Christmas Diary, Part I: The Return of the Man

Hard Times in Toy TownIt is Christmas Eve. The children are in bed, peacefully asleep, the youngest because tonight is no different to any other at his age, his big brother because Father Christmas doesn’t come if you are awake.

Father Christmas. I have been propagating this myth in his mind ever since last Christmas. Only he doesn’t know it is a myth yet, does he? I wonder if I should feel a little guilty. True, it is a fun myth, a source of benign wonderment, a little bit of God-lite. I am aware, though, that the temptation to invoke its moral aspect has been hard to resist, the “he only brings presents to good little boys and girls” line. Not that it works terribly well in sonofsoulcompost’s case I have to say. In fact, over the last couple of weeks I have been having to fend off a few tricky questions about FC, things like, “how does he get down the chimney when he is fat and our chimney is narrow?” and, “if he is carrying all those presents won’t he wake the children up when they should be asleep?”

The best I have been able to come up with is, “well, he does it by magic, you see.” And so I dig a deeper hole with my metaphysical shovel. How long will it withstand sonofsoulcompost’s Empiricist doubtings, I wonder? He is only three so I am bound to have a few years left. I could have an Inquisition, I suppose, but that does seem a little extreme.

But I do like Father Christmas. I have missed him all these years and I am glad he is back, even if I have had to reinvent him. Now I think of it I must remember to write a thank you note from me and the reindeer for the glass of whisky and the mince pie.

Did I say “me”? I will have to watch that in future.

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