Tuesday, December 04, 2007

A Father Christmas Story

Susanna Carr's blog reminded me of what happened to my eldest and Father Christmas.
Back in 1993, when he was 3, we went to visit my mother for Christmas.This was the first time he had experienced an American Christmas and one of his big treats was being taken to see the San Francisco Ballet's production of the Nutcracker on Christmas Eve.
The Nutcracker is one of my favourite ballets and to see it performed by the SF Ballet is wonderful. A truly magical happening and on Christmas eve, they used to sing carols after the performance.
My son had not see the Nutcracker live before and was totally entranced with Clara's Nutcracker. At the interval my husband took him to look around as I was busy with our daughter who was a baby at the time. She was very good by the way and slept the entire way through the performance.
They came back to the seats and my son was very excited about the possibilities of a Nutcracker. My husband lifted an eyebrow, indicating that I should go and somehow get one, but I shook my head. It was Christmas Eve and there were loads of presents to come. To avoid a huge temper tantrum, I did concede that he could put an emergency letter up the chimney to Father Christmas but more than likely Father Christmas had left the North Pole. My son, tears filling in his eyes, agreed.
The curtain went up and the second act started. Both my husband and I stayed in our seats and we did not leave the ballet with any extra packages. In fact, we purchased nothing at the ballet.
When we returned to my mother's house, my son duly put up his letter and excitedly talked about the nutcracker. My husband was quite cross with me btw and predicted a ruined Christmas. I said that my son would forget in the morning.
From this point on, no adult left the house to purchase anything. Nothing was purchased or brought into the house. Can I be clear on this point -- other than paying for parking that day, no money was spent and no presents were bought.
On Christmas morning, in front of the fireplace in pride of place stood a Nutcracker. Exactly like the one he had seen in the ballet. Father Christmas had come through. Even though, no one could have guessed that it would be the one thing my son would desire. Oh how my son's eyes shone!
I have told all my children when they can figure out how this happened, then they can tell me that Father Christmas does not exist.
The Nutcracker now slightly battered still graces our mantelpiece at Christmastime.
And even though my children are in their teens, they still have not been able to explain it. Or maybe they just like the magic.

I have discovered that A Noble Captive is out in Italian this month. Although it was published in the UK last January, it has not appeared in the US yet. I have a copy of the English edition to give away.
The question I would like answered is what are the names of the hero and heroine of A Noble Captive.(Hint check the blurb)
If you email me the answer, I will draw the winner out of the hat on 12 December. Please put totebag contest in the subject line.
A Christmas Wedding Wager is currently in the stores. It is a Dear Author December pick and The Romance Reader Connection called it simply enchanting.
A Happy Christmas to you all.
And has anyone figured out, how the Nutcracker appeared?



Donna Alward said...

That's a lovely story Michelle!

And I'm reading A Christmas Wedding Wager right now. ;-)


Michelle Styles said...

I should point out the story is totally true.

A mother's foresight is not tobe underestimated!

Wolfy said...

I loved the story Michelle. I wondered while reading it if because it was a favourite of yours and you were going to have your son experience it you had not wanted him to have a momento to remember it always. But the magic of it all is so heart warming. Thank you so much for sharing with us.

Estella said...

Lovely story!

Jennie Lucas said...

What a wonderful story, Michelle!

I was puzzling over your nutcracker did it get into the house? But then I saw your hint in the comments. A mother's foresight can indeed be a powerful thing. *grin*

Pam P said...

What a wonderful family Christmas memory, Michelle.

Michelle Styles said...

Thank you.
I was pretty proud of the way it turned out.
A friend who had never seen the ballet once asked me but what if my son had not been so taken with the Nutcracker... My answer was to tell her to go and see the ballet. From my POV it is impossible not to covet the nutcrackers with hungry eyes, particularly not if you are 3 after seeing such a thing. And my dh should have listened a week or so earlier, so it served him right as well!

Jane said...

I have no idea how the Nutcracker came into the house, but I'm glad your son was able to have his wish.

Maureen said...

I like your story about the magic of Christmas.

Pam P said...

Thanks, Michelle. Happy Holidays!