Over the rooftops of Dobberstown snow fell as smoke poured out from chimneypots . The first lights of the new dawn shone out from behind the windows of the little homes . As people awoke from their sleep they made their way to their tables for breakfast . There was some thing different about today in Dobberstown . There was a presence of wonder in the air .
As the morning sprung into life so did the early morning buses that were
already filled with passengers . Taxies were rolled out alongside the railway station waiting for the first of the special festival trains to pull in .
Trucks flew down along Rushmore Road with the last of the deliveries before the gates were opened .
Dobberstown was famous for one thing each year . Its Christmas Festival .
As always when the twelve days of Christmas began so did the Christmas Festival in Dobberstown. The festival was full of games and special events that children could be part of . This year there was an event never before seen at the festival . It was the Christmas Treasure Hunt and two very lucky children had won the right to enter .
Tommy and Tessie had won their tickets by entering a short story competition at their school and were handed a pass to try the treasure hunt .
Once they presented their tickets at the festival gate they walked around checking out the goings on . They asked the festival people in their bright green overalls where the treasure hunt was .
No one seemed to know .
Suddenly Tommy and Tessie where swept up in a Christmas parade that was passing by . There was a brass band with what looked like a small army of toy soldiers marching along through the festival grounds .
Tommy and Tessie found they couldn't get away from the parade . They were carried in through various tents at the festival . The parade came to a lake where the music finished .
Tommy and Tessie were told to take a seat on a paddleboat that would take them across the lake to a railway track where train was waiting for them .
There magical Journey had just begun .
On the train there was an envelope with their names on it . The letters had a map with directions and other pieces of information that would assist them on the way to their destination which was a place called Marshmallow Meadow .
The letter wished them both good luck on their journey and off they went .
They left Magic Maze station to the place on the map called the obstacle walk
where they followed the sign posts and checked the maps directions .
Apart from the path indicated there were also some traps along the way that awaited them so they had to be extremely careful .
So far Tommy and Tessie managed to avoid most if the traps .
One of the last obstacles they had to climb over a sticky climbing frame and slide down a pole to what seemed to be a rubber mat . But the mat was coated with glue and Tommy was stuck fast and couldn't move .
Lucky for him Tessie was there and she was able to untie his shoes and pull him out of trouble . The it was Tommys turn to come to the rescue .
A ladder was placed beside a wall that they had to get over .
As Tessie climbed up the ladder the ladder slid down into a hole .
Suddenly a net fell and trapped Tessie and the ladder .
Tommy opened his Swiss Army knife and cut a big enough hole in the net for Tessie to escape .
Off they went further along the obstacle walk until they came to what seemed to be a spiral staircase . Their maps told them they where at the foot of Candy Cane Mountain .
They climber up the staircase to the top of the Mountain where they saw a swirly slide awaited to bring them down to marshmallow meadow , which was their destination .
They both took a deep breath and pushed themselves off down the whirly swirly slippery slid . Down they sped faster and faster , around and around over humps and bumps bouncing up and down until they came to a sudden stop against what looked like a foam rubber wall .
Everything suddenly went dark for a while .
It was very quiet and strange . They sat there motionless for a while until a door in front of them opened up letting a dim but nice purple light to shine in .
A funny looking hand reached out towards Tessie .
Tessie saw the face that looked at her was that of an elf . She was dressed in a little red suit . She made herself known and softly said ,
"Let me help you to your feet . My name is Chrissie "
Tessie got to her feet and stood beside the tiny elf .
Another hand reached out to Tommy .
It was another elf . The elf boy said .
"Hello my name is Little Rickie . No one who has ever been here before . You are the first real people to come here . So don't be afraid . You have been called here to this magical place . Its where Christmas magic come from . Here in the meadow nothing is real . It all lives only in your imagination .
Tessie replied ,
"You mean we are here in Marshmallow Meadow . Is that where we are ?
The elf boy said ,
"I said its all in your imagination . "
"Now its time to say good bye Little Rickie "
Said the Elf girl .
The Elf boy said ,
"Right then listen to me Tessie and Tommy ."
" How do you know us ?"
Said Tessie .
Tommy got to his feet and shook the dust off he said ,
"Little Rickie how do you know our name's ? "
The Elf girl replied .
"We can read your thoughts and we even see them . We are like the shadows of your dreams . Everyone has dreams . Your dreams are like the shadows that follow us here in this magical place ."
"Wow that's incredible "
Said Tommy .
"Now the final part of the journey awaits you . "
Said the Elf boy who opened a door in a wall and pointed to a staircase that winded down to another world .
