John Marsden Writing Topic #287

A Christmas story: Santa recounts some incidents from his travels.**

Here Comes Santa Claus

This is my last year as Santa—Christmas Eve 2069.

That’s right, Santa exists but he is not one person, he is/has been a variety of chosen ones who fulfil the role for fifty years, training the next chosen one in line five years before retirement. Although I’ve been on the job for fifty years and have the grey hair and beard to go with the uniform, I’ll return to England, not having aged a day (all chosen ones start work at 25) and will rebuild my mortal life from there.

I can describe my time as Santa in six words “it was gone in a flash!” When I started work it was 2019—everyone’s lives revolved around their smartphones, children were striking from school to protest against their governments’ lack of action on climate change, and attitudes and laws were starting to change around the LGTBI+ community. Now smartphones are primitive devices, those children (many of whom I brought presents to) are now today’s leaders—some changed the world and are still passionate for the cause for others it was just a phase, and the LGTBI+ community are treated as equals.

My favourite part of the job has always been travelling around the world and the thrill of possibly getting caught by excited children. From the remote and cold Greenland, which is closest to headquarters, to the hot but beautiful continent of Africa, nothing beats the joy of making children happy.

It was always bittersweet when I had to deliver presents to my own family. They knew I was a chosen one and understood that I had to do this job, but I missed them constantly. It was hard to see their lives unfold and for some of them end, but I at least got to see them, even if it was from afar.

This year, I have the next chosen one helping me, starting our travels the usual way in Kiribati, wrapping up in Hawaii, before my final stop in my brother’s and great-niece’s home. I’ll leave my final present as Santa for them, with a card simply saying. “This is my last year, I’m coming home. I love you all and Merry Christmas.”


**Reference: Marsden J 1998, Everything I Know About Writing, Pan Macmillan, Australia.


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