Day Four - Story Advent Calendar.


Advent Calendar 4th December.

Tracey Scott-Townsend

The trick was to make it seem effortless
That’s always the trick, isn’t it?
But Father Christmas was a tough act to emulate.
I had to stay up late,
Very late
Until they were all asleep
I had to wait
Until the night was dark and deep.

I rang bells,
Distributed Christmas sounds and tastes and smells.
I hung stockings by the chimney with care
Filled them with exactly the same amounts of sweets and toys, a satsuma, an apple and a pear.
I half-ate a carrot
And left Baileys thumbprints everywhere
When I’d swallowed the contents of the glass
With my Christmas Eve tears.
I’d break a mince pie on a plate
And leave it where it would be seen
To show Father Christmas really had been.
Scuttling like the proverbial mouse
I retrieved hidden packages from all over the house.

Choirboys carolled
On the TV
While I wielded a screwdriver
At a wooden dolls house
That would appear magically
On the hearth the next day.

Sellotape stuck to my teeth
As I wrapped the last presents,
Scribbled their names on the paper,
Stacked them under the tree
And wondered if
I would ever get any sleep.

When I was certain the house was quiet
I crept up the stairs a final time,
Shaking wristband bells on the landing,
My footfall Father Christmas-like.
I lugged stuffed pillowcases into their rooms
And placed them on the ends of their beds,
Minding their feet.
I sensed that the lump of little girl
Beneath the quilt
Was pretending to be asleep.

Hefting sacks on my back,
I tackled the attic ladder
Trying to avoid the creaky floor at the top

I used to be Christmas
And it was sometimes lonely
Keeping up the pretence of magic
But the trick was to make it seem effortless
And then it was truly magic.


Did you like Tracey's poem? Want to find out more about her? Read below and check out her links:

Tracey Scott-Townsend: Bio

Tracey is the author of The Last Time We Saw Marion, Of His Bones, The Eliza Doll and Another Rebecca. Her fifth novel, Sea Babies will be released on 1st May 2019. Her novels have been described as both poetic and painterly. Her first poetry collection, So Fast was published in January 2018.

Tracey is also a visual artist. All her work is inspired by the emotions of her own experiences and perceptions.

Tracey is the mother of four grown-up children and now spends a lot of time travelling in a small camper van with husband Phil and their rescue dogs, Pixie and Luna, gathering her thoughts and writing them down.

Happy Reading!


  1. I really love this idea of the short story advent calendar, such a great initiative girls. Just catching up on reading them all. Love, Jasmine

    1. Aww, thank you so much Jasmine. Glad you are enjoying it. We are too! :) xx