I’m not usually one to start thinking about Christmas before December but for the past few weeks I’ve started to feel a slight touch of magical fizz which I believe is scientifically known as Christmassyness. I think it’s because this year, I have a 3 year old in the house.
Christmas crafts, a visit to Santa, the Christmas Eve mince pie plate, hosting an elf (I am using this little lady as my budget, DIY elf on a shelf alternative.) I cannot wait. This year Small Stuff is old enough to really get swept up in the magic and will readily believe.
But, believe what exactly?
What tale shall I weave about the wonders of Father Christmas?
When I was little I once found Christmas presents hidden in a wardrobe. My mum told me they would be sent away to Father Christmas (in other words, hidden elsewhere) and he would check if I was on the nice list. If I deserved the presents they would be delivered back to me on Christmas Eve. Looking back I’m pretty sure my mum was just thinking on her feet, so that’s quite impressive! (Not long after this, my dad took me to see Father Christmas at a local flea market. When I was led through to his grotto, the big man was having a crafty fag without his beard on. Despite my dad doing his best to cobble an explanation together, the jig was up from then on!)
I know some people prefer to keep up the illusion that Santa delivers everything. I learned this when i turned up at a friend’s house on the run up to Christmas one year and she looked aghast to see I had brought bags of presents with me while her children were home. In her house, Father Christmas sorts the whole shebang- presents are not just dropped round willy-nilly in Asda bags. She does all her Christmas shopping sans children, all the wrapping is done in secret, any gifts brought to the house are stashed wherever there is room and she’s on pins for the majority of December in case one of the kids makes an accidental discovery.
Another friend tells her child that all the toys in the shops are slightly broken so once bought they have to go back to Santa’s workshop to be repaired. (Does this rule apply to slippers and baskets of smellies, I wonder?). For now, her child hasn’t thought to question why toys tend to be in perfect condition the rest of the year round or why faulty goods are usually shipped back to customer services rather than the North Pole.
I think I will tell Small Stuff that just one gift is from the man himself and he only delivers to children. This keeps the magic going but avoids me tripping myself up with an elaborate explanation and doesn’t invite a lot of questions!
What do you tell your children about their visit from Santa? Let’s compare notes!