12 Stories of Christmas
with Fighting Words and Graffiti Theatre Company!

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John McCarthy (English)

John McCarthy’s Christmas story starter “Greta’s HUGE Idea” is read by Shane Casey. 

John Mc Carthy is an Irish writer, actor and director based in Cork.

He has been a recipient of an Arts Council Theatre Bursary for play-writing, a mentor on the Young Playwrights Programme with Fighting Words Cork, and creator of Hammergrin’s In Darkness Vast. He also wrote Stage Irish, which won the Writers Guild of Great Britain Playwrights Progress Award 2014 and co-wrote Hollander, nominated Best Production at the Irish Theatre Awards.

His story starter is read by Cork-born actor and playwright Shane Casey, who was most recently seen on our television screens as Billy Murphy in Young Offenders and on stage at the Cork Opera House in Wet Paint, which he also wrote.

Greta’s HUGE Idea

Greta was pretty sure Christmas was going to be shocking altogether. She was standing in for her uncle, Santa, because he’d broken his legs road-testing the sleigh while checking his Insta feed. They’d a load of back-up Santas but they’d all been there when Mrs Santa ate his head off and they were still recovering. 

So Greta was in charge of the whole operation — the toy workshop, the massive lists, the reindeer training. 

She really did try her best. She learnt off the ten million directions to every single home. She agreed to wear a beard. But the bad news kept coming: the toys were covered in hand sanitizer — the elves could barely hold them, let alone wrap them; the reindeer were gone mad for social distancing and refusing to stand anywhere near each other in training. And then they told her she couldn’t shout Ho! Ho! Ho! in case it stretched her mask and broke it. 

‘That’s the last straw’, she said, shaking her head. ‘I’ve been looking forward to that more than anything’. 

`Sorry everyone,’ she said, reaching for the huge red CANCEL CHRISTMAS alarm. `I just can’t’. 

Please Help

If you like the 12 Stories of Christmas and want to help us to reach more children with creative encounters that spark imaginations and build confidence, please donate to Graffiti.
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Celebrate Your Creativity!

We hope that young writers all over Ireland – and beyond – will be inspired to create new Christmas stories at school or at home.

You can use the templates here to help you to write all the stories in your imagination!

  • 12 Stories of Christmas Guidelines
  • 12 Stories of Christmas Story Template
  • 12 Stories of Christmas Illustration Template
  • 12 Stories of Christmas Comic Template

12 Stories of Christmas Storybook

We have also collected all the stories in English and Irish in a book you can download and print.