Winter Blogfest: C F White

This post is part of Long and Short Reviews’ Winter Blogfest. Leave a comment for a chance to win an ecopy of Won’t Feel a Thing (St. Cross#1).

I Believe in Father Christmas

Christmas is magical. There is no doubt about that. But for some, it truly is filled with magic, fairy tales, and joy. And it doesn’t matter how old you get, you can always believe in that.

Like my son, and the others like him, who have a rare genetic condition called Williams Syndrome. This strange realignment of genetics, and missing chromosomes, make for a unique and engaging personality. They love everyone and everything. They see the joy and magic of Christmas every day of the year. So Christmas for them is the ultimate holiday.

I volunteer for the Williams Syndrome Foundation as a regional rep. As part of this role I lay on a fully funded party for all those families in my area who have a member in their clan with WS. It’s a day I love every second of. The sheer excitement and fun bursts through each and every one, from the young to the old. Because the absolute marvel of WS is that they are all eternal children. They love like children; they dance like children, and they believe like children.

I arrange for Father Christmas to visit the party. He brings along a toy for each one (bought by the parents, handed to me in secret) and delivers them to the delighted and eager recipients, bouncing on their toes in excitement. Of course, this happens in many a grotto all over the world. But here, it’s something different. Something magical. Every child, every adolescent, every fully grown adult with WS believes, wholeheartedly, that the man in the red suit is the real Father Christmas.

One year, a young girl of sixteen sat cross-legged on the floor after having danced nonstop since she arrived at the party. She watched patiently as each child was called up, handed their beautifully wrapped gift, had their chance to sit on the big man’s knee and have their photo taken. With her long hair in bunches tied in bows with red Christmas ribbon, her sparkling eyes were wide behind the thick lenses of her pink glasses. She clapped, she cheered, she helped the smaller ones up from their heaps on the floor so they could retrieve their gifts. She asked where Rudolph was as she clutched a carrot in her hand. But, what happened next will never leave me. Father Christmas (aka my husband in a red Santa suit) rummaged in the black sack. Empty. No gifts left. I hadn’t noticed that her parents hadn’t handed me a present to add to the bag on arrival. The mother, mortified, hadn’t seen the message that she needed to provide one.

The girl sobbed. She asked, over and over, if she had been on the naught list. She hadn’t meant to have the last biscuit in the tin. She hadn’t meant to be mean. She was sorry. She would try better next year. She still handed Father Christmas the carrot to give to the reindeers anyway. She believed.

Not to end on a bad note, we did manage to find her a gift from the shops still open in the market place where we were. We found some paper to wrap it in. We then passed it over with an apology from the elves that they had left it on the sleigh on the roof. The girl beamed. She cried, happy tears, and hugged Father Christmas, thanking him and telling him she loved him and always believed in him.

That stuff—it’s magic. So, now, I believe in Father Christmas, too. Don’t you?

It takes more than a doctor to mend a broken heart.

Ollie Warne, fresh out of nursing school and working his dream job as a pediatric cardiology nurse at St Cross Children’s Hospital, London, wants to start the new year free of personal heartache after his track record of falling for the wrong man—his New Year’s resolution is to live a life of carefree liaisons from now on.

He immediately meets Jacob, father of one of Ollie’s patients and a man harboring more guilt and past demons than even Ollie, which is saying something…

Their growing attraction makes it hard for Ollie to keep his distance, but he has to―not only do the ethics of his profession demand it…but Ollie is entangled with another man. A predatory doctor who has a huge personal and professional stake in Ollie’s life.

Ollie risks more than his job by getting involved with a patient’s father―and much more than just the success of his New Year’s resolution, something that was supposed to ensure that, this time, he won’t feel a thing.

About the Author: Brought up in a relatively small town in Hertfordshire, C F White managed to do what most other residents try to do and fail—leave.

Studying at a West London university, she realised there was a whole city out there waiting to be discovered, so, much like Dick Whittington before her, she never made it back home and still endlessly searches for the streets paved with gold, slowly coming to the realisation they’re mostly paved with chewing gum. And the odd bit of graffiti. And those little circles of yellow spray paint where the council point out the pot holes to someone who is supposedly meant to fix them instead of staring at them vacantly whilst holding a polystyrene cup of watered-down coffee.

She eventually moved West to East along that vast District Line and settled for pie and mash, cockles and winkles and a bit of Knees Up Mother Brown to live in the East End of London; securing a job and creating a life, a home and a family.

After her second son was born with a rare disability, C F White’s life changed drastically and brought her pen back to paper after she’d written stories as a child but never had the confidence to show them to the world. Now, having embarked on this writing journey, C F White cannot stop. So strap in, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter