Well, it’s that time of year again. The sun may be blazing through the window and the summer may be well underway, but the Christmas letters call.
I have been asked to do both “before Christmas” and “Christmas Morning” letters as usual and I thought this year, I’d start with the latter. For anyone who is new to my Father Christmas letters and has no idea what I’m talking about, I create two kinds; one to be given to a child in the run up to Christmas and another to be opened and read when he/she wakes on Christmas Day. Apparently, the letters for before Christmas are the most popular but the Christmas Morning ones also have their fans and I’m told they’re particularly liked by families whose children open their presents after lunch.
I gave a good deal of thought as to what kind of stories Father Christmas should tell this year – I always try to make sure each letter is about something new – and I’ve decided that this first one will be based on a Christmas Eve run in with pirates.
Why pirates? Well, I like them – and so do most children. I also like parrots and all the best pirates have one. In fact, I’m thinking it’s a a pirate parrot who may actually cause problems for Father Christmas and his reindeer, somewhere over a make-believe sea.
A Couple of Days Later…
After a bit of thinking and note making, I’ve now drafted the letter and begun the work of putting it into Father Christmas’ curly handwriting. It looks like it will have to be two pages rather than one, as the story I want it to tell just won’t fit into anything shorter.
As you can see from the picture on the left, I’ve so far as designed the letter head, made a start on some of the little illustrations around the sides and written out page one. It always surprises me how long the actual writing takes… maybe I’m just too used to typing these days! As usual, I shall be filling the margins with more little pictures to compliment the story. Oh, and for those of you who like the little spiders – I shan’t forget to add them. They go on last though, when I know what space I’ve got left.
The pirate parrot has worked very well and I have had great fun writing him. The pirate captain has also turned out to be an amusing character so all in all I’m very pleased. In fact, I think this letter may become one of my favourites. Of course, the best thing about writing all the Father Christmas letters is imagining the children who will enjoy them. I hope this one brings a lot of pleasure.
I’m going to end this post now and get back to work but before I go, I’d like to say a quick thank you for all the kind messages those of you who have had my letters have sent me in the past. I keep them all.
This letter – Father Christmas and the Pirates – is now available to print online.