In Competition No. 3128 you were invited to submit letters to Santa written in the style of the author of your choice.
I failed to track down examples of real letters from well-known writers to Old Nick (although both Mark Twain and Tolkien penned letters to their children from Father Christmas). But this was more than compensated for by the terrific standard of entries: step forward, David Silverman, channelling Dan Brown: ‘Dear Santa, I know who you are, buddy! And I can prove it! You’re an anagram of SATAN!…’; John Samson as Irvine Welsh: ‘Dear San’a, Gonny gi’e us back ma literary credentials…’; and Adrian Fry’s Harold Pinter: ‘I’ll be here when you come, wide awake… Expect no brandy, no pie: alms patronise. Finally, no laughter. Absolutely no laughter.’
Other runners-up are Frank Upton, G.M. Southgate, Katherine Lloyd Clark and A.J. Snyders. The winners earn £30.
You are fat, Father Christmas, your tummy is shocking!
The chimney may prove a tight fit
To deliver the things that I’d like in my stocking —
I urge you to diet a bit.
A cat with a grin that will gradually fade,
An egg with a shell that is broken,
Flamingoes for summer, when croquet is played,
And some hedgehogs, polite and well-spoken.
A teapot where dormice may peacefully snooze,
A potion that makes me grow smaller
To pass little doorways whenever I choose,
And a mushroom to render me taller.
Above all, a Snark who would tickle my head
While I teach him to count up to five —}
But be careful you don’t bring a Boojum instead,
Or you’ll vanish before you arrive.
Brian Allgar/Lewis Carroll
Dear Mr Claus,
It is not without, I confess, the admixture of a certain measure of genuine anticipation with the mere hope that must, under ordinary circumstances, accompany such an application, that I once again take up my pen in appeal to you, a full twelve months since last doing so.