A Christmas Present
Improved by Gabification
Copyright © 2008 Angharad
Admin Note: Originally published on BigCloset TopShelf on Tuesday 12-14-2008 at 5:41 pm, this retro classic was pulled out of the closet, and re-presented for our newer readers. ~Sephrena
“And what would you like for Christmas?” the large jovial man asked the small boy.
“A doll.” The boy looked embarrassedly at his feet. He spoke quietly as if he was used to being laughed at.
“Yeah, bring him a dolly, Santa, then he might leave mine alone.” His angry sister–two whole years older–twisted the knife.
The elf–one of Santa’s little helpers–sniggered until Santa gave her a look that would freeze the antlers off a reindeer.
“If a doll is what you would like, then a doll you will get, provided you have been a good boy. If you haven’t, then I will know and Rudolph will avoid bringing me to your house.”
“Thank you, Santa,” said the boy, wiping his eyes. Maybe this time, because he came out and asked for it directly, he would get his wish and have his very own doll.
His mother shook her head as she took his hand and together with his sister, left the grotto and walked past the queue of other hopeful children. As they left, they accepted the small toy which another elf offered them, pink for girls, blue for boys. Only she, the elf had seen the episode in the grotto and gave the pink wrapped gift to the boy and the blue one to the girl.
He’d now have at least one doll, albeit a twenty pence one from some factory in China, which would fall apart if he played with it. But it was a doll. His sister had a compass and toy binoculars, which were equally robust, but might last until Boxing Day if they weren’t unwrapped until Christmas night.
“You and your bloody dolls,” hissed his mother, “I’ve a good mind to make you wear one of Jessica’s dresses on Christmas Day, let everyone know what a sissy you are.”
He hunched up more, tears dripping from his nose as they walked on.
“Fancy showing me up in front of all those people? You wait until we get home and I tell your father.”
George clutched hold of his present, tucking it inside his coat. He had no idea what it was, but it was the only good thing so far that Christmas. They caught the bus home and he was sent up to his room. He sat on his bed and read the book of magical stories, which was his favourite. He knew most of them by heart, he’d read them so often, but he loved the way the pictures and the words blended together and sent his imagination into overdrive. He would sit, day-dreaming that he was a girl called Georgina, and he’d wear dresses like his sister’s, only nicer. He’d have pretty shoes and could play with his dollies, which were his babies. He’d also help his mother about the house, unlike his sister, who preferred to be out with her friends, one friend in particular who had a pony. Jessica, would rather be down the stables mucking out than playing with stupid dolls, even though she had dozens of them.
Bernard Smith, Jessica and George’s father, was an accountant. He worked hard for a small firm in the nearby town. He hoped the old man would make him a partner one day, but so far it hadn’t happened. However, he was reasonably well paid, and the Smith family lived comfortably. Doreen, his wife, the mother of Jessica and George, worked in the local supermarket, in the office; she was a qualified book-keeper and looked after their accounts along with another woman, called Sally. They job shared, so they’d be home most evenings before the children.
Doreen had discussed George and his girlishness with Sally. Her advice was to humour it, “I’d prefer it to him asking for guns and knives, besides he’ll grow out of it, I expect. Unless of course you don’t indulge him and he can’t get it out of his system, then it could get worse.”
Doreen hadn’t thought of that; could it get worse? What should she do? On the last Saturday before Christmas, Bernard had intended taking the kids to see Santa, but had been called into the office for an urgent problem.
What he didn’t realise was he was going to be offered a partnership, so he was walking on air when he got home, helped by the two large sherries, old man Taylor had given him. He was therefore, annoyed when Doreen pricked his balloon as soon as he walked in.
“I got a partnership, love.” He smiled at his beloved.
“No wonder I can smell alcohol. Well I’m glad one of us had a nice day.”
“Why? What was wrong with yours?”
“That silly boy, he embarrassed me in front of all the people there.”
“What did he do?”
“He asked for a stupid doll, that’s what. I’ve got a jolly good mind to make him wear a dress for Christmas day.”
“If that’s what he wants, we’ll buy him a doll.”
“But the other kids will laugh at him.”
“That’s his problem, he must have thought about it, let him deal with it.”
“What are they going to say about us though?”
“Who cares, I’m a partner in an accountancy firm, let him have his dream, I’ve got mine.”
“Bernard, you really shouldn’t drink, you know.” She stepped backwards as he advanced upon her, bearing mistletoe. “Bernard, you really shouldn’t, ooh Bernard, maybe you should…”
George continued to help his mother around the house as they put up the decorations and the tree. He didn’t really feel very hopeful, but as they switched on the lights, he made a wish, that this year he’d get a doll. He made the same wish when they’d mixed the Christmas pudding last year, but so far it hadn’t happened.
At eight o clock on Christmas Eve, he was sent to bed, having left out the milk and mince pie for Santa Claus, by the fireplace. He’d hung his stocking on one side of the mantelpiece and Jessica put hers on the other end. His would be full of boy stuff and she would have everything he wanted. It wasn’t fair, but he’d come to expect it.
He tossed and turned hoping Santa could read his letter, begging for the doll. He knew it wouldn’t make any difference, it never would, he was doomed to be a boy. He cried himself to sleep, a not unusual occurrence.
