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

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Máire Zepf (English)

Maire Zepf’s story starter ‘The Mysterious Gift’ is read byt actress Fionnuala Ní Fhlatharta 

Máire Zepf is the first ever Children’s Writing Fellow for Northern Ireland, 2017-2019. Máire has published 12 books for children and is the winner of KPMG/CBI Children’s Book of the Year, the Réics Carló Award and a White Raven in 2020.
Máire’s story is read by actress Fionnuala Ní Fhlatharta who can be seen in Ros na Rún, which she has been a part of since its pilot episode in 1992.

The Mysterious Gift

The tree was decorated, its lights twinkling in every colour. Over the mantelpiece, stockings were hung, ready for Santa. With only three sleeps left until Christmas, Lorcan’s tummy was so full of butterflies that he thought he might actually burst. 

When Mum and Dad were busy, he slipped quietly into the living room and lifted the presents into his hands. He gave them a careful shake-shake-shake to hear what was inside. 

The shiny red box, card from Granny, rattling sound inside? Lego, maybe? The L-shaped parcel, messily wrapped, from Aunty Rosie. Was it a scooter?

But when he touched the gift with the starry paper – the one on the left at the back of the Christmas tree – it began to jitter. Lorcan jumped back, hand-on-mouth with panic. The whole tree was shuddering now – lights, decorations, everything. Even the star on the very top shook.

‘Meek – Beek – Boop…’ said the parcel. It was shaking now like a washing machine.

‘Beeky – Booky -Moop!’ it said, even louder. 

‘MOOKY – BOOMPY – BEEK!!’ came from the present, and then BANG! – the box opened. 

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.
Every contribution you make enables us to build more opportunities for children and young people to realise their creative potential 

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.