- The Spirits of the Trees – Gypsy Rose tale
- Sue’s Fantastic Fun-Bag! (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)
- Two Mothers for Maggie (artist Jim Baikie)
- Rinty ‘n’ Jinty
- Guardian of White Horse Hill (artist Julian Vivas)
- Darling Clementine – first episode (artist Richard Neillands, writer Alison Christie)
- Come into My Parlour (artist Douglas Perry)
- Land of No Tears (artist Guy Peeters, writer Pat Mills)
- Alley Cat
- Race for a Fortune
The cover for the Christmas issue of 1977 features the star of ‘Race for a Fortune’, Katie McNab. Yes, the hairstyle clearly denotes the girl as Katie, not Jinty. In Katie’s story she is trying to outrace her dirty cousins to Yuckiemuckle (yes) to claim the fortune left by their Uncle Ebenezer. Katie must be taking time out from her race to decorate the Christmas cake on the cover. But why did they colour the icing that is dripping out of the back of Katie’s piping bag brown when the icing is clearly blue? It also makes that gob of icing on Katie’s nose look like she’s got a great big zit.
The Gypsy Rose story, while not a Christmas story, has a Christmas feel in its heavy features of fir trees in snowy landscapes. The story could also be said to have a Christmas message, where an aggrieved dryad swears revenge on a forester’s children when the forester cuts down her sister’s tree. But in the end the dryad is persuaded to show mercy and forgiveness when her sister’s spirit says she will reincarnate in a new tree.
Christmas also features in Sue’s Fantastic Fun-Bag, where Sue gives Henrietta some saddle soap. But this prompt causes trouble when it sets Henrietta to dreaming. We have a Christmas quiz while the letterbox has a Christmas theme, and there are instructions for making a Christmas pixie on the back cover. Several of the logos in the stories have been given Christmas themes (snow, holly), but not all. Land of No Tears, Guardian of White Horse Hill and Come into My Parlour don’t. Maybe it’s because they have darker themes. And poor Alley Cat wakes up starving on Christmas Day and not a bite to eat! He goes in search of some food, and eventually he buys a Christmas feast with reward money after he foils a robbery.
And for a Christmas present we have a new story, Darling Clementine. Ella Peters has been having a rough time because she is a shy person and just lost her mother. Things look up when Uncle Dave and cousin Clementine (Clem) find her. But Uncle Dave develops a lung disease from the smoky mining town and Clem is determined to win a water-skiing contest to raise the money for a cottage in a healthy environment. This can only be the beginning of the troubles that Clem and Ella are going to face in this story. And we also suspect that shy Ella is going to learn about courage and confidence – but the hard way!