When did you stop believing in Father Christmas?
I’ve a feeling I might have been around seven, the year my foster parents split up and we moved into a flat – bless, but I think my Mum had just run out of places to hide four kids’ Christmas presents, and I stumbled across the stash in a cupboard a week before the big day.
Still, I was a little taken aback last week when Flea came home from school and announced that some junior school boys had done the rounds of the infant dining room that day, telling all the kids that Father Christmas wasn’t real, and it’s really just your Mum and Dad.
I have no idea what would possess a child to spread such foul fiction, but my five-year-old was not impressed. “They even said Rudolph doesn’t eat the carrot,” she said, dolefully. “They said your Mummy puts it back in the packet.”
We had a bit of a chat, and Flea came up with the theory that perhaps these were bad boys who didn’t get a visit from the fella in red, and that’s why they don’t believe in him.
The next day, in a weird example of festive serendipity, the PR for Santa Was in My House got in touch and offered me a free voucher for their website, where you can upload a photo of your house and get back a photo of Santa in it.
So… I told Flea that we have a special mission this Christmas. We’ve just been sent a Kodak Playsport camera to play with, and I’ve told Flea it’s a secret camera. We’re going to hide it among the fireplace garland, where we will be able to take a surveillance picture of Santa as he comes down the chimney. This might sound questionable, but really, I think knowing this sort of thing is going to make her a GREAT girlfriend to someone, one day.
Anyway, because it’s a secret camera, we’re not allowed to tell anyone it’s there, or that we have a photo of Santa. But we will have our own, definitive proof that those bad boys were wrong.
How about you? Do you have any tips and tricks on helping children stay believers?
PS – If you’d like to try out Santa Was in My House for yourself, I’ve been given three free codes for the website – which I’ll pass on to the first three people to ask in the comments. Although if you don’t get a free visit, the website only charges £5 per photo, and £1 of that goes to Barnardos.