'False Whiskers For Two!' and 'The Christmas Spirit' from Jennings As Usual by Anthony Buckeridge
Novel Excerpt (1959)
A boarding school story in which the hapless Jennings and the bewildered Mr Wilkins are brought together by the Christmas spirit, embodied in Father Christmas himself.
Overall this series is very funny, largely due to the incompatibility of Jennings and Mr Wilkins as student and teacher. The author soon discovered what an asset Mr Wilkins was to these stories. It would have been so easy to make this teacher obstacle character malicious and heartless, but instead he is simply a kind man who's bewildered by boys. The faithful reader knows that Mr Wilkins is not an obvious choice to play Father Christmas at the school celebration, yet we are not at all surprised to see that it brings out the best in him.
' "You know, Carter, I think it'd be much better if you were to be Santa Claus," he said persuasively. "I don't honestly think I'm cut out for the part." '
Anthony Buckeridge, Jennings As Usual (House of Stratus, 2003), p.160.