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Tilly and Tip......... A christmas story.

Updated: Dec 24, 2019

Tilly and Tips Christmas adventure.

By Jen Blaxall.

‘Twas the night before Christmas eve, and Tilly was deep in thought gazing out of the window into the snowflake dowsed garden. The only footprints that could be seen on the frosty, sparkling white carpeted lawn was of robins and wrens, the fox and the badger.

Tilly said thoughtfully “mum, I know tomorrow is the eve of Christmas and we will be leaving some carrots in the garden for Santa’s reindeer, but how about our garden animals that are here every day? It is cold and snowy; surely they deserve a Christmas treat too?”

Mum proudly responded “you are right my darling let’s find them a treat, after all it’s Christmas for them too!”

Tilly excitedly skipped into the kitchen brushing past the highly decorated tree as she went which made the little drummer man spin back and forth making a chiming sound as it tapped the glittery red bauble hanging on the next branch.

Along with her mum she searched the cupboards for appropriate treats for the garden animals and decided on making a Christmas cake of mixed nuts, seeds and fruit bound together with lard and a small amount of oil used for the breakfast bacon. Tilly pulled up a stool and climbed on so she could reach the work surface and tied her apron round her waist while mum put out the ingredients and mixing bowl within reach. One more thing was needed for this afternoon of wildlife Christmas feast preparation. Tilly’s mum picked up a remote control and pressed the button whilst saying “Christmas songs! We can’t prepare a Christmas feast without Christmas songs.” They both giggled as they sang along to white Christmas.

Tilly and her mum spent an hour mixing, binding pouring and moulding while singing and jigging alone to a collection of festive songs which are brought out and made memories to every year. While the mould set in the fridge, the snow had stopped for a while so Tilly and her mum went out to the garden to make a snowman. As they brought the snow to life by giving the snow man buttons for eyes, carrot for a nose, wrapping him in a scarf and fitting him with a hat they talked about the garden animals and who will visit for the feast. A robin hopped about in the garden close by as if to see who this new being was in his garden. As he did, Tilly said “hello Mr Robin, we have prepared you a feast for tonight, go tell your friends dinner will be served at dusk.” And off he flew.

The snow was starting to fall once again and Tilly’s fingers were starting to sting through her snow soaked mittens, so mum said “inside to warm” and made her a delicious hot chocolate with marshmallows. Tilly sat with her hands wrapped around the warm mug with the chocolate fumes wafting up her nose and hitting the back of her throat, she was anxious for it to cool so she could savour it in her mouth, as she was blowing on the mug the marshmallows were spinning on the surface and her thoughts turned back to the wildlife in the garden. Once her chocolatey treat was cool enough, she guzzled it down and shouted “mum, is the cake ready?” They looked into the fridge and yes it was set! Carefully taking it out of the mould, they cut it into quarters and placed it gently in the snow around the snowman. Tilly said “Mr Snowman; please wish the garden animals a merry Christmas from us”, and then they returned to the warmth of the open fire in the house. Once Tilly had eaten her supper and had a warm bath she sat on her bed in a dim light where she could see the snowman and the garden animals enjoying their cake. With the day’s events it wasn’t long before Tilly slipped into a deep sleep.

Just before dawn, Tilly woke from her slumber and remembered the wildlife feast. She threw open her curtains but it was too dark to see. So after hastily putting on some clothes she tiptoed down the stairs not to wake her mum and cautiously unlocked the door to the garden. The garden was lit by the full moon dazzling on the crisp snow laden ground. As she placed a foot into the snow it crunched under her weight and as she stepped closer and closer to the snowman she could see only crumbs left from the wildlife feast. She had imaginings of the garden animals partying around the foot of the snowman. As she looked closer at the left over crumbs she noticed a small mouse nibbling at the morsels, she crouched down to get a closer look while holding her breath as she didn’t want to spook her little friend. As she gently and quietly got down on her hands and knees the little mouse dropped the half nibbled seed and rather than running, it approached Tilly, and as it did the little mouse said “thank you little girl, from all the garden wildlife we now have full bellies on this frozen white night. But can I ask what the occasion is?”

