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First Chapter of The Last Christmas

The Last Christmas. The North Pole is Melting!

Who lives at the North Pole?

  • Santa and Matilda Claus.
  • Santa’s reindeer, led by Rafe, a huge, wise old reindeer.
  • The toymaker elves, led by Telver, a shrivelled, angry old elf lord.
  • The village elves, led by Mayoress Gudgin.
  • Some Bearded Seals, led by Flappity.
  • A flock of Arctic Terns.
  • An old walrus called Fred.

Where do they live?

  • Santa and Matilda Claus have a large house in the centre of the village, next to the post office and railway station.
  • The toymaker elves live upstairs in the workshop, which is carved out of a huge iceberg. Santa’s office is above the workshop.
  • The reindeer sleep in the stables, behind the workshop.
  • The village elves live in little carved cottages in the village.
  • The Bearded Seals and Fred the Walrus live on the ice and fish through holes.
  • The Arctic Terns nest on Santa’s satellite dish, which is mounted on one of the chimneys of his office.

What’s it like at the North Pole?

  • In summer it’s chilly and light all the time, because the sun never sets.
  • In winter it’s freezing and dark all the time – the sun doesn’t rise for months.
  • The rest of the year it’s just cold and windy.
  • The ice at the North Pole is only a few feet thick, and it’s all cracked and jumbled up, except in the village where it’s been smoothed out by the elves’ magic.
  • Since there’s no wood or stone for thousands of miles, most of the buildings at the North Pole were carved from ice by the elves.
  • Santa made his own house a thousand years ago, from magical ice.
  • Power comes from windmills, which work all the time, and solar panels, though they don’t work in winter.
  • Water comes from melting the ice, and is stored in ice tanks.
  • The village elves grow food in a huge, heated greenhouse. People also fish through holes in the ice, and some food (like Santa’s beloved chocolate) comes in on the weekly train, the Northern Aurora, which also brings all the children’s letters to Santa.
  • Other animals that can sometimes be seen near the village – killer whales, white wolves, narwhal, polar bears, gyrfalcons.

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