
“I know, I have enough material here to make two lovely matching Christmas Pixie outfits,”
and she did too, on that very Christmas day in fact. But first the children’s mother neatly cut off all the torn bits of the fairies hair, removed her battered wings then painted Pippin’s face back so that his green eyes sparkled once again. She even mended his hands. The fairy may not have been so grand now but as Pippin told her, she had never looked so beautiful because she was a much nicer person -and it showed. With their bell caps and fur trimmed outfits they made a handsome couple and side by side they adorned the tree each Christmas after that and enjoyed many happy hours playing and laughing with their friends on the tree.