Breakfast With Father Christmas

Though I can hardly believe it's that time of year again, this morning it was time for our annual breakfast with our local, rather scrumptiously snuggly Santa. And look! For the first year ever, Finley smiled. He laughed! He shook the jingly bell with enthusiasm and informed Father Christmas he would like to find a guitar and an iPpod Touch (!) in his stocking... And all this on the morning he saw one of Father Christmas's impersonators being pushed into a police car and driven away. Yes indeed, Finley's belief in Santa has been re-awakened on the very morning he watched him being arrested for goodness knows what and then we get to school and there is one of his festive mates, jingling his bell and telling the kids that the longer they take to munch their way through their sausage butties and jammy croissants the less time they will have to spend in lessons...

Two fine examples of Santa's complete and utter lack of responsibility methinks!

It's a confusing business for kids isn't it, this Father Christmas malarkey?  First you get fat, thin and drunk and disorderly versions of the man himself popping up all over the shop and then your clever little boy settles himself down with the Sunday Time's magazine and reads that Father Christmas DOESN'T EXIST at which point he jumps up and start's yelling "I KNEW IT, I KNEW IT!" having long suspected that that Santa is nothing more than a chubby old intruder we all tolerate in our homes on Christmas morning...

And then doubt sets in. Worry tickles his mind: if he doesn't believe, Santa won't come. If he does believe, he is setting aside all that he KNOW'S to be true, and choosing to believe in a lie. It doesn't make sense and he doesn't know what to do, wandering around muttering "It isn't Father Christmas, it's just a fella", Whistle Down the Wind style...

So magic is called for. And when you call for magic, magic lands in your chimney, don't you know?

A letter in a snow covered cardboard tube addressed to Master Finley May Doherty, via the Chimney Stack appears one morning in the fireplace and Finley not daring to touch it comes and reports it's arrival with the mildest touch of wonder in his eyes. And I say well go and get it, if it's addressed to you, and he does, and we both sit staring in astonishment at the thousands of teeny tiny gold stars that fall from the tube when he opens it, and hold our breath as he reads out a letter that says Rudolph has had reindeer flu and Santa knows though Finley's rooms is a tinsy bit untidy, he is an extra special, charming little boy, but Mummy had better watch herself if she is expecting presents this year! And there are tears in both our eyes, because this has come all the way from Reindeer Land, courtesy of Magic Mail and nothing could be more perfect.

It seems Santa is 6'4 and works as a graphic designer round these parts...

I believe, don't you?