Wow, what a busy day of recipe sharing yesterday! Did you find anything new you’d like to make? It’s not too late to add a recipe before Michelle B compiles everything into our Advent Calendar cookbook.
Our guest today may be new to you, but you’ve seen her in the coments. Please welcome Lynn! She has a story of Christmas crackers and Little Lynnie. 😀
Britons have been pulling Christmas Crackers whilst eating their Christmas dinner since Victorian times.
The design of the cracker is basically a cardboard tube wrapped in paper which overhangs the tube and is twisted to form two ends. Two people then pull the cracker between them and one end rips off leaving the winner with the central tube. As the cracker rips the integral explosive bangs, or cracks, making everyone jump.
The contents of the cracker consists of a joke or saying, a paper hat, which must be worn during dinner and a gift. The gifts include those noisy little hand clackers designed to drive the adults insane; small spinning tops, and clip together plastic animals and dinosaurs.
It was the kittens’ first Christmas and they were very excited, even more excited than the children of the household, if that was possible.
“Look!” said Little Lynnie, as they watched the children’s mother struggling through the front door with a large tree. “That’s a Christmas tree. I heard Alice talking about it.”
“Ooh, it’s smells lovely,” said Kitty, her nose twitching. The kittens looked at each other and as one, rose from their basket to investigate.
They were all happily chasing each other around the branches when the children returned carrying boxes of decorations.
“Oh, look at the kittens, Jake,” laughed Alice.
“Mummy will be cross,” he replied, putting down his box and plucking Stripe off a branch and placing him in the basket. “Naughty kitten, stay there.”
He then caught Kitty but as he turned to place her in the basket, Stripe leapt out and jumped back into the tree. He put Kitty down and raced after Stripe. Little Lynnie meowed smugly from the top of the tree.
“Come back here, you naughty cat!” he said crossly. “Alice, help me!”
“Oh, Jake, chill! It’s funny and they’re too little to pull the tree over.”
“They shouldn’t be up there.” Jake scowled as Alice rolled her eyes.
Before a fight could develop their mother entered the room with the final boxes.
“Mummy,” said Jake, “the kittens are in the tree.”
“Don’t worry, son,” said his mother, putting down her boxes, “I’m not about to be outsmarted by three naughty little kittens.”
Moments later three pairs of ears pricked at the sound of a tin opener and twelve paws pattered into the kitchen. The kittens munched happily on tuna before being scooped up into their travelling basket. They stared glumly through the bars as the children and their mother decorated the tree. It sparkled enticingly and the lights twinkled.
“Oh, look! It’s so glittery,” said Stripe.
“We’ll wait until they’ve gone to bed,” said Little Lynnie.
After dinner, children and kittens curled up on Mummy’s lap and listened to Christmas stories until it was time for bed.
“Will Santa definitely come, Mummy?” asked Jake.
“If you’re good, Jake, and not on the naughty list,” replied his mother.
“But how does he know?” Jake looked up at her, wide-eyed.
“He has lots of little helpers watching.”
Kitty purred and turned round in Jake’s lap. Little Lynnie meowed and bumped Alice’s hand with her head. Stripe snored softly.
“What about the kittens, Mum?” asked Alice.
“I’m sure Santa will leave them a little something, Alice. I hear Mrs Claus is very fond of cats,” said her mother, as she shooed them up to bed, leaving the kittens sleeping.
After a nap the kittens were ready for more mischief and seeing the room was empty they were once again scampering around the tree. Baubles scattered and tinsel trailed across the floor.
“Stop that!” A voice roared.
“Meow!” The kittens leapt out of the tree in shock and huddled together.
“You are very bad kittens and Mrs. Claus will not be pleased.” An elf jumped down from the tree to land in front of the startled kittens, wagging her finger.
“Who are you?” asked Little Lynnie edging forwards.
“I’m one of Santa’s elves and I’m here to keep an eye on you and the children and you three are now officially on the naughty list.”
“But that’s not fair,” said Little Lynnie and Stripe.
“Is it not, youngsters? Well feel free to take your complaints to Mrs. Claus but I expect you’ll get short shrift,” said the elf.
“Short what?” said Stripe.
“Shrift, me lad.”
“But what does that mean, Miss Elf?” asked Kitty.
“It means that Mrs. Claus doesn’t approve of naughtiness and cheek and you’ll likely find yourselves over her lap for a spanking.”
