Do You Believe In Father Christmas?

When I was eight-years old, I did the most despicable thing.

On Christmas Eve 1970, I told my five- year old sister that there was no such thing as Father Christmas. She was horrified.

Telling her that Father Christmas did not exist was the worst thing I ever did.

My mother was so angry with me. She sent me to my room.

I missed supper. I missed the carol-singers outside our house.

I missed seeing the first snowflakes of what was to be my first white Christmas. And I missed the evening of Christmas Eve, my favourite time of the year.

However, worse was to come.

I cried myself to sleep, blaming Father Christmas for what had happened.

Sometime during the night, I was woken by hands around my throat.

“You evil boy!” boomed the voice. I was too frightened to open my eyes.

“Open your eyes, boy! Do it, or you will never see Christmas again.”

He forced me to open my eyes. I don’t know how he did it but he somehow did.

I couldn’t believe what I saw.

I was shocked beyond belief. It was Father Christmas who had his hands around my throat.

“You never, never tell anyone ever again that I do not exist. Do you understand me, boy?” I tried nodding my head, despite being in complete shock.

“Good. Now, look deep into my eyes.”

Seconds later, I saw a flock of robins in his eyes and, before I knew it, they were propelled into my eyes.

The screeching sound they made hurt my ears. I could not scream for help to my mother or father because of the tightly gripped hands around my throat. I finally managed to close my eyes and the screeching robins and hands around my throat disappeared.

Terrified by what had happened, I crawled under my bed. I curled up into a tiny ball and shivered the night away. Sleep did come but only briefly.

It was the sound of laughter that woke me.

I could hear the muffled voices of my family. It was Christmas morning and they were already downstairs.

How could they have forgotten to wake me up?

I crawled out from under my bed and made my way past the open door of my bedroom. On the floor, at the top of the stairs, were two empty Christmas stockings. How could they have emptied their stockings without me?

I ran down the stairs and into the lounge, which was lit up with Christmas lights.

“Mum, Dad, Julie…I’m sorry,” I cried, but none of them took any notice of me. “Please forgive me, don’t spoil Christmas.” But it was no good, they just ignored me.

That’s when I saw the strange boy.

“Oh, that’s lovely, Hugh. Grandma sure knows how to knit Christmas jumpers,” laughed Dad, as he hugged the strange boy.

For the rest of the day, I watched as the boy with my name took my place. Nobody bothered me. Nobody even noticed I was there. It was as if I were a ghost.

I finally went to bed and cried myself to sleep. The whole family had arrived at our house and a Christmas party was in full swing.

The next morning, my mother woke me up.

“Are you feeling better, Hugh?”

“Are you talking to me?” I asked her.

“Of course, I am. Who else goes by your name in this house? Come on, it’s Boxing Day and we need to get over to Grandma’s house.”

I didn’t ever say anything to anybody about what had happened, and I didn’t see the strange-looking boy with my name again.

Well, I didn’t see him until the following Christmas Day when the whole thing happened again. And it’s happened every Christmas since then.

You see, my place is now taken by a ghost, but only on that one day of the year when I become a ghost.

I’m so happy and thankful that it’s not Christmas every day.

Do you believe in Father Christmas?

#fiction #christmas #shortstory #shortstories

Story taken from the short story collection Glimpses – Available on Amazon.

Copyright © 2019 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

70 comments

  1. Oh my, Hugh, if this isn’t a warning not to spill the beans about Father Christmas, then I don’t know what is! I remember reading this in Glimpses. I love your imagination! My middle boy told my youngest there was no such thing as Father Christmas and apparently the pair just played along for years. Eldest said he too didn’t really believe because he couldn’t understand how a fat man in a red suit could possibly get down a chimney. Too literal for their own good! You’ve got to have magic at Christmas, right? Great story, Hugh. So glad I had the chance to visit you before signing off. My laptop is on the blink and I have a short reprieve having forced a shutdown and the video card being kind… Happy Christmas to you and yours for a wonderful time and see you in 2020! Big Christmas hugs…Sherri 🙂 ❤ xxx

    1. Absolutely, Christmas would not be Christmas without the magic, Sherri. That’s a great story about how your three sons decided there was no such thing as Father Christmas. If I were them, I’d stay awake every Christmas Eve night just in case he decides to take his revenge. Of course, you can sleep tight, knowing that as a believer, you’re safe.
      Sorry to hear about the laptop problems. Maybe Father Christmas will bring you a new one this year?
      Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and the family.
      xx

      1. Haha…duly warned!!! Father Christmas is working on the new laptop but will have to wait until the local computer shop is open after the New Year 😉 But that’s ok…I’m managing to limp along and catch up here so hopefully that will be the case until then. I thought it had died completely, but V worked some temporary Christmas magic. Thank you, Hugh, you have a wonderful Christmas & New Year too and here’s to catching up in 2020! Love & hugs xxxxx

  2. Wow, Father Christmas is nobody to mess with. It must be something else to watch your doppelganger while you’re invisible to everybody. What a cool story. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Oh poor Hugh the Christmas Ghost. A story sure to scare any one who decides to burst the Father Christmas bubble! A lovely story Hugh, even if it’s a tad sad! And yes. I believe in Santa. Happy Christmas to you!

