NCLA New Writing:Extract from 'The Christmas Card' by Gavin Hetherington

NCLA New Writing:

Extract from ‘The Christmas Card’ by Gavin Hetherington

A NOISE stirred Tim from his slumber. In haste, he switched the lamp on and let his eyes adjust to the sudden light. He sat up and listened for the noise again.

Did the sound come from the roof? Downstairs? Was it a mouse? Was it his mother waking up? Daddy? Tim held his blanket a little closer to his chest and retreated back into his pillow.

But, was it Santa Claus? Oh, how he wished it was Santa Claus. It was the night before Christmas, and he had been good all year long with the promise of presents on December 25th.

Tim had sent his list like all the other seven-year-olds in his class, but whether or not Santa received it was another question. He thought hard about the things he had listed, the thoughts making him smile and his heart beat a little faster.

He opened the little drawer on his bedside table. Feeling around, he pushed to one side the Christmas card that he made for his mother and grabbed a copy of his letter to Santa.

He just had to remember what he was going to get when he was allowed to wake up in the morning:


Dear Mr. Santa Claus,

My name is Tim Bailey, or Timothy Joseph Bailey. Im sure Im not the only Tim Bailey in the world but I hope that helps. I live at 35 Burney Villas in England, so that might make it even easier to remember me. I’m writing to you to ask for some presents on Christmas Day. I have been good all year, even ask my mummy, she will tell you. Please, please don’t leave me coal! I promise I haven’t been bad!

All I want for Christmas is a set of toy cars, a monster truck, and a little garage to use for the cars. I love cars. My mummy said when I turn 17 I can drive a real life car!

Can you also get my mummy a new heart? My daddy broke hers and she needs a new one. If you can’t do that, Magic Mike on DVD will do. I heard her say that to Auntie Carol. She won’t stop talking about it. I should watch it, I love magic too!

Thank you Mr. Santa Claus. I will leave you some cookies and milk for when you come, and a carrot for the reindeers.


Tim finished reading the letter and held it close to his chest. As he hugged it, he heard another noise. It definitely came from downstairs this time. The clatter reminded him of the last night his father was there, of when he pushed chairs over and dropped plates and knives. Like a spasm, he reached for his face.

But it could be Santa.


He ran to his bedroom window and pulled open the curtains. The window pane outside was dusted with a thin layer of snow – the first snow fall of the year. How magical that it would snow on Christmas Day!


Gavin Hetherington is a Readers’ Favourite Book Award and Global eBook Award-winning author of the Abyssal Sanctuary series that began publication in 2013. He is also a journalist for SpoilerTV while in his third year at Newcastle University.