It was Christmas Eve and Tommy trembled with excitement as he stared at the Christmas tree from his usual position. He could see everything from where he stood and had the best view of the tree, nestled into the bay window. Tommy loved Christmas and everything about it, but what he loved most was the tree. Adorned with lights it was beautiful, and he would smile to himself as he watched Mother and Father play fighting over which pattern the lights would follow. They did not know he was watching; it was his little secret.
But it was not just the lights that made him smile. At the very top of the tree, watching over them all, was the Christmas Angel. She was beautiful, dressed in white and gold, with flowing blue hair and a golden halo. Father used to joke about putting the little wooden soldier on the tree with her, but Mother said that would look silly. Every year, Tommy stared up at the Angel, sad that she was all alone, just like him. He was fairly sure that she would like some company, and he wished hard to Santa that this would be the year. He hated the thought of her being lonely.
It was late, and Tommy was alone in the living room, the house quiet apart from the ticking of a clock. He felt important being up so late on Christmas eve after Mother and Father had gone to bed. He had a strong, solid heart and he was proud to protect the house and everyone in it.
Suddenly, a scrabbling sound came from the chimney as something large made its way down
the flue. Tommy’s excitement grew. He knew who it must be, so he stood to attention and kept as still as he could.
With a cough and a splutter Santa flopped into the living room right in front of Tommy, his bright red tunic twinkling in the glow of the tree lights. Santa had his back to Tommy so, luckily, he was not discovered. He watched Santa place presents under the tree then stand, stretching his back with a tired groan. As his head tipped back, Santa caught a glimpse of the Lonely Angel atop the tree. “Ho Ho Ho,” he said, ‘you do look lonely.’
Santa turned, searching the room and, despite his best efforts, Santa spied Tommy, stiff and regimental above the fireplace.
Beneath his big, bushy beard Tommy could see a broad smile form on Santa’s face, a warm smile that covered his face in delight.
Santa reached up and curled a furry glove around Tommy’s tiny waist before lifting him up in front of his eyes. Santa’s smile widened as he turned to the tree and fastened Tommy the Wooden Soldier to the top branch alongside the Lonely Angel.
Tommy’s face flushed red as the Angel turned to him, held out her hand, and smiled a smile even warmer than Santa’s.
“Merry Christmas,” they said together.