Pippi Longstocking’s After Christmas Party by Astrid Lindgren

Pippiharjulgransplundring_0Pippi Longstocking, as you might imagine, is the type of girl who does Christmas her way. In this short story we join her in an igloo at a special after Christmas party for the children of the little town.

As ever, the irrepressible young Pirate Princess is fulfilling one of those childhood fantasies; in this case the wish that you could have Christmas every day. By pure force of will (and a case full of gold coins) Pippi makes it happen, treating her guests to a never ending supply of cream cake and hot chocolate.

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Ingrid Van Nyman again adds her own brilliant touches to the scene. What would Pippi use to cut the cake? A spear of course. Whose the best person to ladle out the hot chocolate? Why, Mr Nelson the monkey.

pippi christmas

Another Lindgren favourite turns up half way through the party – the killjoy adult in desperate need of being put in their place. Mrs Finkvist is a particular joy, ‘She didn’t like children at all. There shouldn’t even be any children she thought… And of all the children there were, Mrs Finkvist thought Pippi Longstocking was the absolute worst.’

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Pippi Longstocking’s After Christmas Party culminates with a song and dance around the outdoor Christmas tree, Pippi of course gets the words muddled up, for the better. It’s nice to see that Pippi was singing ‘We three Kings of Orient are, one on a bicycle, two in a car.’ thirty years before I was.

Having an outdoor tree allows for another, very Pippi Christmas innovation – climbing for presents.

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‘At last there was not so much as a Christmas cracker left on the tree. Then Pippi climbed up and blew out the candles. It became dark in the garden of Villekulla cottage. well, not completely dark, as the snow shone so white, and the stars in the sky burned so brightly.’

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