Hello? Santa,Yeah?...Santa Claus? You up there? Father Christmas? Or St. Nicholas then? Him. The one off the John Lewis advert. Hello? ...Anyone there? I know you’re busy this time of year, but I’ve tried to be a bit good. Sometimes I seem to be better at being bad than good, but I do try. My mum says I’m very trying.
Got a few favours to ask. See, I’m not sure whether you can still hear me now I'm older. I used to do this when I was little but no-one answered. Seems a bit silly shouting up a chimney but there’s no-one about: no-one but you to hear me is there? And you can hear me ……can’t you? I'm shouting up the gas fire. It's not on. I checked it. ( What do kids who haven't got a chimney do?)
There are a few things I’d like for Christmas. I’m sorry to ask, but they’re mostly things you can’t buy. I know I’ll probably get some things you can buy. At least, I hope I will. They'll be from the Chazzers or the Food Bank. But I don't care. Are you still there? (Hey! It can’t hurt if there’s no-one around, can it?) I can ask. I can wish,can't I?.
So: the things what I want, they don’t cost much. Don't cost nothing,actually. Like, I just wish some of the kids in my school would stop being horrible to each other. I know: I’m horrible myself sometimes and I’ll try to be better. But you know; kids calling other kids stupid names. Nasty names. About their skin and their religion and that. And their eyes fill up with tears and they go all quiet and stuff... I just hate that. I wish they’d stop it. I don't tell my mates that. But inside,I hate it.
I wish that people around the world, you know, them mad grown-ups with their bombs and guns and that, I wish they’d stop fighting over silly bits of land and whose God is best, and just start talking to each other. It’s always best to talk before you fight, what do you reckon? I try to do that, but it don't often work. I see these pictures on the news of ladies with babies crying ,and families pushing prams down roads with all their things in it. People in boats. Drowning babies. And all these soldiers in big tanks. Blokes in four wheel drives. In pick-ups like the one Shona's mum collects her and the other kids from school in, except these ones have a rocket launcher in the back, not a pushchair. Them men fire guns in the air and try to look dead hard and tough. What’s big about that? What’s tough and hard about scaring kids and women?
And while we're at it Santa, someone keeps throwing trollies and junk in the river near me. It worries me.. What’s it doing to the fish and the baby swans and that? Can’t be good for them can it? It’s big kids doing it, I’m sure of it. I saw Mason Kerrigan do it once and said he'd chuck me in too if I grassed him up. Can you get them to stop it,somehow?
Then there’s my Uncle David. He’s got to go into hospital for a big operation. On his foot I think. He used to play football with me, Uncle David did, but he can’t now. He just sits in that wheelchair and stares out of the window. Hope he’s o.k.
Yo! Santa? My dad’s lost his job. Again. He didn't have this one very long. Mum was made up when he got it. Said we'd turned the corner. But I don't know where the corner is. It ain't down my street. I heard him and Mum talking about it when I was supposed to be asleep last night and not listening. It's hard not to hear when we're all squashed into a couple of rooms.
“ What am I going to tell him ?” Dad says, and his voice goes all wobbly. I reckon he’s worried about not being paid and so he wont be able to buy the bike I’d asked for. I don’t really care about the bike, Santa. That was greedy. He just asked me once, when he'd had a few beers and I just said it, blurted it out without thinking. I ain't bothered about a bike. I just want him and Mum to be happy again. Like they used to be, before we got evicted and she lost the baby. Give him a job. Any job. He could come and work for you couldn’t he,Santa?
And ( I know this is a big list. I'm sorry. But it's been a while. Could you help my mum give up smoking, please? You know why. That doesn’t cost anything, does it? It costs her a lot to buy them though. And it can’t be good for her. You should hear her cough. Can’t you have a word with her? Hide her fags or something? I’ll leave out two carrots and a jam doughnut if you can do something there.
Then there’s my big sister. She won’t talk to me. So I won’t talk to her. We’ve really fallen out. Again. We’ve both said some really hurtful stuff to each other. I don’t know how to get out of this one now. I want to make it up but I don’t know how to. Give me some ideas. Give her some too. ‘Cos I really hate being like this. I love her really, even if she is ugly.
Last Sunday, right, we were looking at the Lights in town, there was this bloke. With a dog. And a hat with coins in it. And a sleeping bag. He lives in a cardboard box, in a doorway Santa! He hasn’t got a house or nothing. That’s well out of order. You’ve got a house. Even I’ve got a house- well a bit of one. He hasn’t. It’s cold tonight. He must be freezing out there, sleeping in Debenham’s doorway. Can’t be right, can it?
And those pictures of babies. Far far away. In hot countries. Starving. With all flies on them. And crying. That special sort of cry, you know, that one when you know you can’t do nothing about stopping it. Only food can save them and there’s not enough of that about in certain places,is there? Can you help us all to do something about that? Do a food drop from your sleigh? Bring them some rain? Make people care about them more?
Santa? You still there ? I’ve nearly finished. I like the Christmas Story. The stable. The angels. The shepherds. The donkey. The idea of someone coming down to earth from the sky. Someone magical, like Spiderman or Batman, doing miracles. Saving us us all. The mess we’re making of the world, we could do with someone like Baby Jesus. I wouldn’t mind seeing him. A real one, not them plaster ones, like in the crib in the Post Office window.
So: gotta go. Mum's coming in. No killing no hurting, no fighting, no messing up the planet, no homeless, no starving. It’s not much to ask for, is it?