Tilly started to explain to the little mouse about this magical time of year and how tomorrow night the garden will have more visitors in the form of reindeer and every year when the reindeer visit Tilly will leave carrots in exchange of them bringing Santa safely to their home with his sack full of presents.

The little mouse looked at Tilly wide eyed and fixed with fear and as she did, she let out a screech “SANTA!!! NO NOT SANTA!!” And started to run in circles around the foot of the snowman in a blind panic mumbling as she goes. Tilly just couldn’t understand. She tried to quieten the mouse and as she slowly exhausted Tilly put out her hand and before she realised, the little mouse ran up her arm. Tilly looked the mouse in the eye and said “now I have your attention, please calm down. What is your name little mouse?” The mouse replied through panting breath, “yes, I am sorry, you have been so kind. My name is Tip.”

“How do you do Tip, my name is Tilly. Now why are you so fearful of Santa? He spends all year with his elves making toys for all the children in the world and tonight he sets off from the North Pole on his sleigh pulled by reindeer and magically and wondrously brings presents to every child on earth before dawn. Surely that makes him a good man, he doesn’t mean any harm and when you meet him, he is always jolly and laughing.”

Tip responded in a quivering voice. “Santa maybe a saint to you, but when he has visited the bad times starts.”

“Bad times?” Tilly asks quizzically.

Tip proceeded “After a week from Santa’s visit, the terrible times begin. While all the children are enjoying the festive season with their new toys our lands become sick.”

“I don’t understand?” says Tilly.

“Let me continue” Said Tip. “The sparkly, glittery paper that hides these toys from prying eyes and the plastic box that contains the toy is all picked up by big Lorries and put into our land, when this happens our lands moan. It is sick with the overload of rubbish that release poison into our air, food and water. Some of my wildlife friends get caught up in the discarded rubbish never to escape. When our lands are polluted the trees and the plants that provides our food and homes often can’t grow, which is a big fear to the birds, animals and fish of these lands, skies and seas. That’s why Santa scares me!”

“Oh little mouse,” Tilly said with a heavy heart. “I never understood how this was for you and all your friends, I promise you we will make this right and tonight’s the night! I will stay up and speak to Santa myself, he’s a good man that grants wishes and this is a wish that can’t be ignored.”

Little Tip raised a smile and with a little jump of glee, said “Thank you Tilly, you are our Christmas joy!” As Tilly lowered the mouse to the ground, Tip skipped off waving to Tilly and joyfully shouting “see you tomorrow my friend, I look forward to when this fear ends.”

Tilly suddenly was aware of the cold and as she got up from the damp, crisp snow she let out a sneeze and said to herself “bless me,” she realised she was back in her bed, tucked up and warm in her pyjamas. How could this be? The only explanation was that Tip was a dream. She threw back the curtains and looked down to the snowman with crumbs at his feet and an icicle shining so bright off the end of his carrot nose in the glistening winter sun. Tilly said to herself in a sullen bemused manner, “a dream it must have been?”

Tilly’s mum could see that she was very quiet on this Christmas Eve. “What’s bothering you my little girl, you should be full of excitement and wonder on this festive day?”

Tilly had a look of sadness and confusion in her eyes but then proceeded to explain to her mum about her dream while her mum listened and stroked her hair reassuringly.

“My, my” said Tilly’s mum “You have been busy in your sleep, you must be exhausted? Why don’t I make you one of your favourite hot chocolates and you curl up in front of the telly for an hour?”

Tilly smile and nodded. Her mum wrapped her in a soft blanket and her mind was soon distracted from the vivid dream by the warming chocolate smell wafting from the kitchen and the princess’s adventures to find her prince on the telly.

