Ho ho ho! Our work-based learning student Gina has written this lovely tale of our mascot Reffie's Christmas antics. Guaranteed to spread some festive cheer!
Reffie woke up and stretched his little arms. He was still a little tired but when he looked out of his window he saw it was snowing.
He smiled and jumped out of bed. He ran into the bathroom, brushed his sharp teeth and face quickly.
Holding on to the railing, he ran down the stairs shouting, “Merry Christmas!” He turned the corner into the living room and glanced at all the Christmas decorations, the Christmas tree, and the Christmas presents. Only, there weren’t any presents under the tree. Santa hadn’t been yet.
Reffie’s Mom and Dad came into the living room from the kitchen. His Dad rested his hand on Reffie’s shoulder.
“It’s not Christmas day yet, Reffie,” his Dad told him. Reffie looked up at him sadly.
“Why isn’t it Christmas day?” Reffie asked desperately. He looked back down at the empty space under the tree. His lip wobbled and he wiped at his eyes.
His parents leant down and they hugged him from both sides. His Mom smelt of the sugar cookies she always cooked around the Christmas period. His Dad’s hands were sticky from the icing from the mince pie he’d just eaten.
“Cheer up Reffie, its Christmas Eve today, that’s all,” his Mom said. Reffie nodded his head and sniffled.
“We’ll have lots of fun,” said his Dad. Reffie braved a smile and his Dad squeezed his shoulder.
Reffie’s Mom prepared a big breakfast on the table full of pancakes, eggs of all sorts, brown sugar glazed bacon, assorted fruit and cereals. Reffie stayed away from the meat, he didn’t eat meat. But his brother and sister tucked in to their breakfasts. But Reffie’s arms were a lot shorter than his siblings and he only reached the plates closer to him.
Reffie turned to his sister and tapped her on the shoulder. She turned and looked down at her little brother with a frown on her face.
“Why isn’t it Christmas day?” He asked her.
She frowned deeper and shook her head at her brother.
“Because it’s the 24th December that’s why,” she answered. Reffie looked at the calendar hanging on the fridge. His sister was right; it was the 24th which meant Reffie would have to wait a whole day till Christmas day, and for Santa to come.
Reffie’s brother overheard them though and he elbowed his sister. He smiled at Reffie.
“Don’t worry Reffie. It just means when Christmas does get here it will be extra special. Plus we’re going to the park!” Reffie started to feel excited at the thought of going to the park.
So when breakfast was finished, Reffie, his parents, his brother, and his sister all put on their coats, wrapped scarves around each other and put on their hats and gloves to stay warm.
They walked to the park a few roads down from their house. Reffie enjoyed kicking up the snow with his wellington boots, creating a snow shower in front of him.
When they reached the park Reffie ran to play on the swings. His brother played on the one next to him and they swung with each other eventually turning into a contest to see who could go the highest. Reffie had to hold on very tight because his tiny little arms were stretching out to hold on tight.
They took it in turns to go down the slide. “Weeeee!” Reffie shouted as he came down. His brother was at the bottom ready to catch him.
His sister went next but Reffie didn’t have enough time to move so she came crashing down into him.
All three of them fell to the snowy floor.
They all looked up at each other, anger and confusion in their expressions. But they all burst out laughing and started throwing snow balls at each other.
Reffie walked over to edge of the pond, but kept a safe distance from the edge. He took out some duck food from his pocket and threw it into the water for the ducks that were swimming around.
“Why isn’t it Christmas day, Duckies?” Reffie wondered aloud. One of the ducks stopped and looked at him. Reffie thought it was going to say or do something.
But the duck only swam away and carried on eating his food. Reffie sighed, dumped the rest of his food in the water and strolled back over to his family.
The wind was cold and Reffie shivered and pulled his coat tighter to him. His Dad watched him and rubbed his own hands together.
“I think we should get out the cold,” Reffie’s Dad said.
So, they all huddled together and shuffled along the path outside the park. The roads were quiet, barely anyone was around.
Small crowds were stood at doors singing Christmas carols. Lights in people’s windows flashed and sparkled. Reffie took all of the prettiness in and it warmed him up a little. He wouldn’t see this on Christmas day because they have Christmas at home which meant they wouldn’t leave the house.
They passed many houses with light coming through the curtains but when they reached a small house with a green and white wreath on the door, Reffie, his brother, and his sister all ran up to the door and started knocking.
“I wonder who that could be,” Reffie’s Grandmother called as she opened the door. Light spilled from inside and warmth touched their faces.
The all clambered inside and took off their wet coats. The house was fully decorated with a tree in every room. An old fireplace was alight in the living room and Reffie sat in front of it.
His Grandmother carried a tray of drinks into the living room and handed them out to each of Reffie’s family. She handed him a hot chocolate with cream on top, but he had a little trouble lifting it high enough to his mouth with his little arms and big jaw.
They started a game of monopoly on the floor but Reffie didn’t get too involved. He sat next to his Grandmother and sipped at his drink.
“Grandma?” He began. Her soft eyes fell on him and she stroked his cheek.
“Yes my darling?” She chimed.
“Why isn’t it Christmas day?”
