Father Christmas is Real in Our House

I want my youngest son to be able to keep his belief in Father Christmas for as long as possible, but this year he's making it very difficult for me



Who doesn't believe in Father Christmas? In our house, we are staunch 'believers' because my 8 year old still thinks he's real and I want to keep it that way.

I dread the day my eldest finally loses it with his younger brother and let's slip that Father Christmas doesn't exist and it's just Mum eating the mince pies and downing the sherry the night before Christmas. But recent events have made me question whether it's time to break the news gently to him.

Nostalgic Christmas

I was a 'believer' for years. I can still remember visiting my gran's house for Christmas. We would post letters to Santa up the chimney, written on my gran's scratchy loo paper, it was literally tracing paper. Apparently it was what everyone had during the war. My gran pointedly ignored the fact that the war had ended over 30 years ago and steadfastly refused to buy Andrex. In the end my mum used to stick a roll of Andrex in our stockings to save our poor little bottoms.

Once we'd posted the letters up the chimney, we would dash outside to see them fluttering up into the sky. Of course they never did, because they burnt to a crisp as soon as we put them up the chimney. But we all swore we saw them floating off to the North Pole.

Sleigh bells ring

Then we would rush up to bed and wait to hear the sleigh bells. And I swore I did hear sleigh bells, every Christmas Eve. Even now, if I close my eyes, I'm back at my gran's, sleeping in a room with my brother and sister and I can hear the bells.

Obviously, I now realise that it wasn't Santa's sleigh that I heard, but my grandpa, up a ladder, furiously shaking the poor cats so the bells on their collars would ring outside our window. The poor cats must have hated Christmas.

But that whole charade meant I believed in Father Christmas for years and I'm determined to keep up the fantasy for my youngest son.

Dear Santa

That was until we hit a glitch this weekend. Normally my boys will write to Father Christmas about now, setting out their Xmas wish lists. Even my eldest joins in, even though he knows the whole thing is a lie.

When they're done, I would sneakily take a peek, copy down what they've written, and hey presto, Xmas shopping list sorted. I would then continue the façade by wrapping the presents in specially bought wrapping paper, making sure that I don't use the same paper for any other presents. Then writing the labels in my left hand so they don't recognise the handwriting.

Sound familiar? My god, it's a lot of faff, but definitely worth it.

All I want for Xmas is in my mind

So this weekend, I made the announcement that we were going to write to Father Christmas. "I'm not going to write to him this year," pipes up my youngest, "I'm going to use telepathy instead." I think my eldest actually sniggered when he saw the blood drain from my face.

With only 4 weeks left until Christmas, and Amazon warning of delays to deliveries, I don't have time to go onto the internet and do an online course in telepathic skills. I tried to convince my youngest that Santa would much rather have a handwritten letter, but he said Santa would be delighted not to have to open another letter. Telepathy is a time saver apparently.

To tell or not to tell

All weekend I've been trying to wheedle out of him what he wants from Santa. I've tried bribery, extortion and torture, which I'm aware doesn't fit well with the whole ethos of Christmas.

It's got to the point where I'm tempted to tell him that I'm Santa. But then I picture what his face would look like if I told him, and I can't do it. Although I don't know if that's worse, or the look on his face on Christmas Day when he discovers that Father Christmas didn't get his message.

Amanda Coxen, Working Mum and Tinies Director

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