Funny how the same things happen every year – the weather gets colder, I can only ever find one glove and never a pair, Christmas starts to loom and I find myself going through the same logic loop when faced with the ‘exciting opportunity’ to book the girls into see Santa
Something seems to have changed in the last 30 or so years – I don’t remember there being A Big Thing about going to see Father Christmas when I saw a child (either that or my parents didn’t have this crisis of confidence and neatly side-stepped the whole issue)
Here and now it feels as if there are red outfitted, portly, bearded chaps stashed left, right and centre waiting for a visit from your child as soon as the pre-Christmas season starts up
I’m all for Christmas – I love it, the excitement, the family time, the presents, the tree but the hype does make me feel a bit uncomfortable
But I’m also very much not for Christmas starting too early – I can only take so many days of small children asking if it is Christmas yet and advent seems long enough without the anticipation starting in October
Part of my problem with the plethora of Father Christmases is that an awful lot of them aren’t terribly good or terribly convincing – it doesn’t take a child genius to see through a polyester beard and a cushion badly stuffed down a red jacket to totally kill off the idea that Father Christmas exists.
How on earth do you explain there being multiple Father Christmases who don’t all look the same being in different places?
How can he be busily readying presents in Lapland if he is at the school Christmas fayre, the local garden centre AND the soft play? Do the elves really not need any supervision? Can he play hooky from work when deadlines are looming?
Added to this any visit to sit on his knee and hand over a Christmas wish list seems to be accompanied by the opportunity to get a cheap and nasty little present – another bit of plastic tat to litter the house that nobody really wants and nobody really needs
So am I being too much of the Grinch?
Should I just cross my fingers and hope that we can pick one Santa that won’t be too obviously someone’s Dad dressed up?
Or can I carry on trying to pretend these fake Father Christmases aren’t all over the place and to try and retain a little bit of magic and mystery around Christmas?