“Spanking…” Three tails dropped down protectively.
“Now! I suggest you get this mess cleared up before the lady of the house returns.”
“But we can’t hang these back up,” said Little Lynnie as she pushed a bauble with her paw.
“Well, there’ll be no more tuna for you three, I reckon,” she said sternly. “Fix the tinsel and I’ll hang the baubles, and don’t let me catch you near this tree again.”
Dragging the tinsel back onto the tree was boring work and Little Lynnie soon sat down to wash her paws. She leapt up yowling when a candy cane descended on her rear end.
“Back to work, missy and you can sheath those claws.” The elf waved the candy cane threateningly.
Little Lynnie grumbled but dragged another piece of tinsel up the tree. That candy cane hurt!
“There! Good as new,” declared the elf a little later.
Kitty tugged the elf’s tunic with her teeth. “Are we off the naughty list, Miss Elf?”
“Hm! Well, that will be Mrs. Claus’ decision, but I expect so, considering you are only babies,” she said. “There’s to be no more trouble, mind! You’ve had your chance, so be warned.”
The elf sat motionless in the tree and the twinkling lights reflected in the sleepy eyes of the kittens when Mummy entered the room a little later.
A couple of days later.
It was the weekend before Christmas and the family were having a few work colleagues over for dinner. Mummy had just taken the salmon out of the fridge when the phone rang. She dashed to answer it, leaving the kitchen door ajar.
“No, Mum, you don’t need to cook, honestly. The kids will want to show you their toys and if you can keep them from underfoot then that will be great.”
“That’s Granny! She’ll be on the phone for ages,” said Stripe.
“Let’s go and see what that lovely smell is,” said Little Lynnie.
“But, we’re not supposed to be in the kitchen when Mummy’s cooking,” said Kitty.
“But, that smell!” Three noses twitched and the kittens squeezed through the door and leapt onto the table.
“Mm! Fish!” said Stripe as they all tucked in.
“Agh!” The scream made them all jump. “You bad kitties, shoo!” said Mummy racing towards them.
The kittens fled, taking cover under the couch. Stripe still had a piece of salmon dangling from his mouth, which caused a tussle. Little Lynnie won and gobbled it down.
The kitchen door slammed and banging and cursing could be heard.
“What on earth have you three been up to now?” demanded the elf as she peered under the couch at them.
The kittens jumped and flattened their ears.
“Come out of there, right now!”
“No!” Kitty shook her head and trembled.
“I’ll put you on the naughty list,” she warned.
“Nuh uh!” said Stripe
“I’ll tell Mrs. Claus,” she said.
“Go on then!” taunted Little Lynnie. “Bet you’ve never even met her.”
The elf took her polarphone from her pocket.
“Hello! Mrs. Claus, I’ve got a bit of a problem… Yes, Ma’am but – I know you’re busy, Ma’am… yes, Ma’am, the kittens… that’s right, stealing salmon… oh thank you Ma’am, I’ll put you on speaker.”
She fiddled with the phone and turned it towards the kittens. Mrs. Claus’ angry face filled the screen.
“Come out from under that couch right now and submit to your punishment or I will come and deal with you miscreants myself,” she said.
The terrified kittens scrambled from under the couch and raced to sit in front of the angry elf.
“I’ll teach you brats to behave,” she said, whacking each behind with her candy cane. “To bed with you and no supper.”
The kittens yowled and promised to be good.
It was Christmas Eve and the children were helping their mother lay the table for Christmas dinner.
“Can you get the cutlery Jake, please. And, Alice if you get the candlesticks?”
“What about the Christmas crackers, Mummy?” asked Jake.
“Oh yes, if you like,” replied his mother. “But, no peeking! And get those kittens off the table.”
“I want a red one,” said Jake, lifting Little Lynnie and placing her back on the floor, where she twined around his legs.
“That’s not fair, why do you get to choose first?” demanded Alice.
“Excuse me! No squabbling! You two don’t want to end up on the naughty list, do you?” said their mother.
Both children shook their heads.
“Anyway, there are two of each colour in the box. And don’t forget to put one out for Granny.”
Jake carefully weighed the red crackers in his hand and gave them a shake to see if he could guess their contents. He lifted them to his eye but quickly put them down again as he caught his mother’s look!
When they had finished the table looked beautiful with the best china and crystal, complemented by the sparkly Christmas decorations and crackers.
