The Unwanted Doll
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Santa's workshop is a truly magical place to behold.
All around there are the sounds of laughter and chattering.
The Elves enjoy their work and it shows in the wonderful toys they make for Christmas.
Each year, six of the youngest Elves are chosen to become 'Apprentices.'
The most experienced Elves take them to a special room where they are taught to make the most basics toys, from soft rag dolls to wooden trains.
Every year they move on to a different room where they make more difficult toys.
At the end of their apprenticeship, they are finally allowed into the main workshop to work along side the rest of the Elves.
Some of the less successful toys they make during their apprenticeships are kept on shelves in the rooms to remind them how 'How NOT TO make Toys.'
Our story is about a Rag Dolled named Sally, who ended up with a lop-sided smile and wasn't very pretty at all.
She sat there for years and years knowing that she would never be wrapped in pretty Christmas paper and given to a young child as a present.
Now our story can really begin!
Many miles away there lived a young girl named Sophie.
Sophie, like Sally, had a slightly lopsided smile and she was very shy.
She spent hours reading because her parents were away a lot on business.
Her Nanny was quite elderly, she had been a Nanny to Sophie's Mother as well, many years ago.
"Children should be seen and not heard" was her favourite expression so Sophie sat in a big chair in the big mansion quietly reading until it was time to go to bed.
Although she had plenty of toys, they were all sensible ones that had been bought by her parents or family friends.
As an only child, she often felt very lonely and would have loved a cuddly doll to keep her company and to snuggle with at night.
Her dolls sat on shelves in pretty satin dresses and were cold and lifeless.
Sophie wasn't allowed to write to Santa, because her parents had stopped believing in him many years ago.
One night when she was feeling very lonely she wrote a note to Santa, but just as she was about to put it in an envelope, she heard her Nanny coming and in panic threw it into the fire.
After her Nanny left she rushed over to the fire but there was no sign of it, not even any ash. A small tear dropped from her eye as she realised that it had been a silly idea anyway.
What Sophie didn't know, is that ALL letters that start with, 'Dear Santa' find their way to him.
Sadly the letter arrived too late, because Santa had already left on his sleigh.
An Elf put it in a pile for the following year.
When Santa arrived at Sophie's house he was saddened to see her asleep in bed with a tear that had dried on her cheek.
He looked around the room and shook his head at all the expensive toys that sat on the shelves as though never used.
Throughout the night he couldn't forget the picture of the unhappy little girl with the lopsided mouth.
Back at the North Pole all the Elves were in a happy party mood. Their work was finished for this Christmas and they looked forward to weeks of playing and having fun in the snow.
As the sun started to rise, a very tired Santa with his Reindeers returned home.
As he pulled off his boots and sat in the big comfy arm chair sipping some hot chocolate, the picture of the sad little girl popped into his mind again.
"No, no, we can't have this on Christmas morning," he shouted out loud.
He started to rummage through the Christmas letters but he couldn't find one from Sophie. Luckily the Elf who had found it, took it from the late pile and gave it to Santa.
As he read, he felt tears brimming up in his own eyes.
I know I already have lots of wonderful toys but if it's not being too greedy, could I please have a doll that I can love and cuddle and take to bed every night. She doesn't have to be pretty because I know I'm not pretty and I wouldn't want her to be disappointed with me.
Love Sophie xxx
Santa put his boots on again and went to visit the reindeer in their stalls.
"Now I know you are all very tired but I need one more flight from one of you for a very unhappy little girl."
All the reindeer looked at him with tired bleary eyes but suddenly Prancer gave a snort and shook his head as though to clear it.
"Ah, my old friend," he said to Prancer, "I knew you would come through for me."
Santa made his way through to the big toy room with Sophie's letter clutched in his hand.
An Elf followed him and asked what sort of toy he was looking for, Santa gave him Sophie's letter to read.
A cheeky grin spread across the Elf's face as he led Santa to the apprentice's room and showed him his very first attempt at making a Rag Doll.
"Perfect, absolutely perfect." Santa said with a laugh, "now I had better put my coat on and deliver this."
"Excuse me Santa, but may I deliver my doll to Sophie please?" he asked hopefully.
With a chuckle Santa agreed.
Prancer flew like the wind with a very nervous Elf hanging on for dear life.
The Elf crept into Sophie's room and luckily she was still asleep. (Not like millions of other children around the world that had been awake from the crack of dawn)
He was going to put the nicely boxed and wrapped present under the tree but decided to tear off the wrapping as he gently lifted Sophie's arm and placed the doll next to her in the bed.
He quietly left but dreaded the high speed return journey.
Sophie slowly opened her eyes and then remembered that it was Christmas Day.
A small bubble of excitement filled her as her parents had promised to try and make it back in time for Christmas.
A smile that could have lit the darkest night sky spread over Sophie's face as she looked down at the most beautiful Rag Doll she had ever seen.
"Than you Santa," she whispered.
She knew, just knew, that this was going to be a very special Christmas this year.
On his return to the North Pole, Santa gave the Elf a big mug of his special hot chocolate and a heartfelt THANK YOU.
Prancer was given extra food and with a big yawn settled down for a well earned rest.
Santa settled down in his chair and shouted for the whole world to hear.
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL AND TO ALL A VERY GOOD NIGHT!
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