Where Did All The Fairies Go?
For seven years, Father Christmas took time out of his busy schedule on Christmas Eve to make an appearance at my Birthday parties. We were mates, best friends, allies, with everything in common. The world and his uncle told me I was wrong. That Santa was not real, that the Fairies were silly, that I was misguided and foolish. It made no difference. The Fairies were my friends, my dolls were real, Santa was the big boss and all was well with my world.
How could they not see it?
Until my seventh Christmas Eve when I sat on Santa’s knee and noticed the big black beard underneath the white one.
Oh dear! What a moment that was. Santa had betrayed me. He had sent a helper. Why would he do that? My mind swam with a million questions.
Filled with fear and self doubt I frantically tried to think how I could have upset him, what I had done to make him turn away from me. Every conversation with the Fairies ran through my mind as guilt at what I should have done and had not done tore at my heart. Only a few weeks earlier I had made little beds for the Fairies and left them in the tree, perhaps, I thought the bed’s were not good enough.
I should have done more.
Taking the gift silently from the ‘imposter’, I mouthed a thank you and fled from the room where all my friends were still lining up to receive their gift from ‘Santa’. I wanted to cry out to them, to warn them that this was not the real Santa but I had a more urgent task to tend to.
My heart pounded as I raced across the sun scorched grass towards my tree. Up into the sturdy branches I climbed, higher and higher until I came to the fork in the branches where I liked to sit. Urgently I whispered the names of the Fairies. I couldn’t move, dared not breathe, as I waited and waited and waited.
They never came.
A few weeks later the question had to be asked.
“Mummy, is Father Christmas real?”
Of course, I was only asking because I was quite sure my mummy was going to fix it all. She would explain why Santa had not been able to come himself to my party. She would give me an explanation as to why the Fairies weren’t talking to me anymore. She was sitting at her dressing table, doing her hair. I could see her face in the reflection of the mirror. I stood behind her, watching, waiting for my world to make sense again.
“You are a big girl now. You know Father Christmas is not real.”