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Jeremy’s Christmas Wish – Synopsis

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When Jeremy Pimlico’s grade three class is given a Christmas letter-to-Mr.-C. writing project, the richest eight-year-old in the country can’t think of anything to write except “I wish I wasn’t so bored.” Jeremy dreads the upcoming Christmas vacation. Fourteen days with no one around except Barrows the butler (who has been assigned the task of being Jeremy’s companion), the servants, and a few minutes a day with his parents — a dad busy with his business empire and a mother caught up in her social whirl.

On Christmas Eve, a totally-depressed Jeremy is lying on his playroom floor watching a video, The Return of the Slime Monster, when he becomes aware that there’s someone else in the room, a bearded somewhat-overweight man in a faded red parka and pants sitting in an easy chair. Jeremy is convinced not to push an alarm button when the man withdraws his school letter from a pocket and reads it aloud.

“Not the easiest of requests,” the man declares – but he has a plan. Barrows is snoozing after sampling a fair amount of a Christmas Eve gift, a bottle of brandy, from “Mr. C.,” and soon the Christmas visitor and Jeremy are in a reindeer-propelled sleigh flying over the city’s buildings to a condominium complex in the suburbs. Belinda Smudgins, in a Halloween skeleton outfit, answers the doorbell when Mr. C. rings. “I’m practicing being the ghost of Christmas-yet-to-come,” she declares as her siblings and family pets tumble around her. Jeremy isn’t sure that being left with a harum-scarum family here will serve to answer the plea in his letter but he agrees to stay for a few hours.

The hours turn out to be the most wonderful he has ever experienced. Mrs. Smudgins quickly has him rolling out gingerbread and making a tree ornament with the others. While these are baking, Belinda leads them on a carol-singing excursion around the condominium square which ends up in a snowball battle with the Pyker kids. Back inside, tree-decorating commences – with homemade ornaments and garlands so different from the decorations on the designer trees in the Pimlico mansion. Finally, before Mr. Smudgins gets home, Jeremy (in Belinda’s skeleton costume), with the rest of the Smudgins kids, gets to practice the skit of A Christmas Carol to be performed as a grand finale to the evening. The play is a great success. Waiting for Mr. C. to return, Jeremy nods off with Maggie, the youngest Smudgins on his lap.

Jeremy wakes up in his own room. At first he thinks what he remembers of Christmas Eve is probably just a dream, but an odd raggle-taggle bunch of envelopes and packages – filled with notes and gifts from the Smudgins (and a book from Mr. C.) – convinces him otherwise. He spends the morning choosing and wrapping a return set of gifts for his new friends, and writes a letter of thanks to Mr. C. As the day wears on, he plays board games with Barrows, allowing the butler to win. And, at the end of the day, tired and happy, Jeremy climbs into bed and sinks into chapter two of The Hobbit, munching, as he reads, on the tail of a gingerbread triceratops, Albert Smudgins’ gift to him.