“I can’t wait for tomorrow,” said Alice. “I hope it snows!”
Snow! The kittens looked at each other in horror and washed their paws.
When the family left for the carol concert Mummy shut the kittens firmly out of the dining room. “Don’t want you three knocking things over, do we,” she said.
“Oh, I wanted to investigate those crackers,” said Stripe.
“I’m hungry,” said Kitty.
“Come on, let’s go in the kitchen,” said Little Lynnie.
Three, small figures jostled over one bowl as the kittens munched their way through dinner before paws and whiskers were subjected to a vigorous cleaning. Once neatness was restored they jumped on to the worktop to see what mischief they could find.
“Look!” said Stripe, nosing at the spare crackers in the open box.
“What are they?” asked Kitty.
“Christmas crackers!” replied Little Lynnie.
“They have treats in,” said Stripe, dragging one out of the box.
“For cats?” Kitty looked doubtful.
“Yes, look, they’ve got cat pictures on,” replied Stripe, “and I heard Jake asking Mummy for animal ones.”
“Ooh, let’s open one,” said Little Lynnie. “They might have catnip.”
“Ooh, catnip…” said Stripe.
“I don’t think we should,” said Kitty. “That elf is still here.”
Little Lynnie peeped round the doorframe. “She’s not moving and her eyes are closed. Let’s risk it!”
“Count me out.” Kitty jumped down and curled up in their basket.
“Chicken!” Stripe muttered under his breath.
Little Lynnie fished a green cracker out of the box. “How do we open it?”
“You take one end and I’ll take the other,” said Stripe.
Small teeth gripped either end of the cracker and tugged. The cracker started to tear and the kittens braced their paws. One more pull and: Bang! The cracker tore and two kittens flew off either side of the worktop, yowling loudly as they raced for their basket.
The noise woke the elf who jumped down from the tree.
“What on earth is going on?” she demanded.
The kittens flattened their ears and tried to creep under their blanket.
“Well!” The elf stomped towards them glaring.
“Up to mischief on Christmas Eve itself. Mrs. Claus will want to deal with this herself,” she said, fiddling with her polarphone.
“Oh no! Please don’t call Mrs. Claus,” said Little Lynnie, “we didn’t mean to be naughty.”
“No one ever does, dear!” said the elf, shaking her head. “But this is your third strike!”
“But I didn’t do anything!” said Kitty. “And I told them not to.”
The kittens pricked their ears at the tinkling of sleigh bells and jumped when Mrs. Claus suddenly appeared. She pocketed the large wooden spoon she was holding and dusted flour off her hands and apron.
“There had better be a good reason for interrupting me on Christmas Eve, Elf Anastasia. I was just about to start another batch of cookies.”
“Yes, Ma’am! I’m sorry, but it’s the kittens again,” she said.
“The kittens! Again!” Mrs. Claus turned to the cat basket and the kittens shrank under her gaze. “What have they done now?”
“I didn’t do anything, it was – ” Kitty stopped as Mrs. Claus’s spoon magically appeared in her hand and pointed at her.
“Continue, Anastasia!” she said sternly.
“They’ve opened one of the Christmas crackers, Ma’am,” said Ana, wondering if she may have been a bit hasty.
“A cracker!” laughed Mrs. Claus, sitting down. “Got a bit of a shock did you?”
“Yes, Ma’am!” The kittens leapt into her lap for reassurance.
Mrs. Claus petted them absently as she contemplated. “Well, I’m sure it will teach you not to steal Christmas crackers but I don’t think it’s enough to get you off the naughty list.”
“But… that’s not fair!” protested the kittens.
“Mmhm! Arguing with Mrs. Claus is not helping your case, dears!”
“But I didn’t touch the cracker,” said Kitty stamping her paw.
“No, but you were involved in trashing the tree and stealing the salmon and are now having a tantrum on my lap. All spanking offences, my dear,” said Mrs. Claus. “So, who wants to be first?”
Three pairs of ears drooped and large, sad eyes peered up at her. Elf Anastasia looked on gleefully.
“Sad faces will not avail you. You were warned that getting yourselves on the naughty list again would result in a spanking, were you not?”
The kittens nodded glumly and slid to the floor. Mrs. Claus picked Stripe back up and placed him across her lap. She spanked him as she scolded.
“You are a very naughty kitten.” She punctuated each word with a smack of her hand.
“Ow… I’m sorry… please stop!” wailed Stripe.
