It finally happened. That moment in my life when I would have to have THAT conversation! The moment when I would have to cast off my clumpy boots and tread softly in silken slippers. I’d managed to keep my head down, well below the parapet, for the last couple of years, but it seems that having been lulled into a false sense of security I must have unknowingly lifted my head and my six-year old, going on seven, grandson fired the question.
“Grandma, there are some children who don’t believe in Father Christmas. They think it’s their mummies and daddies who leave the presents. What do you think?”
You’d think that after waiting for six years for this inevitable question I would have been totally prepared, but I wasn’t.
Let me say right now that I think the whole Father Christmas thing – a fat old man, dressed in a very weird attire, dropping down through your chimney, is not an idea to be encouraged. Isn’t it painting the picture of a thief, a robber, an intruder? Yes, I hear the ‘bah humbugs,’ but I don’t care. I think it’s bloody frightening telling small children that this random, fat person, with his features clearly hidden behind a bush of a beard, is going to come to them while they are sleeping. However, it is not for me to destroy the lie that has been embedded in my grandchildren so I said…
“Well, I think when children are small they DO believe in Santa but when they get bigger I think they believe that mummy and daddy bring the presents.”
Jake considered this. He is a bright child and will be running for Prime Minister by the time he’s twelve! “I’ve never seen him, Grandma, but I do think he’s real.”
Again I had to defend this fat, old, house intruder. “Ah, well, that’s why you have to go to bed early on Christmas Eve, because Santa only comes when you are sleeping, and if you mess about and won’t go to bed because you are excited it makes Santa late. Then he has to wait for you to go to sleep and then he’s late getting to all the other children and then some children might not get their presents.”
“So…do you believe in Father Christmas, Grandma?”
“Well, Jake, er…I did when I was little but I’m big now and Santa really only has time to get round to all the children. But you’ll get your presents from Santa and then you’ll come here and we will have presents for you.”
Faster than a heartbeat Jake said indignantly, “Well one of them had better be a pouffe because I need one and you won’t let me have yours!”
I nearly showered the poor child with spat-out tea. A pouffe! Thank goodness fat old Santa hasn’t got to find room for one of those on his sleigh. Rudolph might have a coronary! Imagine trying to stuff that down the chimney…the pouffe…not Rudolph!
Jake, on the last two occasions that he was here, attempted to have it away with my pouffe. He said he needed one. Don’t ask me why. He just needed one. We had the most dreadful tantrum, with Jake trying to stuff the pouffe into the car and stamping and screaming. His behaviour even shocked his sister into silence, who, at the time, was screaming her head off as well because she was fed up with sitting, strapped into her seat, waiting for her brother to get in the car. Just how my son manages to drive down the motorway with all this going on is beyond me. However…
Off I went on the trial of the pouffe and found one instantly. Unfortunately, the trip cost me an arm and a leg because on the way to the pouffe section I happened to short-cut down the microwave section and bought a cream one to go with the fridge freezer. I found a nice little person to lug the microwave into the boot of the car, but when I was ramming-in the one and only pouffe that they’d had in the shop, I noticed it had a teeny-weeny hole in it, and a zillion, zillion, zillion foam beads looked ready to escape, so I had to do an about turn and take the bloody thing back.
The assistant said she could mark it down for me and did I still want it? I didn’t even consider it. Could you imagine? This pouffe isn’t going to be used for little Jake to put his feet on whilst demurely watching the TV. Oh no, this pouffe is an island to be stood on while he fights off circling sharks. A mountain to be hurled, Incredible Hulk like, at his little sister. Oh yes! There will be hours of fun in this strangely requested Christmas present.
I did manage to pick one up over the weekend, because Jake’s wish is my command, and besides, I can’t have that reprobate Father Christmas stealing all the limelight.
Take care my lovelies x