At the end of it all, he always felt the same, he could sleep for a year (at least) except he’d be needed long before then.
Mistress Claus knew what to expect. He’d be grumpy and tired and full of stories of what went wrong here, or what went right there. He never found the reindeer any company, those kids were working flat out and there wasn’t any time to talk.
The elves had their break. He gave them from Christmas day until the 20th of January, then they all had to report fit and strong and ready for the next year’s onslaught. It was tiring making up the lists of who should and who should, get presents. But it had to be done.
On the morning of the 26th, Mistress Claus usually gave her husband a cup of tea in bed, followed by toast and jam. He might stay in bed until 3pm, before he even thought of standing up. Let’s face it, he was tired.
By tea-time of the 26th they would be all packed and ready to go. It was always Santa’s last present - to himself and to his good wife; two weeks at their little holiday home just north of Tornio.
They’d climb up those wooden stairs, place a ‘do not disturb’ sign on the door, and the rest of the days were theirs.
bobby stevenson 2016
painting: Pascal Campion