Christmas wishes

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Everyone was standing really still, like when we play statues at school, most of them were looking up at the sky. Mummy was holding my hand very tightly and looking around at the frozen high street. The rain had stopped and now great big giant snowflakes were floating down to the ground. I stuck out my tongue and tried to catch one, but they kept floating away from me, or landing in my eyes, which stung a bit.

I could hear Christmas songs coming out of the shops and cars in the distance but it seemed all muffled a bit like when I hide under my duvet at night, I think the falling snow was soaking up sound. Some people had their mouths open like me, but I don’t think they were having any more luck catching snowflakes than I was.

A car drove past hitting a puddle, splashing a woman who was looking like she was going to be sick. The giggles rose up through me like a big bubble. I couldn’t help it, they came popping and hiccupping out of my mouth, and even though I tried to hold them in with my hand they squirted out of the sides and made my body shake. I knew it was rude to laugh but the lady looked so funny, her clothes all soggy and her hair all straggly with water dripping from her nose.

Down the street a bit, outside Debenhams, a woman wearing a pretty dress dropped the million trillion shopping bags she was carrying and just sat on the floor crying.  Across the road a man who had been queuing at the bank was laughing and pointing at the sky. Then an old lady came out of a shop and almost tripped over the dropped bags, she went to the crying woman asking what was wrong. The woman was smiling and crying all at the same time and she just kept saying, “I saw him…he’s real…I never…”

Other people came out of the shops, they looked a bit like Mummy looks when she’s busy, maybe they had forgotten to write a shopping list of what to buy. They bumped into the statues and seemed surprised by the sudden change in weather, most of them were only wearing light jackets cos it had been such a warm day, even though it was raining cats and dogs. But it was snowing and really cold.

A bunch of older kids who were sitting on a bench nearby started talking about aliens and an invasion.

“It must be Aliens!”

“Yeah, a UFO.”

As people came out of the shops they were grabbed by the people on the pavement who tried to explain what they had seen.

“Some sort of hoax or special effect.”

“Performance art?”

“Too much to drink at lunchtime…”

“I think I read about this in the paper.”

“Mass hysteria?”

A man nearby said “But didn’t you see the reindeer, the sleigh….Since when did aliens travel in a sleigh?”

I looked up at my mummy who was smiling at me, her eyes were all sparkly and her cheeks were red.

“Why is everyone being so silly Mummy? It was just Father Christmas on his way to deliver presents. It is Christmas Eve after all!”

She just laughed and lifted me up giving me a really warm cuddle and a big kiss. “Yes, Sweetheart, I think it really was.”

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