Blyton wrote so many stories that it’s hardly surprising many of them were Christmas stories.
I have, in the past, written a series of posts covering as much of her Christmas output as I could – covering 1920-1945, 1946-1950 and 1951-1962. After that I discovered I had more Christmas content – some just had unobvious titles and others I had only acquired more recently. That lead me to write Christmas bits from Enid Blyton’s magazines and More of Enid Blyton’s Christmas stories.
And now I’ve discovered three more Christmas-themed stories in my collection, so it’s time for another post!
A Hole In her Stocking
I missed this one before as I didn’t think to use ‘stocking’ as a search term. In case you were imagining me piling up my hundreds of Blyton books as I check the contents pages of the books that have them, and flick through the pages of books which don’t, I actually just search the Cave of Books. That’s not to say that you won’t ever see me surrounded by piles of books as I’m researching and writing, but in this case it was more efficient to type ‘ ‘Christmas’, Santa’, and ‘Reindeer’ and so on into the Cave search bar!
All that aside, this one is easy to miss as it doesn’t sound very Christmassy. It could be about a hole in an every-day-wear sort of stocking.
Found in The Sixth Holiday Book (but originally published in Sunny Stories #317), this one is about a girl called Mollie. I rather relate to Mollie who is described as lazy. I mean who doesn’t flick a duster around a room instead of getting into every corner? Or uses a safety pin to make do for a missing button? I’d draw the line at going around with a hole in my sock just because it didn’t show, but only because I’d not be able to put up with feeling it all day. Then again I tend to throw holy socks in the bin because I can afford new, I might feel differently if my only option was to darn them.
Unfortunately Mollie chooses a stocking with a hole in the toe to serve as her Christmas stocking (so my assertation that the titular stocking could be a regular one wasn’t so far off the mark).
Even more unfortunately for Mollie all the presents that go into her stocking are exactly the kind which would fall through a hole – a pencil, a shilling, a stick of barley sugar and so on.
Naturally she’s upset to find an empty stocking in the morning – but it’s odd to me that she is upset that They don’t think I’m a nice little girl. No one has given me anything. I thought that usually Santa filled the stockings, but perhaps in Mollie’s house he leaves a gift under the tree and other people put the gifts in the stocking.
Anyway, her family point out the hole and she finds the gifts scattered across the bedroom floor and promises never to leave her stockings undarned again.
I had in my head that this is a familiar plot to another Blyton story. There is One Christmas Morning where Robert has a full stocking from Santa but an empty pillow case from his family, but the dog has bitten a hole in the pillow case and the presents have fallen down the side of the bed.
A Hole in Santa’s Sack
I only recently found the last book in the Macmillan Readers series (The Magic Knitting Needles and other Stories) and therefore this Christmas story. It continues the theme of holes in things nicely, though.
I haven’t read it yet but I’m going to guess that Santa flies around accidentally dropping presents from a hole in his sack, and some kind children gather them up for him. Often Blyton is a bit predictable in her short stories, but then again, sometimes she’s not!
As it turns out Blyton scores in the unpredictability stakes here. The hole in the sack is caused by goblins who have flown after Santa in their aeroplane to steal presents. They only get away with one – though it’s a big one – before Santa notices and safety-pins the sack together again. (Bet nobody would call Santa lazy for that!)
The story moves away from the Christmas theme then, with the Goblins ending up being frightened by the toy in the box, which is then adopted by a family of rabbits. I hope no child was left disappointed by their missing toy that Christmas morning!
In Santa Claus’ Castle
This last one didn’t come up in the search as it’s the final chapter of a story which appears in Enid Blyton’s Omnibus. The story is just called The Faraway Tree, and is another instalment in the Magic Faraway Tree/Enchanted Wood series.
Chapters one to three cover the children plus their friends going to The Land of Toys where they inadvertently turn into toys, and then get on the wrong side of Mr Oom-Boom-Boom. It is in trying to outrun Mr Oom-Boom-Boom that they arrive in chapter four and are advised to try the Land of Santa Claus.
Santa, being used to dealing with toys might just be able to turn the group back to being human, elf, and whatever Moon-Face naturally is.
I’m not sure how it all works but the ‘time-table’ says that the next land to come will be the Land of Squalls, but the train time-table has journeys to the Land of Santa Claus, so that’s how the friends travel there.
They find a snowy land – as the porter says, it’s always snowy there as it wouldn’t be any good for sleighs otherwise.
Having ridden a sleigh to Santa Claus’ Castle initially Santa believes them to be toys and wants to put Silky at the top of his tree.
The solution is convenient for the friends, but oddly meta for us. Much like the story about Noddy meets Father Christmas where Noddy and Big-Ears are both real ‘people’ but also characters in books, Santa here has heard of Moon-Face and the others as children keep asking him for their books. There are three of them, in fact. Imagine that!
He has also heard of the slippery-slip and is delighted to be offered unlimited rides on it. It’s a simple matter of flying in his sleigh back to the Faraway Tree, and just as simple for Santa to turn the friends back into their usual selves.
I have heard mention of a Christmas-themed Wishing Chair story, but it’s not in either of the main books or the story in the omnibus. It’s possible that it’s in More Wishing Chair Stories which I don’t have. There are some newer books a couple of which appear to be Christmas-themed. Some of the new ones are written by Narinder Dhami while others appear to be reprints of Blyton stories, but I can’t see where they originally came from.
If anyone knows the story I’m on about, please tell me!