James Jay is the father. He was previously discharged from the factory where he worked for the past 25 years. He continued to support the family on reduced circumstances by doing handyman jobs around the town. However hard things were, he was determined to provide a good Christmas for his family including getting the children one nice present each and a warm scarf for his wife.
Jay is surprised when he comes home on Christmas Eve to find Jennifer on the front porch reciting a charm which when said at the wrong time, invites Auntie Thresa Claus to come, rather that keeps her away. Thresa Claus does come on Christmas morning at sunrise and must be invited in. She joins the family for breakfast and then announces that it is time to give out presents. James tries to give her his present, a watch that his wife purchased for him, but she refuses. “There are others,” she said.
June Jay has a part-time job at a department store and has now become the family’s chief breadwinner. One advantage that this job has is that she can get store items at reduced prices. She knows that Jennifer wants, more than anything else, an expensive princess dress at the store. Using her employee discount and the store’s Christmas-club account, she has been paying on it for months.
For days before Christmas the house has been decorated, the tree put up and Christmas Eve finds the family making ready for the Christmas meal. A fat goose has been donated by James’ brother and this will be the centerpiece of the meal along with dressing and sweet potatoes. A special dish that is cooked is an English-style plum pudding that has a small silver coin in it that has magical powers on Christmas day. Whoever gets the coin in their slice may make one wish.
The kids have been helping getting the meal ready, and Mrs. Jay explains why she cooks a special meal for Christmas and makes many of the same dishes that her mother and grandmother served their families.
Both Jimmy and Jennifer wake up in a cold house on Christmas morning to the sounds of their dad pouring coal into the pot-bellied stove in the living room. They rush down to make sure that their presents are still there, knowing that the presents may be opened only after the family is assembled. Jimmy is assured that is Daisy Red Rider air rifle is still in its long thin box under the tree. He had been wishing for this for a long time, and had been pleased to find that his dad had brought home a suitably shaped box that made a satisfying “thunk, thunk,” sound when it was shaken.
Before breakfast Auntie Thresa Claus arrives at the door. James must let her in, and after breakfast, she announces that she is to give out presents. She selects both the air rifle and princess dress. Both children must say that they give them to her of their own free will or else they will keep their one present, but everything else in the house will be taken away. Tearfully, both children give up their presents to their, “Dear old Auntie Thresa Claus.”
Thresa Claus announces that she is already full from consuming three Christmas dinners that day, but decides that he would like a little plum pudding to finish up. The putting is brought out and cut. James attempts to find the magic coin because he knows that only one wish will reverse the day’s events. He fails. The coin appears in Jennifer’s slice.
Jennifer thinks hard about her wish. She makes an appropriate wish and finds herself back on the stoop of the house on Christmas Eve with her dad walking down the sidewalk. She grabs him and blurts out that “Auntie Thresa Claus will not come. She will not come.”
Surprized by this, James assures his daughter that Thresa Claus is a person that no one wants to have at their Christmas table. They go inside with the promise that James will tell the kids, “All about Auntie Thresa Claus.”
“A Visit from Auntie Thresa Claus” is available as a short story, stage play and screenplay. A radio reading of the short story may be heard over VoiceAmerica Sports Radio and WebTalkRadio.Net. To hear the story, go to my website www.hoveysmith.com and activate the show links just below the banner. The VAS show is the only November show listed and the WTR show is listed as the “Christmas Show.” Copies of the stage play may be ordered from the website. If demand is sufficient, a CD recording of my reading of the short story can be produced.
If interested in publishing the short story or producing the play or screenplay contact me at email@example.com.
To go directly to the show page click on the following URL. Listen now at: http://webtalkradio.net/shows/hoveys-outdoor-adventures/.
Merry Christmas, 2010