Christmas Cheers by Elaine Peters

Benny couldn’t believe his eyes. He’d actually seen him, and it wasn’t even Christmas yet. There would be lots and lots more sleeps before Santa came to his house, yet there he was shopping in Tesco just like him and his mum. 

Benny knew it was Santa Claus because he had exactly the same white bushy beard and red nose as in the pictures on Mum’s cards. Not shiny red like Rudolph’s of course, but quite red. Like his whole face. He wasn’t wearing his special Christmas outfit yet because Benny knew he had to keep it clean until then. He just had on a rather grubby anorak. 

Mum was going to buy a bottle of sherry for Granny because Dad said she liked a tipple when she came to stay. Benny didn’t hear what Mum replied but it was something about being pissed. Benny hoped they weren’t talking about the last time he wet his pyjamas. 

Santa was in the drinks section as well. He was putting loads of bottles in his trolly. Benny couldn’t contain his excitement a moment longer. He ran up to Santa and whispered loudly. 

‘I’ll see you on Christmas Day, hopefully.’ 

Santa didn’t say ho-ho-ho, he just said ‘Eh?’ 

Mum grabbed Benny and pulled him away. 

‘So Sorry,’ she said to Santa. ‘Please excuse us.’ 

‘But Mum,’ Benny tried to explain as they hurried to the checkout. ‘That’s Santa, just not in his red clothes yet. He’s buying bottles in case people forget to leave him a drink. He needs something with his mince pie and carrot. A tipple, like Granny’. 

‘Benny, that Santa will definitely not be coming to our house on Christmas Day.’ 

‘I know, I forgot, he comes the night before, and I probably won’t see him because I’ll be asleep.’

Published in Issue #7

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