Telling Stories at Christmas
Christmas Story Time
Family Christmas Story
Every Christmas my parents and siblings gather together with our spouses and children and grandchildren to enjoy family fellowship and fun; an event lasting for two or three days. There have been as many as fifteen children under the age of ten at these celebrations, and eleven adults.
As the family story teller, I am always expected to deliver some tale of adventure, intrigue or humour. So for the past seven years I have told short stories based upon the rhyme by Clement Clarke Moore, The Night Before Christmas; an example of which is presented further below.
The Night Before Christmas
While story telling, I wear my story-telling hat (lots of colour and bells). The children all sit before me with the adults all gathered on the sofas behind.
Over the years the stories, originally short, have escalated into hour long yarns that I yearly have had to adapt to my aging and therefore quality demanding audience. I'm happy to say that squeals of delight and jumps of fright are always achieved; even among the adults.
The challenge of writing and telling a story to rhyme is significant, and I generally have to prepare months in advance, especially as they've increased in length. Added to this, my stories have to include each of the children within the story-line, and be as giggle-producing as possible.
I share the very first of my Xmas stories below in the hope it might get you smiling too.
Of course, please feel free to use this story. Simply replace your own children, nieces & nephews names in place of my own (and hopefully it will still rhyme).
It Was The Night After Xmas
It was the night after Christmas, when all through the still house, there was dreaming and snoring and burping from gas. The presents, all opened, and played with till evening, lay discarded in piles awaiting the morning.
The children, all bloated from too much Pavlova, were rudely awoken when the dog started howling. Tilly howled louder and louder until, all of a sudden it went silent and still.
Each of the children looked at each other, except for young Livy, she just hid under the cover.
It was Jacob who spoke first, his voice high and aquiver, “what we need” he declared bravely, “is to investigate further.”
So tackling their fear, they rose from their beds, held hands and grinned bravely and sneaked past the fridge. All except Charlie, who smelling pudding and sweeties, opened the fridge, climbed in, began eaties.
The others, however, in a line, passed that door; those at the front wishing they were behind, squeezed together for courage of extraordinary kind; pushed from the rear by those equally scared, except for young Isaac, who’d since disappeared.
But calm yourself, nothing bad to him happened, he’d simply stopped by the Telly, switched it on and decided that watching the news was less scary and frightening.
The others, however, had reached the back door, the darkness beyond impossible to ignore. It seemed to have eyes, and each thought that they saw a flickering movement beyond the back door.
It was Jayden, that lad of courage and wit, who opened the door – Oh what a Nitwit.
Because then there was screaming and running and shouting, as in through the door ran something white and most frightening. It bounced off the walls and jumped like a hare, over the couch and into the air.
It landed on Eli, who had fallen asleep, but now in holler had jumped to his feet. And pulling his sword that he carried about, he lunged and he parried and he whipped it about.
The white thing he missed, but more to the point, what he hit was the telly which went up in black smoke ...and the vase ...and the cabinet ...and the picture he broke.
Now picture, if you can, this scene of adventure, the screaming, the shouting, the burning, and the white thing. Was it a ghost, a monster, a ghoul???
Don’t be silly, don’t be uncool, it was obviously Tilly, the dog with the drool.
After running about for a minute or two, bumping each other, furniture and the walls, the children at last realised that their fear was unfounded. It was only a dog, no need be astounded.
However, as they laughed and joked at their mistake, it was Jady who heard someone open the gate. It creaked with an awfully long creakily sound and the unfounded fear that they’d lost was re-found. For up from the driveway unmistakably heard was the crunching of footsteps and a terrible word.
The word they’d all heard from a story they knew, about beans and a goose and a giant or two.
“Fee, Fie, Foe, Fum” that’s what they heard, it’s true, ask your mum.
The children then realised that all could be lost; if they didn’t act quickly to remove this dread ghost. For a ghost he must be, for the giant he died in the story you see; when he fell from that vine and landed KA-THWACK, at the feet of a mother and son, his name Jack.
So a plan they did hatch, except for young Sally, who delighted beyond measure had found a book she’d not read, something we’d all thought could never be said. So off she did trot; giants, ghosts, fears forgotten, to read her book back in bed; while the others got eaten.
Of the children remaining, a fort they did make, and gathered behind it, for much was at stake. The couch was the fort, and it’s back was the wall, its cushions upon which they had assorted arsenal. For weapons they gathered saucepans and jars and big cans of baked beans, pavlova, mars bars. (The last of course was not there for throwing; instead Caleb unwrapped them and was steadily chewing.)
Surprisingly, Mia took the lead in their army, as the door started to open she shouted, quiet loony, “Fire the weapons and throw all that you’ve got, saucepans and pans, at his head, it’s the best spot.”
And, so it was, as he walked through the door, that Uncle Robb was bombarded with foodstuffs galore. He ducked and he weaved, bung leg and all, athletically dodging the big and the small. Until, that is, a well aimed toss from young Lily sent the Pavlova spinning high willy-nilly. And everyone froze, as the pie made its nose-dive. Robb’s face fell to frowning, for would he survive.
Full in the face, it smacked him right there, and shattered to pieces as it caught in his hair. The eggwhite and sugar it filled up his nostrils, his ear holes, his mouth, and even his eye holes.
Blind, deaf and dumb, he fumbled about, ran into a wall and knocked himself out. The children enthralled that the battle was won, and still unaware it was an uncle they’d done, they approached the white face monster and sat on his tum. All except Aylie, ever a lover of food, she scooped up the Pavlova, for to waste it was rude.
At last into this scene of broken Telly’s and uncles arrived startled parents, nana’s, pop’s, aunts and uncles. At first they did gasp, but as the story unfolded they all fell to laughing at their naughty little rascals.