At the foot of the staircase was a long road with Christmas trees with coloured lights and decorations hanging on them . The Christmas trees stood on both side of a road that weaved its way down into a beautiful forest . The forest was full of palm trees and other tropical plants . Huge butterflies hovered in the air and a large number of parrots descended from the forest's canopy and circled around Tommy and Tessies head . A talking pink parrot appeared and welcomed them into Lollipop Land . The pink parrot rested on Tommy's shoulder and said ,
"Welcome kids . My name is Lolly Polly .
Tessie replied ,
"Well hello my fine feathered friend ? "
Tommy said .
"Hi there Lolly Polly . What is this place ?
The pink parrot replied .
"This is a magical land where we have so many things to do . Just for you . There are new songs to sing . There are lots of fruit tress that grow and there are lots of new seed to sew . There are places to be and things to see . But the most important thing is your treasure . "
"Tommy asked ,
"So the treasure is ours ?.
The parrot said ,
"That's right . Indeed it will be . Now I want to show you where your first treasure lies . "
The Pink parrot flew behind a tree stump where another tiny elf like creature dressed in a green suit held two garden spades . He handed the children a spade and said .
"Right then my name is Greensleeves ok . So here's the thing now, you must take seven footsteps both in the opposite direction . Once you've done that, you then have to dig up the chest where you're standing . Have you got that ? If you have, then do it . Your buried treasures are there . Finders keepers owners and reapers .
So Tommy and Tessie both took seven footsteps in the opposite direction and started to dig . Each of them pulled out a chest from the hole they dug .
As they opened the chest a bright light shone out and Tommy and Tessie felt something changing inside them .
Tommy asked the elf ,
"What was the treasure Greensleeves?
To which the elf replied .
"You received a talent to play music and your sister received a talent to paint pictures . Those two talents you dug up were buried by people who never used them to benefit anyone . Now take another seven steps and dig you're your next treasure ."
So once again the two children took seven steps and then dug until they pulled up another chest . When they both opened up their chests the same light shone out as before and the light illuminated both the children .
"What treasure have we found now ?
Said Tessie .
The elf replied .
"You have found a talent to make up and tell tall tales while your brother has found a talent to dance and sing . Now , both of you have to keep digging until you both have found five talents ."
After a while both the children were so inspired by new found gifts and treasures that wisdom itself had found a home in them .'
"It is time now for you to leave this special place and use your talents to benefit all those who come your way ."
They where escorted back to a staircase that brought them to a doorway .
"Thank you so much for everything ."
Said Tessi and Tommy .
The Elf and the pink parrot said farewell and as the door closed Tessie felt inspired to compose some music while Tommy began to sing and dance .
When they looked around them they discovered they were back in the festival grounds with an huge audience applauding them as they performed live on stage . Tessie was seated at a piano and even though she had never played a piano she knew every key of the instrument and where to put her fingers . Tommy was gifted with lyrics and started to sing along with Tessie's melody . Such beautiful new music drifted through the festival and all who heard it felt moved to tears .
The concert was astounding and at the end of the day a professional business man and music promoter asked if Tommy and Tessie would give a free Christmas concert for the all the underprivileged people right across the country . Tommy and Tessie never refused .
The music promoter was delighted and smiled ,
Suddenly as he spoke time stopped . Everyone was frozen and in the silence his voice was immediately recognised . It was the elf who had given them the spades in Marshmallow Meadow . He said softly ,
"For what you have been given and want to share , may you now receive five more treasures ."
A truck came in through the main gates of the festival . Everything else was still frozen in time . On the back of the truck were five boxes . A key was
passed to the children by the driver who dumped the boxes at their feet .
Then the driver said ,
"The key will unlock all the chests and what is inside is for you and all the people of the world to share ."
Tommy and Tessie unlocked all the boxes . One by one they asked what treasures they had found .
In the first box the order list from Toyland to every boy and girl . The order list was an open letter of supply for the Christmas Elves in Toyland . Tommy and Tessie had been given the power to order as many toys as they wanted and the only demand made was that the toys were to be shared .
In the second chest was a treasure to heal all the sick and bring good health at Christmas into old peoples homes and hospitals .
The third chest had a treasure that enable then to bring good cheer and happiness and good will to all the men and women they met .
In the fourth chest was a treasure to make one journey back through time .
Only one visit was allowed .
The final chest had three boxes. Inside those boxes were Gold , Myrrh and Frankincense . Immediately when Tommy and Tessie lifted out the three gifts they knew where they wanted to travel back in time to .
They wanted to make a special journey back through time to a place called Bethlehem and visit a very special child on the very first Christmas .
Can you just imagine what that very first Christmas was like for those two children from Dobberstown ?