And so, Christmas was not cancelled. It was just a little different for some.
Sales of selfie sticks plummeted inexplicably. Swathes of sophisticated teens were faced with the festive challenge of working out which end of the pencil to use to solve their crossword puzzles.
Little Danny from Dunsville, whose letter to Santa had attached itself to Klaus’ drunken cheek, was neither surprised nor upset by the paltry contents of his stocking. Though just eight, he knew that when he and his mum left in the deep of the night to escape flying fists and accusations, they’d be leaving the Christmas fund behind. He was happy just to be safe and not hear his mum cry herself to sleep every night. Anyway, the other kids at the shelter made him feel like he mattered once again. Reclaiming the smile he hadn’t used for years was his gift to him and his mother – and they would definitely have “better luck next year”.
Things were a little less content in assorted corridors of power, where men in suits used to getting their own way without having to argue their case were confronted with a scuttle-full of coal blackening their antique rugs.
For the first time in decades, Wham's "Last Christmas" failed to get any air-time on the Yuletide programmes.
And no-one died in Albert Square.
Back at the homestead, Klaus threw open the farmhouse door after his big night to be greeted by a waft of Myffanwy’s famous coffee. He sniffed the air appreciatively, sat in his chair before the roaring fire, kicked his feet up and closed his eyes.
The long white hairs of his nostrils twitched as the scent got closer and stronger, tickling his taste buds and warming the tip of his frozen nose. And something else, a new note to the aroma, adding a sharp, warm tinge to it. He sniffed and smiled.
“Ah, Gladys. I should have known. It’s been a while since I’ve had one of your Irish coffees.”
“Well, you’d better drink it up quick,” came the sharp reply. “We got work to do round here.
"The elves are in revolt over that goth Elvis brought back with him. The reindeer are on hunger strike. Dooley and Entynne have eloped. Wilbur's had some kind of fit and keeps shouting for his crown. And we need to talk about Rudolph.
“But first, where’s MY present?”