Secret Santa

Reads: 311  | Likes: 6  | Shelves: 3  | Comments: 6

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic

Featured Review on this writing by Jobe Rubens

“I’m not sure about this,” said Mrs Jones to the vicar. Image by Leroy Skalstad from Pixabay. (500 words).

“I’m not sure about this,” said Mrs Jones to the vicar.

They were standing in the doorway to the church, looking out to the entryway set back from the pavement. Dark clouds scudded overhead; a brisk wind blew litter into gutters. The street was busy, only a few days to go now. The charity shops were bursting.

“Jesus was very insistent,” said the vicar.

He was young, a young man with a forceful smile. Relentlessly friendly, modestly arrogant, strangely androgynous.

Where do they get them?

But she would not permit herself the thought.

“We are enjoined to reach out to the thieves, the sick, the rapists, the tax collectors,” said the vicar in his smart black shirt and trousers.

He certainly knows his Bible, thought Mrs Jones.

The object of their conversation sat facing the street in an old wooden armchair (charity shop) seven or eight feet away, just where the church property ended and the pavement proper began. He was dressed in a faded Father Christmas outfit with just a few rips and stains, but none too obvious. Next to the chair was a big wooden box containing inexpensive wrapped gifts (thank you for your donations).

A young woman towing a small boy stopped and smiled at Santa. Mrs Jones sidled around to get a sideways look; her concerns had not abated. It was hard to see Santa’s features: the hat covered his head down to his eyes and the stick-on beard obscured most of his face. In his one concession to bling, Santa was wearing a multi-faceted bracelet around his neck, which looked both expensive and new.

Mrs Jones could see that the little boy was shabbily dressed. He was wearing a hand-me-down school uniform: brown jacket and brown shorts, both on the small side. His mother stood back as Santa popped the boy onto his lap and started his spiel. He motioned the woman to choose a present from the box.

The vicar moved across to rejoin Mrs Jones.

“This man is a sinner, no question,” he said, “He’s only out because there are more pressing claims on prison spaces. As Christians we have to do our bit.”

More nervous than ever, Mrs Jones felt bound to ask.

“What was he in for?”

Her eagle-eyed gaze never wavered. She caught the movement of Santa’s hand as it reached for the young lad’s knee followed by the old man’s sudden twitch, his stifled gasp as the hand hastily withdrew.

His mother gave the present to her charge and helped him back down to the pavement. Mrs Jones couldn’t quite hear the words but she saw the young mother’s smile as she turned away with her boy and continued up the street.

The priest, oblivious, said “You know I can’t tell you that, Mrs Jones.”

He turned to face her, calm and composed as ever.

“But I’ve been assured he’s a reformed character now. None of us have anything to fear.”

Submitted: December 23, 2019

© Copyright 2021 AdamCarlton. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:


Jobe Rubens

Santa's roving eye - thank God he didn't have a grotto he could lock from the inside! Reformed? Rehabilitated? Christianity and its wishful thinking. Some 'undesirables' will always be a menace to society - clearly illustrated in this thought-provoking story.

Mon, December 23rd, 2019 5:38pm


Such a nice bracelet. Coming to an outlet near you soon. :)

Mon, December 23rd, 2019 10:10am

Vance Currie

Very good, Adam. But now you have me wondering about all those Santas who bounce kiddies on their knees and ask them what they want for Christmas.

Mon, December 23rd, 2019 7:43pm


Yes, we must beware the double entendres at this time of year!! Happy Christmas, by the way :)!

Mon, December 23rd, 2019 12:31pm


Oh, how much I've missed your stories. To be honest I've always found Santa a bit of a creepy figure, now I know why.

Mon, December 23rd, 2019 9:09pm


You are kindness itself! I think I already told you that :)!

Mon, December 23rd, 2019 1:14pm

Robert Helliger

An dramatic Santa story, Adam.

Mon, December 30th, 2019 11:39pm


Thanks. Hopefully it was amusing...

Fri, January 3rd, 2020 9:12am

A. G. Smith

Even the most endearing of social figures should not be above scrutiny. A valuable, often costly, lesson. This was a delightful read: very tongue-in-cheek, so much so that I think I've done away with my dimples! Was the vicar doing the right thing? It would appear not even those blessed by God can read the hearts of men.

Great story, Mr. Carlton!

Thu, January 16th, 2020 11:01pm


Thanks! It just came to me, that special Christmas message :).

Fri, January 17th, 2020 12:23am

Sharief Hendricks

What a Santa story Adam

and what a last line, gave me chills...

Fri, October 16th, 2020 1:53pm


Thanks. Not so long now until the next festive season!!!

Wed, October 21st, 2020 5:17am

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