Mr J's Emporium

Created by Carolyn Goodyear, The Pitch 2022

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Young Billie is colour-blind. This explains her quirky paintings, dress-sense and mishaps like passing the football to the opposition. She longs to see normally and makes this wish every year when blowing out her birthday candles, snapping a wish bone, and writing her Santa letter. This Christmas, she arrives too late to see Santa in the grotto at ‘Mr J’s Emporium’. Here, Santa letters can be posted and ‘adopted’ by strangers who purchase the child’s request and the gift delivered from ‘Santa’. Billie posts her letter. While her mum talks with the Elf receptionist, Billie wanders off and finds Santa aka Mr J, after his shift. Billie challenges him about how her wishes aren’t realised despite being good. He explains that we have to be patient - our wishes may not always arrive immediately. Mr J opens Billie’s eyes to the enjoyment of giving; how Billie could become a Santa helper by providing a gift to someone in need. Walking home, Billie leaves a cold, homeless man her hat, scarf and hot-chocolate. Christmas arrives. Billie finds a parcel from Santa. Inside are colour-blind glasses. An ecstatic Billie puts them on and sees the fully colourised world for the first time.

Biblical Connection

This story’s inspired by Mark 8:22-26 where Jesus Heals a Blind Man at Bethsaida. Here, Bethsaida is represented by ‘Mr J’s Emporium’, an enchanting store where kids go, to meet Santa at Christmas. Billie is colour-blind and represents the blind man. Santa/Mr J, the store’s owner represents Jesus. He runs a community ‘adopt a Santa letter’ where strangers can read Christmas letters from kids in need and make their wishes come true – which represent biblical miracles. Billie finds Santa in the store. In the bible, Jesus touched the man twice for his sight to be fully restored. First, Santa opens Billie’s eyes to a new way of seeing life - the joy of helping those in need. Walking home, Billie gifts the homeless man she passed earlier with her hat, scarf and a hot chocolate labelled ‘love Santa’ thus actualising Mr J’s philosophy. On Christmas day, Billie opens a parcel. Her Christmas letter has been adopted by Mr J. Inside are glasses for the colour-blind. Billie puts them on which corresponds to Jesus touching the blind man the second time for his full healing. An ecstatic Billie sees in full colour. The glasses represent the modern-day miracle of scientific invention.