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Callum's First Christmas

Updated on November 19, 2011

A Special Christmas Present

A couple of weeks ago I decided to make a special present for my beautiful grandson Callum. I sat down and wrote my own special Christmas story, a story that no one else would ever keep, except Callum. Those of you that know me well, will know by now that Callum is all my Christmas presants and life's gifts all rolled into one. To say that I love him deeply is such an understatement.

I approached our dear friend Sunnie Day to ask if she would illustrate the book for me. And, in her usual beautiful manner, and with lots of enthusiasm she agreed. I self published the book with and I want to share the end result with you.

Firstly, I want to thank Sunnie for her beautiful illustrations, and Mike (Mckbirds) for writing the front cover for me. Both of you are very talented and special friends. You enrich my day every time I think of you both.

This book is available from if anybody has a grandson called Callum sharing his first Christmas. It has actually cost me a donation and the publishing price of £6.92 to include P & P. A very small price to pay for a gift that is full of love. Why don't you give it a try for yourselves, enjoy? It is much easier than you think and you still have time before Christmas.

Introducing Callum's adventures with Teddy Nutkin

Cover designed by Sunnie Day and written by Mckbirds.
Cover designed by Sunnie Day and written by Mckbirds. | Source

Rudolph and Vixen

look at those eyelashes
look at those eyelashes | Source

The roof top

chimney sweep anyone?
chimney sweep anyone? | Source

"Nanny leaves me milk,"


ahhh sad eyes


Mummy meets Teddy Nutkin

Mummy and Teddy make friends
Mummy and Teddy make friends

Waiting to meet Callum

What a surprise for Callum
What a surprise for Callum

The Story

It was Christmas Eve, and all was still

Outside the ground was covered white with snow, and the little red robin was searching for a lovely fat worm for his breakfast.

La la la laaaa he chirped, his tiny feet so cold, but it was Christmas, and he was so excited. He had sat in the holly tree with the beautiful red berries all evening to watch Santa in his sleigh, deliver all the presents to the little children all over the world. But most of all, he kept very still in the shadows whilst Santa walked on Callum’s roof to deliver his toys.

“Steady on lad, take it slow” Santa whispered to Rudolph. “This is a special little boy, for it is Callum’s first Christmas, and we mustn’t waken him.”

Rudolph nodded his head, his beautiful big red nose causing a pink glow on the snow white roof. Rudolph stamped his foot, “Vixen, you stop your nonsense, did you not hear Santa Claus ask us to be quiet?”

Vixen was alarmed at Rudolph’s sharp tone and immediately stopped her singing.

“Oh yes, so sorry Rudolph, but it is so cold and I was trying to keep warm,” she nodded her head and fluttered her long eyelashes in Rudolph’ direction. “Hmmmm,” Rudolph replied trying very hard not to smile.

Santa took his large brown sack full of toys and walked as quiet as a church mouse over to the chimney.

“Oh dear,” he said “Mrs Clause will have to stop me eating all the delicious homemade shortbread, this chimney is a tight fit,” Santa took a sharp intake of breath, pulled his tummy in as far as he could, and with a whooooosh he slipped down the chimney. All that could be seen of him was a gush of black soot coming from the chimney pot.

Inside the house, all was quiet. The grandfather clock struck twelve times, it was now Christmas day. Santa stifled a giggle as he knew that within a few hours all the children would be getting out of bed, so excited to see what presents Santa Claus had left under the Christmas tree for them.

On top of the mantelpiece, nanny had left a glass of milk and a home baked mince pie for Santa, but the biggest surprise of all was a small bunch of carrots, their green tops tied with a red bow for the reindeers to share.

Santa chuckled to himself. He immediately ate the mince pie and drank the glass of milk, glad that it wasn’t another brandy, as he was beginning to feel tipsy. He thought how wise nanny was to have left him milk instead of brandy. He couldn’t steer the reindeers back to toy town if he was drunk.

Santa suddenly stopped taking Callum’s presents out of his bag, as he heard a noise. It sounded like a tinkle of a bell. Gently he moved the branches of the Christmas tree, and to his amazement, there was a small scruffy teddy bear sitting on the floor.

“Oh my word,” Santa exclaimed, “Who are you?” The little teddy bear had such big sad eyes, and was very old and dirty.

“I am Teddy Nutkin,” the little bear announced. “I was nanny’s teddy bear when she was a little girl so many years ago. I am sad because I was left on the window seat with no one to play with for such a long time. Do you think Callum could love me and play with me?”

“mmm, Santa rubbed his big white beard, you are a scruffy, dirty little bear. What colour did your ribbon used to be?”

“Red,” shouted teddy, his sad eyes looking longingly over at Santa Claus.