  4. I told my younger sister the same thing when she was around 4-years-old. I don’t even remember why I did it, but boy, were my parent upset. Glad I didn’t wake up with hands around my throat!

  5. Nice story Hugh, love any new angles on the Christmas story. Father Christmas definitely does exist and anyone that says he doesn’t is a wrong-un in my book. I’ve never admitted he doesn’t and never ever will. It may of course be the feeling of Christmas rather than an actual old fella but we’ll never know for sure will we?

  6. I don’t know who told me there was no Santa – someone at school. They told me to check my parent’s wardrobe – and sure enough it was full of toys and tbooks I’d put in my letter. I worked out Santa couldn’t possibly get round every house on Christmas Eve so he came early and stashed the goodies for me and my sister in the wardrobe for Mum and Dad to put under the tree.

    1. That’s a lovely way of explaining why Father Christmas can’t get around every night on Christmas Eve, Mary. I’ve always believed that time stops on Christmas Eve until he’s delivered everything. To us, humans, time stops for just one second. We make up the time every leap year.

  7. I don’t know when I figured out there was no real Santa Claus, but I never told my younger brother – the magic of Christmas is always with me. Just look at my name!
    Merry Christmas to you and thanks for this story with a moral!

  8. I remember that story from Glimpses – a very different Xmas ghost story. Our first term at junior school we had to write a letter to Father Christmas for English. The girl in front of me turned round and said ‘What’s the point of writing to Father Christmas when he doesn’t even exist’. I was devastated.

  9. What a great story, Hugh, and sad for the little boy. What a great lesson to not believe at least in the magic of the season. I think I was in 3rd grade when another kid announced that Santa was just our parents. Logically it made sense, but to this day, I still believe in that magic. Without it our world is just a sad place. Thanks for sharing your writing talent with us! Hohoho 🎄❤😁

    1. It was actually my younger sister who told me the news about Father Christmas, Terri. I was devastated, but I’m glad to say that the magic of Christmas has always stayed with me. However, I’ve seen Father Christmas many times in person since the day she told me, so I’m wondering if what my sister told me was true? I don’t think so.

      Glad you enjoyed the story.

      Merry Christmas 🎄

  10. What a creepy sad story, Hugh. I thought it was a true tale until the strangulation. Oh, dear. 🙂 I do believe in Father Christmas. He’s alive and well at my house where we believe in magic of all sorts. Merry Christmas, my friend. ❤

    1. I’m glad you started off by believing I was telling a true story, Diana. I changed the story a little from the original to make it sound as if I was telling a true story. Looks like it worked.

      I’m glad you’re still a believer, though.

      Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from our home to your home. 🎄

  11. I must have been a mercenary little boy! When I told my mum I didn’t believe in Santa any more, she pointed out to me that if I told that to my sister (two years younger) neither of us would be getting Santa’s special stocking goodies. I kept quiet for several years 😉

  12. Great story, this one, Hugh. Wow, people who are naughty get punished big in your book(s)! 🙂 For me, Christmas is not much more than a normal day. It was never that special growing up in Belgium (we celebrated New Year in a grander way) and now on the road, it’s totally uneventful, since we aren’t even surrounded by family. Happy holidays!

    1. Thank you, Liesbet. I always love hearing or reading a ghost story at Christmas time. I don’t know why, but it seems a much better time of the year to tell one than it does at Halloween. Maybe because the nights in the northern hemisphere are longer and darker then?

      Christmas to you sounds very much like birthdays do for me. A day that is very much like any other day (except Christmas) for me. I’ve never been able to understand why people want to celebrate getting a year older. I always want to be 23!

      When I was a lot younger (and I do mean a lot younger), New Year’s Eve was always a big night. Now, I’m usually in bed and asleep by the time the New Year arrives.

      Festive greetings to you.

  13. A goosebumpy story, Hugh. I had no idea where you were going with this. I am not sure how I feel about this story, although, you made me feel fear, joy, hope and especially relief. At least it isn’t Christmas Day for little/big Hugh every day. And, yes, I do believe in Father Christmas. I have seen him. Merry Christmas Hugh 🙂

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