12 Days of Christmas, Day 10 – Sarah Davis

And now for the 10th Day of Christmas we have Sarah Davis … the illustrator for my forthcoming picture book with Random House.

Sarah was the 2009 recipient of the Children’s Book Council of Australia Crichton Award for her first picture book, Mending Lucille. Her other picture books include Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy by Sue Whiting, and Fearless, by Colin Thompson.

Sarah’s gorgeous memory is a reflection of a child’s insecurity and a father’s loving security.


Every Christmas eve, we’d leave a carrot snack for the reindeer, to give them strength for their long flight. We’d fortify Santa too, so he’d know that we loved him. My dad was the authority on what Santa most appreciated, so old St. Nick could always rely on a cold beer and a homemade mince pie at our house. I suggested a couple of times that a thermos of warm tea might hit the spot better, since the poor guy was stuck up in the chilly clouds on an open sleigh most of the night, but Dad was pretty adamant that a beer was what Santa needed to keep him going. The year we knew for certain that Santa Claus was real, we found a few white beard hairs in the mince pie crumbs, and reindeer hoofprints by the front door.

When I was six, we moved from England to New Zealand. Mum and Dad decided to help me make new friends by throwing a Christmas party for all the kids in my class. I wasn’t at all sure anyone would want to come, so I bribed them. I lied through my teeth and claimed that Father Christmas would be there – the real Father Christmas, not some fake-bearded impostor. As the party day got closer, dread grew in the pit of my sinking stomach as I realised my entire class of potential friends would be at the party… and that, beyond a doubt, the real Father Christmas would not. Everyone would know I lied. No-one would ever speak to me again. I’d be doomed to live as an outcast until I died a lonely old woman. When the party started, I hid in the laundry, waiting to be unmasked as a fraud.

Then, through the laundry door, I heard jingling bells. A jolly, booming “Ho Ho Ho!” rang out. The kids shrieked with excitement. Holding my breath, hardly daring to hope, I slunk into the living room and there, miracle of christmas miracles, larger than life, like a creature from a different Universe, was Father Christmas. He handed out presents for everybody, and winked at me specially. He’d clearly come to save me from social death because he was grateful for all the mince pies and beer. He sounded a bit familiar, but I thought that because he was magic, everybody would hear in his voice the tones of someone they loved. Which is why he sounded very much like my Dad

And do drop in to see Sarah’s blog too. Like Tina’s blog Sarah also posts amazing illustrations. Ah the joys of seeing an illustrator’s blog.

2 Responses to 12 Days of Christmas, Day 10 – Sarah Davis

  1. aw, what a wonderful story!! And how lovely of Santa to come to the rescue … he sounds like a good man 🙂

    Tina Burke January 5, 2010 at 9:57 am Reply
  2. What great parents you have!

    Angela January 9, 2010 at 7:20 am Reply

Leave a comment