Whilst stirring the chocolate on the stove, waiting for it to heat Tilly’s mum wondered how on earth Tilly found out this sort of information about where the rubbish ends up. It is not something they had ever discussed. Maybe she had learnt it at school? Maybe she had seen it on telly? Her thoughts came back to the warming chocolate as it started to steam, she added some marshmallows and took it into Tilly who was absorbed by the princess animation. Tilly and her mum sat under the shared soft blanket and watched the rest of the happy ever after story whilst sipping on the sweet warm chocolate.

Once the princess had got her prince, Tilly’s mum suggested they prepare the carrots for Santa’s reindeer. They cut the carrots and Tilly pulled on her wellies ready to place the carrots in the snow covered garden. Tilly decided they needed to be put next to the snowman that was stood observing the garden through his button eyes. There were still a few crumbs at his feet from yesterday’s wildlife feast. For a moment, Tilly thought about her dream and the little mouse Tip. She turned to her mum and said “Santa isn’t a bad man is he?” They headed into the warm and her mum told Tilly stories of Santa’s adventures making and delivering presents to children worldwide and how generous and kind he is to devote his life to giving. Tilly felt excited once again for Christmas morning and after they had supper and Tilly had a warm bath she put on some new Christmas pyjamas and couldn’t wait to go to bed, but not before leaving Santa a mince pie and a glass of sherry by the fire place. Tilly rushed off to bed and fell deep into a sleep whilst wondering what delights Santa will bring.

As Tilly slept on this magical night her slumber was disturbed by a rustling. As she sat up and wiped the sleepy dust from her eyes she could only see a silhouette in the darkness of her room, so feeling for her bedside light she knocked a book from the table and the rustling stopped as if something or someone was startled. As she flicked the switch on the lamp and filled the room with light there stood Santa. Tilly gasped as she was in awe of the presence of the man that she had heard so many wonderful tales about and knowing he visits her every year and she has never been able to thank him.

Santa broke the silence by whispering “I am so sorry to wake you Tilly, I am very experienced at creeping in and out without waking children usually, but it seems tonight we have company.” With that, from the top of the sack at the end of Tilly’s bed which was spilling over with presents a scampering could be heard, then out popped a familiar little friend. “Tip!” Said Tilly with glee and slight confusion “what are you doing here? Am I dreaming again?” Tip leapt onto the bed and closer to Tilly to explain. “I was waiting for Santa, after you explained he was a good, kind man I wanted to help you explain the fear of Christmas that runs through the animal kingdom. We saw you were sleeping so I was trying to show Santa all the rubbish and wrapping from the presents in your sack that ends up in the ground and making the earth sick. Tell him Tilly, you said you can make this better.”

Tilly gestured to Santa to pull up the chair from the corner of her room so they could discuss Tips concerns, but first Tilly wanted to know was she dreaming. Is Tip just a figment of her imagination? Santa pulled the chair up close and all 3 of them leant in so they could keep their voices soft, not to wake Tilly’s mum. As Santa moved in close to listen Tilly could feel the cold crisp air melting off his grey beard in the warmth of the room and he had a smell of mince pies and a hint of sherry on his breath.

Santa said “let me start by explaining how we all ended up here. Tilly, you weren’t dreaming last night, Tip is not part of your imagination. The real magic that happened came from your snowman.”

“Huh!” Tilly said, before Santa continued. “When I arrived in your garden tonight and the reindeer were enjoying the carrots you left I had a chat with your snowman and he told me about the conversation you and Tip had whilst sat at his feet when you both met. He understood Tips pain and knew you had the power to make a difference, but he didn’t want you to worry yourself sick about it so he blew the freezing crisp snow in your face which made you feel the cold and sneeze. As this happened he used his magic to send you back to your bed as if it was a dream.”

“So it was the snowman.” Said Tilly,

“but what happens when it warms and he melts?”

