by Martina Brian
Now here’s the thing. It was obvious to me from a very early age; Santa could not possibly visit all of the stores in town. The real Father Christmas came to Trafford centre. The others were just ordinary men dressed up in costumes. They didn’t look right anyway. But the one at the Trafford Centre. He was the real thing all right. He was the right age for starters. He had lovely eyes. His beard was all crinkly. And he was nice and cuddly looking.
But then my cousin Martin spoilt it all. “So, why does he pick Manchester? Why doesn’t he go to New York or Birmingham? Why should the kids there miss out?”
That Professor Brian Cox did have a go at explaining how he manages to get round to everybody. He showed us all a “formula” – funny symbols and numbers - and it was something to do with the speed of light.
Then I had an idea. I knew just the person who could help.
So, I persuaded Mum to go shopping down at the Lowry Centre and me and Martin went over to Media City to hang out by the BBC.
“There it is look,” I said. Yes, there was the Tardis, looking as if it was ready to go any minute.
A man in a long leather coat and a woolly scarf round his neck was walking to the building.
“Do you think that’s him?” I said to Martin.
“Don’t be silly, the Doctor’s a woman at the moment.”
“You’re the silly. I don’t mean the actor. I mean the real Doctor.”
Martin rolled his eyes.
Well somebody had to do something.
“Hey mister,” I shouted. “I mean Doctor. You are the Doctor, aren’t you?”
The man turned round and grinned. “Absolutely. How can I help?”
“Well we don’t know how Father Christmas manages to be in all of those places at once. Nor how he manages to deliver all of the presents in one night. “
“That Brian Cox bloke sort of half explained it. Only I didn’t really get it,” said Martin.
The Doctor grinned. “Ah yes. My mate Brian. A good chap. But he’s not so good at talking to you younger people, is he? He’s all right with his university students. And he’s only got it half right anyway.”
“So, what’s the answer?” Martin was frowning and had got his hands on his hips.
“Simple. Time continuums. He works the same sort of hours as other folk. You know, nine till five, five days a week for forty-seven days a year. He even has Christmas Day and other bank holidays off. He just keeps travelling through time. Oh, and he whips round from store to store.”
“So why does he look different?” Martin was still frowning.
The Doctor tapped his nose. “You’re just seeing him at different ages. Anyway, if you’ll excuse me, the Tardis awaits. In fact, I’m helping Santa out a bit. His sonic sleigh is playing up today.”
The Doctor carried on into the BBC building and walked straight into the Tardis.
“Huh. He’s making it up. That’s just some geyser who works for the BBC.” Martin was pulling me away. “Come on or your mum’ll go ballistic.”
I held my breath. And yes. Sure enough. The Tardis started making the funny screechy noises it makes when it’s going somewhere and then it disappeared.
I bit my lip. “It’s obvious really, isn’t it?”
For once Martin had nothing to say. But I knew what I was going to say to all of those kids who say that Father Christmas isn’t real.
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