Blyton at Christmas 1920-1945


I have tried to do this in rough chronological order, but many dates given refer to when a story was published in a book. It will often be the case that it was in Enid Blyton’s Magazine or Sunny Stories before. It will also be likely to have been repeated in other story collections right up to the present day. I also cannot pretend it is a completely exhaustive list as there are literally hundreds of items. I have tried to stick to stories and poems that I can provide extracts, details or pictures for though I have named others at times.

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The 1920s

It seems that Blyton only wrote a few Christmas stories in the 20s, and unfortunately I don’t have any Teacher’s Treasury volumes. The Enid Blyton Society have added the full content of the Teacher’s World pieces, so I have included the links for you.

  • Christmas from Teacher’s World, 1922 (You can read it here).
  • The Stolen Reindeer from Teacher’s World, 1922 (You can read it here).
  • Christmas Secrets from Teacher’s World, 1923 (You can read it here).
  • Fairy’s Love  from Teacher’s World, 1923 (You can read it here).
  • Santa Claus Makes a Mistake from The Teacher’s Treasury Vol. 1, 1926
  • The Capture of Santa Claus from The Teacher’s Treasury Vol. 2, 1926
  • The Christmas Fairies from  The Teacher’s Treasury Vol. 2, 1926
  • That Lovely Christmas Tree from Tiny Tots, 1927. (This looks like a mix of authors, but Blyton wrote them all – some as Becky Kent and others as Audrey Saint Lo.)

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The 1930s

There are quite a few more stories from the 30s. Many of them are from Teacher’s World, and can be read in The Cave of Books over at the Enid Blyton Society’s website. I have linked to a few here, but as there are over 100 entries I draw the line there! No doubt some will have been used in other publications. If you’d like to browse them yourself, simply head here and put ‘Christmas’ into the search box, then scroll to the bottom.

The Little Christmas Tree from Teacher’s World, 1930 (You can read it here.) There are two more stories with the same title in Teacher’s World – in 1931 and in 1935 too.
Christmas Gifts from The Enid Blyton Poetry Book, 1934 (You can read it in full here.)
Christmas News from The Enid Blyton Poetry Book, 1934 (Read it in full here.)
Christmas Wishes from Teacher’s World, 1935. (Read this poem here.)
Santa Claus Gets Busy from Wheaton’s Musical Plays, 1939 (Read a song from it here.)

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The 1940s

The 40s have even more stories – and I actually have rather a lot of them which is excellent for the purposes of this blog!

Brer Rabbit is Santa Claus!  from Enid Blyton’s Book of the Year, 1941

One December Brer Rabbit discovers that Brer Fox has stolen all his best carrots. (What a fox wants with carrots isn’t entirely clear.) Brer Fox refuses to give them back so Brer Rabbit hatches a clever plan. With a sack-full of stones he climbs up onto Brer Fox’s house.

“Who’s up there?” yelled Brer Fox. “Go away! I’m having my supper!”

“It’s Santa Claus,” said Brer Rabbit in a deep voice. “I’ve got a sack of presents for you, Brer Fox.”

“Come on down then,” said Brer Fox, pleased.

“I can’t,” said Brer Rabbit. “I’m stuck.” Brer Fox unbolted his door and went into the garden to look up at the roof. Sure enough, in the moonlight he could see someone in his chimney.

Brer Rabbit manages to convince Brer Fox that both he and the presents are stuck, so Brer Fox goes inside and up the chimney to try to pull them down. Meanwhile Brer Rabbit rushes down and inside to steal back his carrots. He takes some other food into the bargain and leaves Brer Fox with stones falling on him from the sack in the chimney.

Brer Rabbit is Santa Claus!

One Christmas Eve from Enid Blyton’s Book of the Year, 1941

Once upon a time, there was a little boy who thought that Santa Claus must be the kindest, jolliest person in all the world. When John remembered all the thousands of stockings Santa Claus had filled, all the thousands of sooty chimneys he had climbed down, and the many times he had gone back to his castle cold and tired out late on Christmas Eve, he wondered and wondered if there was anyone to welcome Santa back. Whether his slippers had been put to warm, and if anyone waited up at the castle to ask him how he had got on.

Now thankfully John just happens to live very near Santa Claus’ castle. So he can sneak out on Christmas eve to light a fire there and make everything welcoming for Santa Claus returning.

One Christmas Eve

The Little King from Enid Blyton’s Book of the Year, 1941

The Little King

Christmas Carol from Enid Blyton’s Book of the Year, 1941

Christmas Carol
A Christmas Tale from Enid Blyton’s Book of the Year, 1941

This is rather a strange story. It features Mary a girl from 200 years ago who reads the nativity story and wishes that she could have given the Baby her doll. That night an angel appears in her bedroom and takes her to the little Christ-Child and his mother Mary, so that she can give him the gift of a doll.

A Christmas Tale
The Christmas Tree from Enid Blyton’s Book of the Year, 1941

This is a play for seven people to act out – playing Father Christmas, three children and three of Father Christmas’ servants.