Pleese can you give me a doll this yeer. I am reelly a girl called Georgina, but everyone thincks I am a boy. It makes me verry sad and a doll wood help me feel beter. Love from Georgina. Xxxx
George awoke, it was still dark. He wondered if Santa had been, but he knew he’d get into trouble if he got up too early; besides, he knew it would be another disaster like last year when he cried at the presents he got. He’d rather stay in bed than go through that again.
He remembered the present he’d got from the Santa in the department store. It would be cheap and nasty, he knew that, but he could unwrap that without anyone hearing him. He’d pushed it behind some books on his bed side cabinet.
He leant over to get it and his pyjamas felt strange. He switched on his light and he wasn’t wearing pyjamas, he had on a nightdress with kittens and puppies. He nearly swooned with joy. How could it happen? He didn’t know, but he was delighted, maybe this would be a good Christmas after all?
He pulled out the toy and tore off the pink paper, it was a doll, a cheap and nasty one, but it was a doll and it was his–or should that be hers? He wept with delight. He’d checked between his legs–his dangly bits were still there–but just to be himself for one whole day, he’d cope with the rest of his life because he’d then know miracles could happen.
He called his doll, Mary, after the mother of Jesus, as he considered it an appropriate name for the time of year. He hugged her and promised he would look after her as best he could. He looked around the room, on the chair where he’d left his jeans and sweater, was something else. He got out of bed to explore. It was a pink and blue striped dress with black strap shoes, a pair of pink tights and a white vest and panties in matching embroidered material.
He was beginning to think he was dreaming and he pinched himself until it hurt. He wasn’t dreaming, in his bedroom was a dress and tights with real girl’s shoes. He wanted to dance around and laugh and dance some more. He hugged Mary again and then kissed her. His winceyette nightdress played about his legs, and he loved the feeling. He looked back and there was pair of pink slippers by the bed, his red ones with monster machines on them, had gone.
He ran and slipped them on, they had fur around the top like his sister’s ones. Once more he danced and skipped around the bedroom holding his doll. It was only six in the morning, but he knew he wouldn’t sleep any more, he had to be awake to savour the feeling he was a girl, if only for one day. He felt so happy, he just had to sit down and cry–it was the nicest feeling he’d ever had.
He snuggled back down in bed and cuddled with Mary, his new love, his doll.
At eight, his sister, knocked on his door and called him, “Come on, Georgina, Santa’s been.”
Did she just call him, Georgina? Maybe he was dreaming.
“Come on, girl,” called his dad. Was he talking to me? George asked himself.
He followed out in his new slippers and nightdress expecting them all to laugh at him. They didn’t, so he walked more confidently into the lounge to see his presents.
His stocking was the same as Jessica’s, some sweets, some bubble bath, a pair of pretty socks, some panties and a brush and comb set.
Jessica opened a small box and screamed. “Daddy’s bought me a pony,” she danced around the room and hugged everyone including her ‘sister’. “Georgie, I’ve got a pony, look here’s a photo of him.”
Georgina looked at the picture and hugged and kissed her sister.
“You’ll need to take great care of him and clean and feed him everyday.”
“I will, I will, I promise I will,” said Jessica practically walking on the ceiling she felt so high.
“Aren’t you going to open your presents, Georgina?” said George’s mum.
“Me?” said Georgina pointing to herself.
“Yes, you, girl,” replied her mum.
Soon she was squealing with delight as she found a doll plus several outfits, a buggy for her doll and what astonished her was a pair of boots in pink suede with sheepskin tops to them, plus a skirt and top and a cardigan all to match. Finally she opened the paper to find a coat with a hood surrounded in fake fur, one like her sister had.
She was so overcome, that she sat down hugging her two dolls and wept with happiness. “What’s the matter, Georgina?” asked her daddy.
“I am so happy, I hope today never ends, Daddy.”
“We didn’t realise you were so unhappy, Georgina, so as soon as Christmas is over, Mummy and I are going to take you to see a special doctor, to see if you can live as a girl all the time.”
“Oh, Daddy, that would be wonderful,” she squealed and hugged him tightly.
In his pocket he had the note she had written to Santa, and it had broken his heart to learn how much she had suffered. He’d shown it to Doreen and they had talked and cried and hugged each other. Then they decided to act. The doll and other girl’s toys had been bought, to indulge or swamp the boy’s unusual desires, all they needed to do was get a few things out of the cupboard that Jessica had never worn, there were plenty–and while he slept, strip off his pyjamas and slip on the nightdress.
Jessica was first up and they’d left her a note to come and see them before she woke George. She had done so and on the promise of a wonderful present, she promised to treat George as Georgina–her sister. For a pony, she’d have pretended he was their cat.
The Smith family moved to a larger house a year later, it was the other side of town where they still live with their two daughters. One is still crazy about horses even though she’s an A-level student. Her younger sister, has quite a collection of dolls, although at fifteen doesn’t play with them too often, but she is a good hockey and netball player, oh, and discovered boys weren’t all slugs and snails…
Please note: There is no way this is going to be a serial or multipart story. This is it, finished, complete, in toto. No amount of whining, threats bribery or begging letters will induce another part.
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