‘Twas the night before Christmas



…and all through the house there are DVD players on to get the kids to sleep, the wind and rain battering the house from left and right, and the sound of wallets and purses screaming from all parents pockets at the thought of the cost of tomorrow. “Elf” has been watched with only seventeen interruptions for toilet breaks and other such nonsense, cosy jammies are on and the inevitable impatience for the kids to go to sleep kicks in with parents as they hope at some point before it’s two in the morning the little darlings will nod off so the presents can be un-stashed and placed appropriately.

There is an argument that we should stop telling the kids about Santa to save all the hiding and deception that goes on – I did moot it when it was Jake’s first Christmas, but unsurprisingly I was out-voted by Jill’s block vote. (must check union rules on that one) The issue is not with the story and the excitement that goes with it but all the “keeping up the act” that goes on, especially when Jake gets told or works it out in the next couple of years and we’ve still got Jenna to play along for – Jake will have to then join the conceit. I think that if we buy the presents then:

  1. We should get the credit instead of the imaginary red-faced, white bearded man who lives at the North Pole. All those thank yous are technically wasted.
  2. The threat of Santa not coming would be real if they realised that it was us and actually had the receipts and could have an influence on those decisions
  3. I wouldn’t have to bite into a carrot each year to pretend I’m a reindeer – not my best role.

It’s not that I’m embittered by my own experience of discovering that Santa was a fictional character – no not at all. When you Dad decides that building your snooker table for you on Christmas Eve after a couple of pints in the local, you hear the noise of assembly and creep through to see what that noise is… well let’s just say it wasn’t the surprise I was expecting. I thought I’d caught Father Christmas in the act instead of Father Pissed-a-bit building the toys. Not a huge surprise I’ll grant you when you’re seventeen but there you go…

Christmas is a bit like losing your virginity – all that build up and anticipation only for you to discover that after average stuffing and a bit of breast it’s all over before you know it. It’s always slightly disappointing as a day – except in hindsight when you have great little memories to hold on to for the years to come – which is why I think that I prefer the perineum section of the holiday. You know, the space between the arseholes at Christmas and the cocks and fannies over-celebrating Hogmanay.  It’s the limbo space of the year where no-one knows what day it is, sleeping in is almost the law and sitting doing very little is expected by all.

To finish Christmas Eve, well wait until the little darlings are actually sleeping instead of pretend sleeping to catch Santa and be ultimately disappointed to find the green baize and pockets screaming at them through the gap in the door…erm I mean, time to put on Die Hard, finish the sweets that are in the house before they are added to tomorrow and try to get some sleep before they get out of bed earlier than ever to jump on your head to drag you downstairs to see all the presents you have already seen because you bought them and wrapped them. Time to work on my surprised face.


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