The three children have never had a Christmas tree before, and two of them are just hoping for one when the third brings one home – a gift for sweeping someone’s path. One of them wishes that it could be a ‘real’ tree, as it’s not a real one until it is decorated and hung with toys.

So naturally Father Christmas arrives and fills the tree with more presents than the three children could possible have for themselves (their words, not mine!)

The solution? Throw a party. Only there aren’t any children living near-by.

FATHER CHRISTMAS (pointing to audience). Look! Look at all those children there! What about them? Can’t we give a party for them?

FREDDIE. Of course! What a lot of children! However did they get there?

JIMMY (looking at audience in pretended amazement). Well! Fancy that! They must have known we had a Christmas tree to-day!

Blyton suggests this is a way for children at a party to receive toys, or for a teacher to give toys to her class.

The Christmas Tree

 

John Jolly at Christmastime 1942

This was supposed to be the sixth in a series about the Jolly Family (and is numbered as such), but only four were actually published. It is a tall and narrow book with just 18 pages. I’ve never seen a Jolly Family book in person so I’ve no idea what the contents were like. Apparently they have it on Microfiche at the Oxford Library, if you happen to be in the area.

john-jolly-at-christmastime-no-6
Santa Claus Gets a Shock from Enid Blyton’s Happy Story Book, 1942

Another disaster befalls Santa Claus here. He doesn’t get stuck in a chimney this time, instead he gets stuck in a pond!

Betty and Fred stay awake to try to listen for Santa Claus arriving. They hear the jingling of bells but nothing lands on their roof. Instead they hear something breaking, and then banging on the window. It’s the reindeer, trying to get their attention! Santa Claus had walked over the frozen pond, and gone through the ice!

Betty and Fred fetch torches and rope right away.

Very carefully, he and Betty dragged out the poor, wet old man!

“Oh Santa Claus! What a shame that you should have fallen into our pond!” said Betty. “You must be so cold and wet! Why didn’t you land on our roof?”

“Well, you house is a small bungalow, and I never land on bungalow roofs,” said Santa Claus. “I’m too easily seen from the road if I do – so I usually land in the garden then.”

They take Santa Claus inside to warm up and dry off, and he tells them about his work.

You know, even when the toys are made, they still are not ready to go with me,” said Santa. “The teddy bears have to be taught to growl – and you wouldn’t believe how stupid some of them are! Do you know, I had a bear last year who would keep thinking he was a duck – every time I pressed his tummy he said, ‘Quack, quack!'”

There was also a doll who couldn’t open and close her eyes without screwing up her face. Mother wakes up though, and Santa Claus has to make a dash for it. She’s very cross that they’ve been out of bed and doesn’t believe their story, but in the morning, on their beds, are a teddy who says quack, and a doll who screws up her face.

Santa Claus Gets a Shock

Here Comes Santa Claus! from Sunny Stories Calendar, 1944

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Five Go Adventuring Again, 1943

This doesn’t centre around Christmas, but it is set over the Christmas holidays. The Five go Christmas shopping, and put up a Christmas tree.

For the next day or two the four children did not really have much time to think about the Secret Way, because Christmas was coming near, and there was a good deal to do.

There were Christmas cards to draw and paint, for their mothers and fathers and friends. There was the house to decorate. They went out with Mr Roland to find sprays of holly, and came home laden.

“You look like a Christmas card yourselves,” said Aunt Fanny, as they walked up the garden path, carrying the red-berried holly over their shoulders.

Joanna the cook was busy baking Christmas cakes. An enormous turkey had been sent over from Kirrin Farm, and it was hanging up in the larder. Timothy thought it smelt glorious, and Joanna was always shooing him out of the kitchen.

There were boxes of crackers on the shelf in the sitting-room, and mysterious parcels everywhere. It as very, very Christmassy!

Mr Roland went out and dug up a little spruce fir tree. “We must have a Christmas tree,” he said. “Have you any tree-ornaments, children?”

“No,” said Julian, seeing George shake her head.

“I’ll go into town and get some for you,” promised the tutor. “It will be fun dressing the tree. We’ll put it in the hall, and light candles on it on Christmas Day after tea.

Now it stood in the hall, with coloured candles in holders clipped to the branches, and gay, shining ornaments hanging from top to bottom. Silver strands of frosted string hung down from the branches like icicles, and Anne had out bits of white cotton-wool here and there to look like snow. It really was a lovely sight to see.

The tree sounds wonderful, as do all the preparations for Christmas. I have to say I put my tree up a lot earlier than a few days before Christmas, though!

Five Go Adventuring Again

The Christmas Book, 1944

You can read my review of this here.

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The First Christmas, 1945

You can read Stef’s review of this here.

the-first-christmas

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One Response to Blyton at Christmas 1920-1945

  1. Francis says:

    Great selection, Fiona. I had forgotten about ‘Five go Adventuring again’ Christmas theme. Ironical that Mr Roland could appear so pleasant when he was a very dark character.
    Francis

    Like

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