Not the Naughty List

“Get back to work,” a fat voice bellowed.


Sherry Wintersleigh yawned, stretched her arms wider and opened her eyes.


“What, what, what,” she began.


“He’s always like this,” whispered a passing elf.


“But Christmas is…,” Sherry said. The shadow standing over her shook his finger at her.


“You heard what I said,” bellowed Santa. “On your feet.”


“Finished,” whispered Sherry as she stood. Santa scowled down at her.


“Well, ho, ho, ho,” he replied. “To the mailroom. Now.”


“But, but…” said Sherry as she uncurled her arms and rubbed her eyes.


But by then Santa had gone.


“Better hurry,” said another passing elf.


So many passages, so many corridors, so many wrong turns, Sherry said to herself, as she wandered, only occasionally lost now through the North Pole.  


Until finally she found it. Mail Room. She tried the door handle. It turned and clicked but didn’t open. She looked up. There was a handwritten sign that said, Press for entry.


She pushed the door bell.


“Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells,” the door chorused.


Christmas is so over for you now, she thought.


She opened the door, pushed aside a Santa sack which and stepped inside.


“Glad you could make it,” said a friendly voice.


“Alabaster,” she said. She couldn’t see him for the room was filled, floor to ceiling with Santa sacks. She pushed another sack aside to see better. It fell to the floor with a gentle bump.


A wizened grey elf was crouched over a trestle table. His face flickered. Santa’s administrator. She heard scratching and leaned forward to see. He was writing.


The candle next to him sizzled. Sherry jumped.


“What, what, what,” Sherry began.


“Sit down, and I’ll tell you,” Alabaster said.  


Sherry crept forward, bumping into and stepping over sacks, pulled out a folding chair and sat opposite.


“All these letters,” he gestured around him.


The mail was late this Christmas, Sherry thought to herself.


“Are from children who,” he paused.


Sherry leaned forward.


“Don’t believe in Santa anymore,” he finished.


Sherry looked down at her hands. Oh no, she thought. Not the Naughty List.


Alabaster looked up and smiled.


“No, not the naughty list at all. An opportunity instead.”


He held up a letter.


“We write back to them. We tell them the truth.”


Sherry gasped. The Naughty List was now starting to look like the best job at the North Pole.


“What, what, what do we tell them?” Sherry whispered.


“That the person who gave them the present works for us. And yes sometimes they get gift-giving wrong. But only you can make it right. By giving love and joy and peace until next Christmas day.”


Sherry stood up, clapped her hands and shouted for joy.


Alabaster pushed a pile of letters, a pen and pad towards her.


Sherry began writing.

Reflect, Renew and Relaunch….Unwrapping My Secret Santa Blog

Sometimes the best Christmas presents have more than one layer of wrapping!
A few weeks ago I signed up for a secret Santa Blog. Much like the Christmas tradition, I’m given a name and then asked to write a blog for them. As well, I become the recipient of a blog written just for me.
And today it arrived. Unwrapped here it is!

Reflect, Renew and Relaunch

Dear Andrew

Well it is that time of the year again and we find ourselves reflecting on what has transpired and what have we achieved. Some would say that they have accomplished much and others may be harsher on themselves and say that they have not accomplished as much. Either way, if you are reading this, you have accomplished and achieved.

How do we measure this? While this is a personal approach and each one of us has our own measuring stick, you can start by thinking about the people in your life that have made you happy and even the ones that have made you sad. Think about any ups you have had this year – some enlightened moments while watching your favourite team playing or while watching a TV show or a even reading a book. Think also about those times when you have felt sad and how you got yourself up again.

I am sure you will find the Uppers out do the Downers because life is full of great moments – some we acknowledge and recognise and others juts pass us by without much fanfare – these are the hardest to recall but when you do Andrew, you will have discovered the magic of life is all about.

Give your self a pat on the back – you have made it through to the end of 2014. It doesn’t matter whether you have a job or don’t. It doesn’t matter whether you have a contract or not – what does matter is that you have your health and happiness and the people that you love around you.

Christmas is a time of reflecting and New Year is a time of resolution and renewal.

Give yourself the time to reflect – then get a broom and brush away 2014. Remember it – but make sure you move on !

Think and visualise your 2015 – what is it that you WILL achieve – set yourself goals and aspirations, write them down and keep them with you during the year. Use them as inspiration at times of downers and use them as nourishment at time of uppers.

2015 is shaping up as an exciting time for freelancers and consultants as we start to se the economy becoming more accustomed and accepting of such professionals. It will be a year where YOU will shine – embrace it – enjoy it !

So Andrew may you have a lovely and wonderful Xmas filled with love, happiness and laughter and may your 2015 be awesome because you deserve it !

Ho Ho Ho !

The Big Fat Man with the White Beard

Thank you to the anonymous writer who knew my 2014 well!

He Will Brighten Someone Else’s Day

I hear a small voice behind me on the train.
It belongs to a little boy. He wants to sit next to his mum.
I hear her offering him a window seat opposite me next to their friend. Which he takes and his mother sits next to me.
He has eyes that look straight at me.
“What’s your name?”, he asks.
I tell him.
His mother says that he has an uncle with the same name too.
Then he asks me, “Can you see out the window?”
I say “Yes“. That makes me laugh and smile.
Then there’s a pause while its explained what he’s been doing all day.
He looks tired from it all. His mother is offering him a choice : read a book, nap or food.
He sure-footedly declines the book, considers the nap and accepts a handful of sultanas from his mother.
Who asks him if he wants an apple. Still chewing his sultanas he nods.
I do my best not to laugh but am smiling now.
He finishes and starts skinning the apple with his teeth. Then he checks his progress and offers the apple it to his mother, her friend and in a shy quiet way to me.
His mother by now is telling him to look out for their stop.
Which prompts him to ask me where I live.
I tell him.
His mother asks him if he knows anyone who lives there.
A swift reply, “Nan”.
I said, “He’s quick.”
And too soon his stop arrives and he departs. He leaves and says goodbye.
I say,”Thank you for brightening up my day.”
I can’t hear his reply. It sounds like he said, “I will do that again”. He will!