Mrs. Claus spanked him until he stopped struggling.
“In the corner now, mister,” she said with one final spank to his bottom.
“Kitty, you next.” She crooked her finger.
“It’s not fair! I didn’t do anything!” Kitty shook her head and backed away.
“Come here, missy! You are only making it worse for yourself,” said Mrs. Claus.
“Please don’t spank Kitty, Mrs. Claus,” said Little Lynnie. “She did try to stop us.”
“Very noble dear, but she needs a spanking for her tantrum. Now come here, missy,” said Mrs. Claus grabbing Kitty by the scruff as she backed away. “You could have saved yourself this if you had not argued with me.”
Mrs. Claus gave Kitty twelve sharp smacks on her bottom. “I do not appreciate being argued with, young lady. Now, in the corner with you.”
“Now you, my little miscreant,” Mrs. Claus crooked her finger at Little Lynnie and took out her wooden spoon.
“But… not the spoon. Please, Ma’am!” Little Lynnie crept forward slowly but stayed out of reach.
“Well, I don’t think a hand spanking will suffice for the ring leader, dear.”
“I should think not!” said Elf Anastasia smugly.
“Don’t make me come for you, missy. You’ll only make it worse for yourself.”
Little Lynnie reluctantly crawled across Mrs. Claus’ lap. As the first smack contacted she dug her claws in.
“Ow! Sheath these claws, missy, or you’ll feel more than my spoon,” said Mrs. Claus rubbing her leg.
“I’m sorry, Ma’am, it was an accident,” Little Lynnie said, retracting her claws. “Ow… please stop!”
Mrs. Claus spanked vigorously until Little Lynnie stopped yowling and lay limply in her lap. She then took out her wooden spoon.
“It is only five hours,” Whack! “until Christmas morning,” Smack! “so no more nonsense,” Whack! “until after that.” Smack! Mrs. Claus continued until she had delivered twelve spanks to Little Lynnie’s very sore bottom.
“Now march yourself into the corner, young lady!” she said, allowing Little Lynnie to slide off her lap.
“There! Three kittens back on Santa’s nice list, Elf Anastasia,” she said standing up. “Now perhaps you would like to explain your failure in duty.”
“Failure, Ma’am?” said Ana hesitantly.
“You were sent here to watch this household against my better judgement as you convinced Santa that you were ready and yet we have had three outbreaks of mischief. This latest one dragging me away from the North Pole on my busiest night.”
“But I dealt with the other two incidents, Ma’am,” the elf said.
“Yes, you did, but what happened tonight?”
“Well, I was guarding the tree when it happened, Ma’am.”
“Guarding the tree! Why didn’t you follow the kittens into the kitchen?”
“Erm…” Ana took a step back and covered her bottom with her hands.
Seconds ticked past as Mrs. Claus drew herself up to her full height and waited, arms crossed.
“I fell asleep, Ma’am!” she finally mumbled.
“Fell asleep! On duty!”
Little Lynnie sniggered and risked a peep round to see Mrs. Claus take out her polarphone and send a text. A few minutes later a second elf appeared.
“Ah good! Elf Twinkle please take over here for half an hour or so. Elf Anastasia and I are returning home for a discussion with my spoon. The kittens may come out of the corner when she returns.”
“Yes, Ma’am!” said Twinkle patting Ana on the shoulder.
The next morning the kittens were very pleased with their new toys and catnip but the family were rather surprised that they did not seem to sit down all day. Nobody seemed to notice the small extra stocking embroidered with a letter A hanging on the Christmas Tree next to the branch on which a small elf was gingerly perched.
Little Lynnie is very excited to be the star of the Advent artwork, so the clever kittens have prepared a special, surprise gift for one lucky participant featuring the Advent banner. If you would like to win it you just have to give us a story idea for a new kitten Christmas adventure in the comments.
The best idea will win the prize and may feature in a Little Lynnie comic later in the month. Competition is open to all participants, prize is available to international winners.
PS. Little Lynnie says “No more spanking of kitties! Elves however, are free game.
- Day 1: Welcome and Christmas Expectations
- Day 2: Christmas at my House
- Day 3: Giving Tuesday
- Day 4: Pizza and Poker/Holiday Recipe Exchange
Download this participation sheet to keep track of your daily visits. Or, if you don’t have MS Word, access the Google sheet here (choose “yes” to make a copy).