Roger loves Christmas. Every year Roger and his Mummy and Daddy go to Nanny’s house in Fern Bay on Christmas Eve for a big Christmas party.
This year Mummy, Daddy and Roger got to Nanny’s just as it was getting dark. Mummy and Daddy went into the kitchen to help Nanny and Grandad prepare for the party. Roger stayed in the living room looking at all Nanny’s Christmas cards.
There were cards with Christmas trees, cards with robins, with snow scenes, with churches, with angels, and with Father Christmasses. But Roger especially noticed a card showing some children sitting around a Christmas tree all looking happy with their presents. The wrapping paper covered the floor. But in the corner was a little boy looking sad. He wasn’t holding a present.
Just as Roger was thinking about the card a big scream came from the kitchen. It was Nanny. Roger ran to find out what was wrong. Nanny was crying. She just realized she’d forgotten to buy a Christmas pudding, and now all the shops were closed for the holiday.
Roger felt sad. It wouldn’t be like Christmas without Christmas pudding. But he didn’t want to see Nanny upset, so he told her, “It’s OK, we can buy a Christmas pudding on Boxing Day and we can have a second Christmas dinner.”
Nanny smiled and hugged Roger.
Together they started laying out all the food and drink for the party. Nanny gave Roger a special job. He was to be in charge of playing the music.
Soon the people started arriving for the party. There was Uncle Bob and Aunty Jean, Aunty June and Uncle Bill, Uncle Fred and Aunty Freda, and Aunty Nelly and Uncle Sid. Everyone looked happy just to be there, and everyone told Roger how big he’d grown since last year.
Suddenly there was a loud knock at the door. It was an old man with a white beard who looked a bit like Nanny. At first Nanny seemed surprised to see him, then she looked happy and they hugged one another. Nanny explained it was her brother, Uncle Tom, and she hadn’t seen him for many years.
Uncle Tom gave Nanny a big bag, and he gave Roger a neatly wrapped present.
“Don’t open it until morning.” said Uncle Tom.
Nanny’s eyes lit up as she looked inside the bag. It was a great big Christmas pudding.
“How did you know I’d forgotten the Christmas pudding?” asked Nanny.
Uncle Tom smiled. “Remember when were children”, he said, “I always knew exactly what you were thinking.”
Uncle Tom was lots of fun. He danced more than anyone else, and then he started singing Christmas songs. Roger laughed as he sang his favorite carol, Silent Night.
Eventually the guests started to leave until only Roger, Mummy, Daddy and Uncle Tom were left.
“Won’t you stay tonight and have dinner with us tomorrow?” asked Nanny.
But Uncle Tom explained his daughter Barbara was already preparing dinner at home.
They all went outside to wave goodnight as Uncle Tom drove off in a big, old-fashioned, red car. Roger had never seen a car like it before.
“Better go to bed now”, said Mummy, “or Santa won’t come.”
Roger was excited but he was also tired and Nanny’s feather bed was so comfortable he quickly fell asleep.
In his dream Roger found himself in the room he’d seen in the Christmas card. The children were all laughing and showing each other what they’d got for Christmas. Roger went up to the sad little boy in the corner.
At first the boy looked like he’d seen a ghost.
“Don’t be scared”, said Roger, “I won’t hurt you. I’m Roger, what’s your name?”
“I’m Jimmy”, said the boy.
“What’s wrong?” asked Roger.
“All my friends got presents, but Father Christmas forgot me.” said Jimmy.
Roger helped Jimmy look again, and together they found a present with Jimmy’s name on underneath the wrapping paper.
Just then Roger woke up. It was daylight. Roger went downstairs to the living room. Santa had been and there were lots of presents under the tree. But before Roger opened them he had to look at the Christmas card with the children. The little boy in the card was now holding a toy train and smiling.
Roger spent the morning playing with his presents as Mummy and Nanny prepared dinner. Of all Roger’s presents his favorite was the one from Uncle Tom. It was a beautiful model of Uncle Tom’s car.
At lunchtime Roger and his family sat down to a lovely turkey dinner, as usual it was the best meal of the year. And afterwards they had Uncle Tom’s Christmas pudding. It was delicious. They all agreed it was the best Christmas pudding they’d ever tasted.
After dinner the whole family went out for an afternoon walk as usual. As they were putting their coats on Grandad noticed Uncle Tom had left his umbrella.
“Oh dear”, said Nanny, “he’s still as forgetful as ever. I’ll have to phone him when we get back.”
They all enjoyed their walk by the sea. It was a lovely sunny afternoon, though a little cold. Roger liked looking at all the Christmas lights and decorations outside the houses.
When they got home Nanny phoned Uncle Tom. His daughter Barbara answered. Nanny was amazed when Barbara told her that Uncle Tom moved to Canada six years ago.