She frowned and looked away from him and into the fire, thinking.
She was quiet for a while and then a small smile tugged at the corners of her mouth.
“What do you think Christmas day is about?” His Grandmother asked. Reffie thought only for a second and answered.
“Santa bringing the presents,” he answered honestly.
His Grandmother shook her head softly and pointed at his parents playing with his brother and sister. Reffie looked over at them.
They were laughing as Reffie’s Dad bought a house on the monopoly board that his sister was waiting for.
His Dad leaned over and kissed his Mom on the cheek. Reffie’s brother was giving some of his money to his sister and she smiled thankfully.
“This is what it’s all about, Reffie,” his Grandmother said. She waved her hand again at her family. “Christmas is the time to spend with your family and friends. It’s about being comfortable with the ones you love; a time to relax and spread positivity.”
Reffie looked at how happy his family were. He looked at the warm fire giving them warmth and he looked at the beautiful smile on his Grandmother’s face.
“It has been a fun and relaxing day, Grandma,” he thought as he nodded his head.
He crawled across the carpet floor and snuggled up to his family playing monopoly. He smiled at everyone and they played for a few more hours.
Grandma refilled their drinks when they were empty and brought food around for them all to nibble on. They watched a Christmas movie cozied up on the sofa and snacked on mince pies.
But soon it was time to go. Reffie’s grandmother would be seeing them tomorrow and she needed to cook some food ready for the big day.
They all wrapped up in their now dry coats and braved the dark cold outside.
Reffie had a little skip in his step and as he passed carollers on the path he chirped up and started to sing. They sung a little with him as they passed on to the next house but Reffie didn’t stop singing songs till he got back home.
It was late in the evening when they got back home and Reffie’s mom had a lot to do. She put on a Christmas movie for the children to watch and went into the kitchen.
Reffie followed her and asked if he could help with anything. She hesitated a little and studied Reffie.
“You can help me ice the cookies?” She asked. Reffie jumped with excitement. He washed his hands and set to work icing the cookies.
The cookies smelt delicious and it was hard for Reffie not to eat them. He stopped himself from stealing the cookies and iced the trees and candy cane shaped cookies with red and green icing.
Reffie and his Mom put them to one side to dry and joined the rest of the family to watch the Christmas film.
They all laughed and joked along with the movie but they were all growing tired. When the movie finished they cleaned the living room.
Reffie’s Mom brought out a few cookies, a glass of milk and a carrot for the reindeers. Reffie set them next to the fire place ready for Santa. He wanted to try and wait up for Santa but his little body was exhausted.
They all staggered up the stairs and went into their rooms. Reffie wondered over to his window and looked out. Snow was falling pretty heavy but he peered up at the dark sky, looking for Santa.
“He’s not going to visit while you’re still awake,” Reffie’s Dad said from the door. His Mom and Dad walked into the room and ushered Reffie towards his bed.
Reffie climbed into bed and pulled the covers up to his chest. His Mom sat on the edge of the bed and tucked him in.
“It’s snowing a lot outside,” Reffie said. His parents both nodded as his Dad pulled the curtains shut.
“It is Reffie. It’s so curious boys like you don’t see Santa before you’re asleep,” his Mom told him. Reffie smiled at both his parents and turned on his side to face them.
“I don’t mind, as long as Grandma can come tomorrow,” he replied. This surprised his Mom and Dad but they smiled at him.
They both kissed him on the head and said good night. When the door closed behind them Reffie snuck out of bed and checked the snow on the ground. It was thick but not too deep that Grandma couldn’t walk through it.
He went back to bed and rested his head on the pillow. He thought back to all the lights in the streets, the carollers, his grandmother and her warm fire, the fun he had at the park with his family and the fun he would have tomorrow.
With happy thoughts he fell asleep just as he thought he heard the sound of sleigh bells coming from downstairs.
The next morning, Reffie was woken up by his brother jumping on his bed.
“Merry Christmas, Reffie!” He shouted.
Reffie smiled and scrambled out of bed. They both tackled the stairs carefully and ran into the living room. The room was the same as yesterday only there were presents under the tree.
“Merry Christmas Reffie!” The whole family cheered. His sister, his Mom and Dad were sat on the three seater sofa and his Grandmother was sat in the arm chair. She was grinned at Reffie as he walked over to where Santa had eaten his cookies and drank his milk; the carrot was gone too.
“Santa’s been,” his Mom said to him. Reffie smiled at the presents but didn’t go to them straight away.
Instead, he went up to everyone and gave them a big kiss. They all thanked him with surprised smiles.
“What’s with all the kisses?” His Dad asked him. Reffie glanced over at his Grandmother.
“Christmas isn’t just about the presents from Santa. Christmas is about spending time with family,” he said proudly.
His Dad squeezed Reffie’s mom’s hand. Reffie’s mom was close to tears and his Grandmother was so proud of him. They all hugged once more and then turned towards the tree.
“Come on then Reffie. Let’s open some presents,” his brother called to him.
Reffie joined his brother and sister by the tree and together they handed out the presents.
Reffie’s Christmas day was like his Christmas Eve, full of fun, laughter and food. They all shared the wonderful day together and made memories that lasted a life time.