Saturday, 29 December 2012

I Believe in Father Christmas

Belief is a funny thing, a personal thing, and one that is thrown into sharp relief at this time of year.  Families that don't believe in God attend crib services and become teary-eyed on hearing 'Little Donkey', committed aetheists can be cajoled into putting their bum on a freezing cold pew for Midnight Mass, and everyone over the age of twelve pretends for the sake of the little ones that a jolly man in a red suit zips around the world on a sleigh pulled by animals devoid of wings to deliver their presents.  Factor in that our daughter lost a tooth two weeks before Christmas and we have had a festive season packed full of myth and make believe.

Our most magical moment came this year when we put the children's letter to Father Christmas in the fireplace.  Carefully written by our six-year-old and placed in the grate by our four-year-old, they mused on how it would reach Santa and whether we had left it too late (it was the week before, they had a point).  I don't know what distracted them but, for a moment, they looked away and by some incredible fluke, I managed to flick the envelope up the chimney where it caught on something and held fast (and still is - must remember to get it out before it comes back down, it would rather give the game away or make them think he didn't want their letter and I'm not sure we have enough tissues to deal with the flood of tears that would cause...).  I managed to stand up before the children turned around to see the letter had gone, but couldn't quite arrange my features to disguise my surprise at overcoming my left-handed lack of co-ordination in such an impressive way.  The look on their faces was priceless, and I think they took my open-mouth / raised eyebrows combo as confirmation that there was indeed magic afoot.  Eat your heart out David Blaine!

Christmas Dust. 
When porridge oats and glitter become one.

I know at some point they're going to rumble us, and that we'll have to confess to the staging, secrecy, and hiding of presents in ever more hard-to-reach places but on the basis of that one reaction, we're going to keep it going for as long as we can.  I wonder what the going rate is to hire a reindeer for next year........? 

Soundtrack: I Believe in Father Christmas by Greg Lake

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