Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Holiday Tales Blog Hop

I'm participating in the Holiday Tales Blog Hop hosted by Bernie at Needle and Foot, and I have a story to share. 

My dad was quite the story teller. He used to make up bedtime stories for my brother and me, and later for our younger brother and sister. The stories usually featured interesting characters, such as bumbling George Henry William Francis Gifiltefish and his sidekick Throckmorton P. Braithwaite the Third.

This story is from 1963. Dad always told stories with exaggerated voice and expression that made us giggle as he was telling them. At Christmas time he made up stories about Santa's workshop and the elves. The head elf was Gherkin; Stringfellow was in charge of decorations, and Thumbsy was in charge of... Well, here's the story. 

Thumbsy & the Christmas Balls

As told by Russ Pomeroy to his children in 1963

Now as you know, in Santa’s Workshop the elves work all year in preparation for Christmas, for Santa’s big night delivering toys to all the good little girls and boys.  They have production lines for all kinds of things: bicycles, dolls, games, trains and so forth, and also they make all the Christmas decorations. The elf in charge of Santa’s workshop is Gherkin. He’s the big boss of all the elves. It’s Gherkin’s job to make sure everything gets done right and on time. 

There’s one little elf named Thumbsy who just can’t do anything right. He’s a likeable guy, but he messes up everything he touches.  He bollixed up the bicycles.  He couldn’t make dolls.  He couldn’t assemble toy trains.  Poor ol’ Thumbsy just can’t seem to do anything right!


So Gherkin goes to Stringfellow, the tall, skinny, serious elf who’s in charge of the decorations department. If anyone can straighten out Thumbsy, Stringfellow can.  “Stringfellow,” says Gherkin, “You’ve got to help me out here.  I’m at my wit’s end.  I just don’t know what to do with Thumbsy.  Can you find something he can do right?”


Well, Stringfellow decides to put Thumbsy to work painting Christmas balls. How badly could he mess that up? So he explains the production line for colored glass Christmas balls, and how they get painted. 

There was red paint, green paint, purple paint, blue paint;  gold paint, silver paint, and even pink paint …  but no-o-o orange paint.

Everybody knows orange isn’t a Christmas color!!!


Thumbsy’s assignment is to dip each ball into a pot of color as it comes down the line.

 There were red balls, green balls, purple balls, blue balls;  gold balls, silver balls, and even pink balls… but no-o-o orange balls.


Balls come faster than Thumbsy can keep up.  Poor clumsy Thumbsy tries to work fast enough, but he ends up making a huge mess.  Paint splatters everywhere!  

There were splashes and splatters of red paint, green paint, purple paint, blue paint;  gold paint, silver paint, and even pink paint …  but no-o-o orange paint.


Oh, the chaos in the workshop! And still the balls keep coming down the line. Faster and faster they come.  Thumbsy tries his best to keep up.


There were red balls, green balls, purple balls, blue balls;  gold balls, silver balls, and even pink balls.… They were rolling and flying everywhere.  But no-o-o orange balls.  


Now Thumbsy, for all his clumsiness, is actually a pretty creative little guy.  He gets the bright idea that if he combines all the paints together he can dump all the balls in at the same time and keep up. 


So he pours together all the red paint, green paint, purple paint, blue paint;  gold paint, silver paint, and even pink paint.  But no-o-o orange paint.


Balls keep coming down the line.  Thumbsy dumps them into the paint and pulls them out.  Uh-oh….


There are NO-o-o red balls, green balls, purple balls, blue balls;  no gold balls, silver balls, or even pink balls. 

All the balls are orange!  There are only ORANGE BALLS!!!!


And orange isn’t a Christmas color.


Poor ol’ Thumbsy has done it again.


Check out these other participants in the Holiday Tales blog hop for more memories and stories:


  1. Jan what a cute bedtime story! Sounds like you had a wonderful dad; a Ward Cleaver type! We should all be so lucky!

  2. What a fun memory - your dad was quite the storyteller, and how you must've enjoyed those stories! Thanks for sharing.

  3. Jan, your father should have written children's books. I love your memory of him telling you this story - I can just picture you sitting with him (now that I have a four year old image of you to imagine this with) and listening to him. Julia used to love when we told her stories rather than always reading books. But for me, this was a challenge to just creatively make it up as I was going along. I was better at reading books. Haha. Thank you for sharing your memory and your dad's story telling. :-)

  4. Poor old thumbsy, and how lucky you were to have a storyteller in the family! Happy holidays!

  5. What a cute little story, but all I could think about while reading was Lucy on the assembly line in the chocolate factory.

  6. LOL! Fabulous story, Jan. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Omigosh what a fun story (but people put ORANGES in their stockings after all). I wish my mom had been able to TELL stories - she was a great reader but not so much as a story teller. PRICELESS memories! Merry Christmas, Jan.

  8. How fun to have such a creative parent. :-)

  9. What a fabulous story! I can just picture poor Thumbsy trying to keep up with all those Christmas balls as they keep rolling at him :) Thanks for sharing!

  10. Wonderful story! It is fun that you remember it so well. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  11. What an adorable memory! Thank you for sharing. Happy holidays!

  12. Love your story and I might just read it to my grandchildren when we video call on Christmas day. They are far away, I miss them so much but we must all keep safe and are in lockdown again here in Liverpool, England
    Have a Wonderful Christmas.

  13. Was Thumbsy punished for messing up? Did the elves paint over the orange balls to make blue, green, red and purple balls? Is orange now a Christmas color, thanks to Thumbsy's goof-up? Oh Jan, your story has left me with so many questions. Should I come back next year for the sequel? Merry Christmas to you and yours!!!