“Red, my ribbon was the most glorious colour of red. My little bell used to twinkle in the light from the fire and my coat was a beautiful soft burnished brown. Nanny loved me so much and has kept me above all other toys, but I am lonely and sad that I have no one to comfort anymore and share adventures with. Please let me stay here with Callums toys?”

Santa looked thoughtfully over the little teddy bear. He noticed that his right ear had stitches in it were he had been repaired. His little eyes had lost the lustre of a happy bear, and his bell was all rusted away.

“Alright Teddy Nutkin, I will help you if you promise to stay at Callums side always and forever. You must love Callum as much as you loved his nanny, and never let him be sad. Can you do that?”

“Oh yes, yes I can do that, I promise. I truly promise.” Teddy Nutkin hopped around on one leg in such excitement, that he knocked several baubles off the lower branches of the Christmas tree.

“Shhh, sit down. Callum’s mummy has decorated that Christmas tree with lots of love for Callum to see. You must be patient and wait until morning.” Santa scolded.

Teddy Nutkin sat so still and straight. He felt like a million pounds sitting with the other presents under the tree. He smiled as he watched Santa huff and puff his way back up the chimney onto the roof. Every so often he straightened his ribbon around his neck and fluffed up his fluffy coat to make sure he looked his best.

Callum’s mummy and daddy had got up early. Mummy was putting the turkey into the oven to roast, before daddy and she sat down to admire Callum’s Christmas presents.

“Wow, what beautiful presents Santa has left for Callum,” mummy carefully moved the presents so she could have a better look. “Oh daddy, have a look at this,” she said lifting Teddy Nutkin by his ear. Teddy tried very hard not to squeal or make any sudden moves.

“Oh he is so beautiful. So soft, and he is wearing the cutest red ribbon and silver bell. He is just perfect. Callum will love him so much.” Mummy exclaimed. “It is such a shame to leave him here in the shadow of the Christmas tree. I am going to put him next to Callum in his bed so that he will see him as soon as he wakes up.”

Nanny was coming downstairs to see what all the commotion was. “Look,” mummy shouted, “isn’t this just a wonderful surprise that Santa has left for Callum?”

Nanny looked thoughtfully at Teddy Nutkin. “Oh my,” she exclaimed, “I had a teddy bear just the very same when I was a little girl. He is sitting upstairs on the window seat in the bedroom.”

Nanny looked at Teddy Nutkin again, and could have been sure that he just winked his eye at her. ‘No don’t be silly nanny,’ she thought to herself,’ teddy bears don’t wink. Do they?’

The house was full of singing and the smell of the delicious turkey was wafting around his bedroom when Callum woke up. He sat very still and yawned, rubbing his little blue eyes he looked around his bedroom. Nothing had changed. His little mobile toy was still above his bed, the curtains were still closed and his bed side light was still turned on. But somehow this morning was different.

Callum stood up in his bed ready to call “mama, mama.” But, something caught his eye. It was a bright silver light dancing across the ceiling in his bedroom, and it appeared to be coming from the bottom of his bed. To Callum’s total amazement, sitting on the corner of his bed was the most beautiful, burnished brown teddy bear, wearing a dark red ribbon with a sparkling silver bell tied around his neck. Callum laughed and laughed to see Teddy Nutkin, and Teddy Nutkin was so pleased to meet Callum.

Callum reached for Teddy Nutkin and cuddled him close. This was the best morning ever, Callum thought. He touched teddy’s coal black eyes and kissed his little curved mouth, whilst all the time watching the magical bell around teddy’s neck cast silver shadows all over his bedroom wall.

Teddy Nutkin was so thrilled to be held and cherished again after sitting so long on the window seat. He took a deep breath and snuggled into Callum’s arms knowing that their adventures together were only just beginning.

Teddy Nutkin

illustrated by Sunnie Day
illustrated by Sunnie Day | Source

Join Teddy Nutkin and Callum's Adventures Again

I have enjoyed this little project so much that I am intending to write another little story for Callum and Teddy Nutkin at Easter. Who knows what they will get up too in Grandpa Grumps potting shed?

Are you game for more illustrations Sunnie?


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    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 

      5 years ago from South Africa

      This is a beautiful story, Annette! Why/how did I miss it last year? Voted up and delightful :)

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image

      Sharon Smith 

      6 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA


      How I just love the idea of this gift that will be forever cherished. So beautiful and perfect!


    • profile image


      6 years ago

      A great coordination of talents! Well done. Enjoyed the story through the use of nice colorful illustrations.

    • WillStarr profile image


      6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Congratulations to Annette and Sunnie! Well done!

    • profile image

      Sunnie Day 

      6 years ago

      Dear Net,

      I am so happy it all came together..How wonderful and fun this was. Yes I would be honored to do the Easter just let me know..Wonderful story Net..I am sure Callum will enjoy for many years to come.

