It was two weeks before Christmas and night time in the toy shop. The shop had all the festive decorations with a big Christmas tree with its lights blinking on and off. All the dolls were playing as they do at night time. A Japanese doll stood up. She looked pretty in a kimono and a big sash round her waist. She looked at all the toys and said,“It will soon be Christmas and we should do something before we all go our different ways. I know what we should do. We should have a party and dance.”
“Yes, a good idea indeed”, echoed the Kandyan bride doll. She preened herself. “I can do a special dance for you.” She put her palms together before she started to dance. “I can dance myself if you will the pull the string,” said the puppet doll. The toy monkey obliged and the
puppet doll danced.
“What shall we have for food?” piped in the little boy doll in a play suit. He was always thinking about
eating. “Oh dear,” cried Leela doll who was dressed in a bright cloth and matching blouse. She had coloured bangles on her arms that jingled when she moved. “I don't know what we shall do for
“I can get party food,” said the big rag doll. The other dolls had never liked her very much, but they thanked her now. She had lessons in a cooking school and knew how to cook. She gave fancy names to everything she cooked and this made it taste better.
Old Mother Hubbard was there and she said the rag doll did not know to cook anything. “But do you know to cook?” asked Cheeky Chubby doll and added,“Your cupboard was bare all the time and the poor dog went hungry always.” Mother Hubbard came hurrying to slap Cheeky Chubby and he hid behind the rocking horse.
“I know what to do,” said the soldier doll. “There is a cake in the refrigerator in the back and there are bags of toffees. “So, we can start the party and I wonder if rag doll can rustle up anything else?” He collected his comrades and went to the back of the shop.
Meanwhile, someone had opened the toy piano and the singing doll was playing 'Tikiri Tikiri Liya' on it. By now the dolls were dancing in one of the great shop
windows and on the floor too. A big boy doll found a drum and drummed the tune. Then, when the singing doll repeated the song it was
getting dull but she said that she didn't know any other tune. What a surprise! She was one of the most
expensive dolls in the shop too.
A tattoo was beaten on the drum more in rebuke by the boy doll. Then, someone found a toy gramaphone and a disc and put it on. It
started with 'Namo Namo Matha' and everyone stood to attention. The puppet doll danced and danced when his string was pulled. The naughty monkey didn't stop and the puppet doll though tired, couldn't stop
Each time they started the disc, they had to stand to attention to the national anthem. Nevertheless, all the toys danced happily under the blinking lights on the Christmas tree, which made it just like a dance hall with disco lights.
Meanwhile, the rag doll with some others found some boxes to serve as tables and placed them on a counter. The toy soldier brought the cake and placed it on one of the boxes. His comrades brought the bags of toffee. They also found bottles of lemonade and took the tea cups from all the tea sets, to drink. They each had a slice of cake and toffees and drank the lemonade. They were feeling merry and some
started telling jokes while others danced.
A Ralahamy doll came along and made a grunting noise. He had a moustache and was dressed in a checked sarong and black coat. He said, “What kind of a party is this without rice, pol sambol and curry? ”
The other dolls looked at each other. Then, he wiped his face with his towel which was on his shoulder. He took out a cigar and lit it and began to smoke. It was very rude of him to do so in
company. The smoke made the little ladies sick and they all ran to the other end of the toy shop and started
Mother Hubbard and two waiter dolls started singing 'Jingle bells' and they sang it twice. While the clowns did somersaults, another big doll opened his mouth wide to sing too. A jump up toy jumped high to look down into his throat. The cow saw all this and sang 'Hey diddle diddle.'
Tom Tom the boy doll got excited and wanted to light some fireworks but the
others said, “That won't do, you'll start a fire.”“Then, the fire engine will have some work,” quipped Tom Tom. Mother Hubbard scolded him.
All the baby dolls in caps and night dresses and
pajamas had been put to bed. The noise woke them up and they began to cry. A big doll brought them some toffee and that kept them quiet for some time.
It was long past midnight and the toys were feeling tired. Some were feeling very sleepy. They crowded round the Japanese doll and thanked her saying it was due to her good idea that they had this wonderful party. Some toys said they had never enjoyed like this before. The soft toy rabbits said that where ever they were taken as Christmas gifts, they would always remember this night and the party.
The next morning, a little girl and boy came early to the shop. The little girl found the toy piano open. She was sure that the toys had been playing it. She told her brother and he grinned and agreed. The salesmen and the grown ups thought it had been left open the evening before. They certainly did not understand the toys as little people do.