Guest Post: A Festive Short Story by Elle McNicoll

Hello everybody! Today, for a Golden Christmas day 17, I am unbelievably excited to be bringing you another short story, which was written by the wonderful Elle McNicoll, with characters you’re sure to recognise. I absolutely loved reading this when Elle sent it to me, and I hope you do too. Onto the post!

“No one touch this.”

Nina has presents laid out in front of the fireplace, as well as rolls of expensive wrapping paper she found in the posh shop on Main Street. She also has the big scissors. 

“Can I wrap something?” I ask.

Nina hesitates, glancing over the gifts and shiny paper with wariness. Keedie, who is curled up on the armchair by the window, looks up from her book and narrows her eyes at her twin. “Let her.”

Nina grimaces but she does not refuse. Instead, she lifts a bottle of wine we got for Aunt Eden; half the price at the market. She pushes it gingerly towards me. “Here. Wrap that. Carefully.”

Our living room is at the front of the house. That’s where we’re sitting now. On the old carpet with a fire spitting and crackling. I do what Mum does when she wraps. I’ve watched her enough times. I break off little bits of tape and stick them to the coffee table for safekeeping. It takes me twice as long to wrap the present as it would Nina.

“Now that’s how you wrap a present,” Keedie says, nodding at my handiwork.

I smile. Some wood in the fire pops and hisses in agreement, while Nina sighs in resignation. 

I help her with the rest of the gift-wrapping by handing the scissors when I’m told to. I ask if I can write the gift tag for Keedie’s present. Nina lets me but winces when she sees my handwriting. She opens her mouth to say something, but Keedie slams her book shut. The noise startles Nina and she scowls but stays quiet.

We are almost finished when we hear commotion from outside. I jump up and move to the bay window of our living room, which overlooks the rest of Woodmill Street. The road is dark, lit only by a few streetlamps but we can still make out Mr Macintosh and the rest of the rotary club. Our town chairman is dressed like Father Christmas and riding a sleigh, which Dad says has been around since he was a boy here. There are some other council members dressed as elves and ringing old bells.

“This place is doolally,” Keedie murmurs, as the three of us peer out onto the wintery street. 

Mr Macintosh catches us looking and we lock eyes for a moment. I make myself look back at him. We haven’t spoken since my memorial was unveiled in October. He stares at me for a moment and then offers a small nod of acknowledgement. Then is gone.

“Look,” Keedie says, and we glance at her. She points up at the frozen sky.

I yelp in delight. “Snow!”

The three of us watch it come down. I don’t know what they’re thinking about, they’ve seen many more Christmases than me, but I’m thinking about what a changing, churning year it has been.

“Juniper looks really beautiful in the snow,” I say quietly. Keedie puts her arm around me and Nina takes my hand.

We watch the winter flakes come down together.  

Thank you so much for reading! Are you a fan of Elle’s writing? Which authors would you most like to read a Christmas story from? I’d love to hear in the comments!

Amy xx


Author: goldenbooksgirl

Disabled book blogger who also writes TV, film, music and other posts from time to time | UKYABA Champion Teen 2018 | Email: | she/her

6 thoughts on “Guest Post: A Festive Short Story by Elle McNicoll”

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