      Much love


    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 

      6 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Dear Annette,

      While I was honored to have read your story after you wrote it, it has popped off the page with Sunnie's illustrations! You two form a wonderful partnership.

      This is a lifetime treasure for your lifetime treasure. I appreciate how you give of yourself in every way, what a beautiful and tender example.

      Voted UP & ABI, Love you, mar.

    • mljdgulley354 profile image


      6 years ago

      Beautiful story. Great gift. Lucky grandson and grandmother.

    • thebluestar profile imageAUTHOR

      Annette Donaldson 

      6 years ago from Northern Ireland

      Cardissa what a beautiful comment hunnie. I will carry on with another 3/4 stories during the year. The next one planned is for Easter. You are such a kind supportive friend, have a good day hunnie. xx

    • thebluestar profile imageAUTHOR

      Annette Donaldson 

      6 years ago from Northern Ireland

      Movie master, thank you for your lovely comment. Sunnie has done such a beautiful job with the illustrations. I am so grateful to her, she is such a beautiful soul. xx

    • thebluestar profile imageAUTHOR

      Annette Donaldson 

      6 years ago from Northern Ireland

      Good morning Eddy, Your comment is inspiring coming from a very talented and lovely lady such as yourself. Thank you so much for the encouragement.

      Much love, xx

    • thebluestar profile imageAUTHOR

      Annette Donaldson 

      6 years ago from Northern Ireland

      Hi Gail, thank you once again from the bottom of my heart for all your gracious and loving support. You are so right, I had never thought of my passing on the Tomlinson genes. I wonder if my lovely Callum will have any of the Tomlinson characteristics. I must watch out for those as he gets older. At the moment he is very much a Marshall, his mummy's side of the family.

      Enjoy the rest of your weekend hunnie. xx

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      6 years ago from Southern Illinois

      What a treasure! Loved the story and the illustrations. Thank you..

    • mckbirdbks profile image


      6 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Annette. The illustrations compliment so well your wonderful children’s story. The collaboration between you and Sunnie produced such a warm gift. I am sure it will be treasured by those fortunate enough to find their way to you two.

    • writer20 profile image

      Joyce Haragsim 

      6 years ago from Southern Nevada

      You have written a wonderful story for your grandson. Voted up and awesome great lady.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Lovely story Annette, cant wait for the next adventure well done you xxxxxxxxx

    • Richard Proctor profile image

      Richard Proctor 

      6 years ago

      Wonderful hub. Thank you

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 

      6 years ago from Florida

      I am so proud of you, and the fellow Hubbers who worked on this with you! I can relate to your love of this child. I never thought I could love a Grandchild SO much until I had them. Now I have a Great Granddaughter, and I love her to pieces. Congratulations, and I'll forward to Easter's story. Vote it UP, etc.etc.

    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 

      6 years ago from Jamaica

      You have the start of a collection of children stories that I would love to but for my nieces and nephews. The illustrator is very talented...but of course it's Sunnie.

      This is wonderful. I felt like I was reading a book.

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 

      6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hello Annette, what a delightful story and wonderful present for Callum and well done to sunnie and mike for the illustrations and cover.

      Good luck with your next story for Easter.

      My best wishes MM, voting up.

    • Eiddwen profile image


      6 years ago from Wales

      Oh how I loved this one Annette and here's to many more to follow.

      Take care and have a wonderful day my friend.


    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 

      6 years ago from South Carolina

      And what a bright, beautiful open door it is, my dear friend. Callum is treasured and loved not only by you, but by two parents and an extended family. How wonderful that you are the matriarch on the Tomlinson side of the family, here to welcome Callum into the world with your loving Nanny arms. That is the greatest blessing a child can have- to be loved, wanted, appreciated and cherished for the unique little being he/she is. You have broken generational chains which is a very high achievement and one which few are able to accomplish.

      You might have been born a thorn but you have surely blossomed into a most beautiful Lancashire rose. I am honored to be among your friends.

    • thebluestar profile imageAUTHOR

      Annette Donaldson 

      6 years ago from Northern Ireland

      Gail my dear friend, thank you for all your love and support. I am so very lucky when I think of all the positive things that I share my life with. Maybe this is the start of closing one door to allow another door to open? That has been done with the help of you and my many friends. Here's to becoming a high achiever lol Thank you from the bottom of my heart. xx

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 

      6 years ago from South Carolina

      What a delightful, beautiful story and I loved the illustrations and cover! This is such a special gift for your little Callum's first Christmas but is also a delightful Christmas story for any grandparent or parent to read to little children.

      Voted up across the board except for funny.

      Sending Hub Hugs Across the Mile



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