Santa explained “the snowman was made by your hands with love and laughter, he is part of you. He has served his purpose in getting us all here together tonight for the greater good, so his magic lives on in you Tilly.”

The 3 of them spent the next hour talking about how they can solve the problem of so much rubbish and as they got deeper into conversation they realised their voices had got louder as they heard a door open on the landing. Before they knew it the bedroom door was pushed open and there stood Tilly’s mum. “Santa, is that you?” She said in shock and open mouthed.

Before he could answer Tilly said excitedly “mum, mum come and sit on the bed, I have so much to tell and as she sat, she let out a little screech when she saw a small mouse out of the corner of her eye. “Mum please don’t worry, this is Tip, it wasn’t a dream!”

Tilly’s mum just sat on the bed bewildered as the past two days events were explained to her. It was obvious to all that Santa wanted to make things right. He said leave it with me, I will be in touch, but now I must leave it’s not long until daybreak and I still have presents to deliver. They watched him climb aboard his sleigh from the window, and then Tilly’s mum said, ‘time to try and get some sleep.’

She tucked Tilly in tight and kissed her on the head before switching off the light. Tilly listened to her walk across the landing back to her room and whispered “sweet dreams Tip, I know you are still here.”

Tilly felt a wiggle from under her pillow and Tip returned the sentiment.

The next morning, Tilly woke excited, she leapt from her bed and whilst grabbing her stocking she ran across the landing and jumped into bed next to her mum. They spent some time going through the presents Santa had left her. Toys, dolls, colouring books, sweets and at the bottom of the sack was a letter. She opened curiously and her mum asked her to read it to her.

‘Dear Tilly and Tip,

Thank you for bringing to my attention the destruction that is being caused to the earth due to the waste all the toys and Christmas wrapping is creating. I promised I would sort it and I would be in touch, so this is what I propose…

…After discussing with the snowman and making a phone call back to my chief elf last night I have come to the conclusion what is needed at the factory is an advisor to help us reduce our waste. In fact I think we need two advisors. This is why I invite you both Tilly and Tip to come and work alongside the elves through the summer whilst they make the toys. I will send a sleigh for you and your mother and provide you with a home here in the North Pole.

Love Santa x’

Tilly jumped for joy and said “I must find Tip and tell her” A little voice said “no need, I heard every word” Tip was so happy she was dancing a little jig across the floor.

Tilly, her mum and Tip had the most wonderful Christmas, eating, dancing and playing games whilst talking about their future adventures in the North Pole. Tilly and her mum showed Tip why Christmas is magic to them and she agreed it is a wondrous time of year.

Over the cold festive period, the snowman looked over the garden with the wildlife foraging around his feet on the fruit, nuts and seeds Tilly put out daily and it didn’t take long for word to get out to the animal kingdom that from now on Christmas will be magic for all.

The months past and the snowman had melted, summer came round and Tilly hadn’t heard from Santa again. It was the last day of school before the summer holidays and when she returned home, there was a letter waiting for her. She hastily opened it and all it said was, ‘pack a bag the sleigh will be with you at dawn.’

Oh my gosh it was happening! Tilly, her mum and Tip prepared themselves for the journey and as promised, the reindeer arrived in the garden with the sleigh at dawn. All the garden animals turned out to see them off in anticipation that from here on in, Christmas will not be something to fear.

Tilly, her mum and Tip had a wonderful summer full of fun, laughter and wonderful memories of Santa and his Elves making Christmas before returning home in time to go back to school. Every Christmas from then on was just as much about nurturing nature as it was about putting smiles on children’s faces, with more recyclable materials used for packaging, the earth, skies and seas no longer groaned with pain and pollution and all the animals that lived there embraced the magic of Christmas. All thanks to a little mouse, a small girl and a magical snowman there was peace on earth at Christmas and goodwill to not only mankind, but all that live on this beautiful planet that was once again allowed to breathe, heal and evolve…… and Santa was loved by all.

MERRY CHRISTMAS.

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