Day 10 of the 12 Tales of the Holiday Season…another tale from Tonya Cartmell!

Day 10 of the 12 Tales of the Holiday Season…another tale from Tonya Cartmell!

And now, a second tale from author Tonya Cartmell…Christmas Toys!

Christmas Toys
By Tonya Cartmell

On the day before Christmas, Jingle, one of Santa’s senior toy distribution elves, heard soft crying coming from one of the shelves stacked with toys.

As he looked up, he spotted Holly, a beautiful Christmas fairy.  Holly had long red curly hair, a dark green dress, and delicate gold wings. Her green eyes that matched her dress were overflowing with tears.

“Holly why are you so sad?” asked the elf. “It’s almost Christmas eve.  You will soon be wrapped in colourful paper and loaded onto Santa’s sleigh to be delivered to the child that asked specifically for you.” 
“I’m nervous and a little scared” whispered Holly.  “I’m used to being with all the elves and other toys where everyone is happy and loves one another.  What if the child doesn’t like me?”
“Not like you?  Of course, they will like you.  You are going to a little girl named Jan who told Santa her wish was for a dancing Christmas Fairy just like you.  You also won’t be going alone. The black horse beside you is going as well.”
“Hello,” said the black horse. “I don’t have a name yet but think of the adventures we will experience together. Everything will be fine.”
Jingle and the black horse helped calm Holly’s nerves. Excited for her turn to be wrapped, she requested a green bow be added to match her dress.  
Holly called out to the horse with no name “I will see you tomorrow when Jan unwraps us.”
Santa arranged Jan’s presents under her Christmas tree and quietly said goodbye to them before disappearing back up the chimney to his sleigh that waited on the roof.

Thrilled to open her gifts on Christmas morning, Jan tore off the wrapping paper that covered her toys. She hugged Holly to her chest and decided to call the horse Cupid as that was her favourite reindeer. She put Holly in Cupid’s saddle and imagined them riding to a far-off magical castle.

Every day Jan would create a new adventure for Holly and Cupid to go on. At night while Jan slept, Holly and Cupid would talk about all the fun they had.  Sometimes, they would sneak off and go for a ride themselves to explore the house.  They made sure they were back in the same spot before Jan woke up in the morning.

One warm summer night, Jan’s parents left the downstairs window open. “I can make the jump to the ground,” said Cupid.
“And back up again?” asked Holly.
“Of course! Let’s go tour the world.”
Trusting everything would be ok, Holly jumped into the saddle and held on as Cupid sailed out of the window and landed softly on the ground below.  He began to gallop, enjoying the breeze in his mane and tail. 

Neither of them noticed the grey tabby cat watching from the bushes until it started to chase Cupid. “I only want to play,” it said as it took a swipe at them. 
Holly cried out in pain as its claw tore her right wing.  “Faster Cupid, we have to make it back to the house.”
Cupid dodged around trees and under bushes.  He spotted a way to lose the cat on his tail and ran as fast as he could towards a rock hidden by a bush.  At the last second, Cupid swerved to the left to avoid hitting it.  At the sound of the crash, they both turned around and saw the cat lying down rubbing its head with its paws.

 “Whew! That was close,” said Cupid. “Does your wing hurt?”

 “A little sore but it should be ok.  Hopefully Jan doesn’t notice it.”
The pair made their way back into the house and onto the shelf where Jingle waited.

“I’m here to fix your wing Holly,” said Jingle.  “We can’t have children suspecting Christmas toys come alive when they aren’t around.”
 Cupid watched as Jingle waved a magic candy cane over Holly’s wing to repair it. “That is amazing, Jingle.  Great job.”
As Holly turned to face her friends, Cupid took a step back and fell to the ground.  The noise of him falling woke up Jan.
Jingle disappeared before Jan spotted him. Holly knew that Cupid hurt his back leg.

Jan scooped Cupid up and ran off to find her mom and dad, hoping they could fix his broken leg.

Cupid never returned.  Jan’s parents bought her a new horse but without the Christmas magic, it never came to life.

Eventually, Jan grew up and lost interest in playing with Holly and her other toys.  Holly sat quietly on the shelf thinking of Cupid and Jingle as time passed.

On the night before Jan was to move away for university, Jingle came to visit Holly.

“I’m here to bring you home. It is time for you to go back to Santa’s workshop. You have been a good toy and friend to Jan while she grew up and you kept the Christmas toy secret.”
Holly visited Jan in her dreams that night, not as her doll but as a real person. Holly told her she loved her and believed Jan would be successful.  She thanked Jan for all the fun they had over the years and then whispered “Goodbye” in her ear.
Cupid was the first toy Holly saw as she and Jingle arrived back in Santa’s workshop. She threw her arms around his neck as they both yelled “I’ve missed you so much!”

When her first children’s book, Twelve Days of Rescue, was published in 2020, Tonya fulfilled her dream of becoming a published author. Her second book, Pa’s Hockey Sweaterwas published in 2021. Tonya’s first middle-grade novel Second Hand Witch came out in 2022.
When not working, writing, or reading, Tonya enjoys spending her time with family, both human and four-legged. In the warmer months, you can find her up north working on the cottage or relaxing by the fire. Tonya also loves going on adventures, looking for new story ideas.  
Watch for Tonya’s children’s books, Our Dream Adventures, and Dragonfly Magic coming in 2024 from Pandamonium Publishing House.

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