‘Go away,’ said Freddie. ‘It’s my turn.
‘When is it my go?’ pleaded his younger sister Abi. ‘Granny
bought it for both of us.’
‘When I say so. Now go,’ Freddie pushed her. Abi lost her balance, falling backwards. The TV flickered and the screen went off.
‘Mum,’ shouted Freddie, ‘Abi broke my games console.’
Before she could protest, Mum had sent Abi to her room to think about her behaviour. ‘If you’re ready to apologise to Freddie, you can come down for tea.’
When she’d finished crying, Abi got a piece of paper. ‘Dear Santa,’ she wrote, ‘Please, please, please bring a game console for Christmas. My brother won’t share the one Granny bought us. Lots of love, Abi.’ She thought for a moment and added, ‘PS I hope you liked the mince pie I made last year.’
She went down to tea and said sorry to Freddie, glaring at him. ‘Mum, make her say it nicely,’ said Freddie. So Abi was sent back to her room still hungry. She couldn’t find Santa’s letter. And after a while, she forgot all about it.
It was Christmas night and something had woken her up. She must be dreaming ... but no, there it was again. Someone was in the lounge. Abi’s hands shook as she crept down the stairs. Easing the lounge door open she came face to face with a man in a red suit with fur around the collar. He had white hair and a white beard and he gave her the biggest smile she’d ever seen. ‘Oh my goodness,’ breathed Abi. ‘You’re Santa.’
‘Well, of course I am,’ he said. ‘I got your letter and I bought you this.’ He handed her a shiny new console.
‘Thank you, thank you, thank you,’ said Abi. But before she’d even finished speaking, Freddie strode into room and grabbed the console out of her hands.
'You can have the other one,’ he sneered. ‘Oh, but now you need a TV to play it on.’ He was already setting up the console and looking around for a game to put in it.
‘I have the perfect game for you,’ said Santa, holding out a silver gaming card. Freddie snatched it up and stuffed it into the console. The screen blinked on.
Abi stepped forward. ‘But it’s mine,’ she protested.
Santa gave Abi a wink. ‘Instead of your name,’ he said to Freddie, ‘this machine takes a snapshot.’ He reached down and pressed a button on the side of the console.
There was a flash and Freddie disappeared. He reappeared as a tiny figure on the screen jumping up and down and waving his arms.
‘He can only come out when you finish the game’, said Santa picking up his sack.
‘I haven’t had much practice,’ said Abi. ‘So I might not finish it for days.’
‘Or weeks,’ whispered Santa as he left.
‘Or even months,’ Abi grinned, listening to Santa’s sleigh bells while she went back to bed.