I’m struggling to know what the party line is to take with a 5 year old and a 2 year old when it comes to all things Christmas. Take the weekend for example, nursery Christmas Fayre and a visit to their fantastically homemade Santas’ Grotto. Little Monster Blue was incredibly brave and stood a whole three feet away from Santa and with his back to him muttered that he’d like a ‘car race’ for Christmas. Then he was out of there like a shot leaving his gifted Reindeer puzzle book and Haribo behind him such was his haste. When asked later if he’d liked meeting Santa, Little Princess Pink piped up loud and clear and confirmed as only a know-it-all five year old can, for the avoidance of any doubt, “THAT WASN’T THE REAL SANTA!”
Tentatively asking her what made her say that, my mind was frantically whizzing through potential plausible explanations as to why some man in a dress up costume was inviting little children to tell him all their Christmas present wishes when he was about as likely as Postman Pat with four flat tyres to deliver what they were looking for.
“Weelll,” she began in her ‘I can’t believe you don’t know this, isn’t it obvious’ voice,’ “There are no reindeers here. How did he get here? I don’t see Rudolph.” And she was right. So, did I make up some excuse that the reindeers were in training / resting up before the main event / getting sloshed on their Christmas day out? I couldn’t exactly say Santa had gotten on the 11.35 from Edinburgh Waverley and walked the short distance round the corner from the station. I’m not sure Mrs Claus drives and could have given him a lift, and anyway it would be a fair trek from Lapland, North Pole.
With four beady eyes on me, I was under pressure to give an answer one way or the other, so I confidently confirmed that the reindeer must have dropped him off and would be back to collect him later. “Where did they land?” she asks. I deployed a different tactic this time by answering a question with a question:
” Where do you think they might have parked? “ I put back to her.
“On the roof, she exclaimed, they flew in Santa jumped out, and off they went again.”
Great. I’ll buy that .
Then next she confidently advises anyone within earshot … “It’s not the real Santa, Santa has lots of helpers and sometimes he asks them to go to all the different grotters (I regularly remind her its grotto but unfortunately ‘grotter’ has stuck!) so all the boys and girls can tell them what they’d like for Christmas and they report back to the proper Santa.”
Happy with her explanation, and I later found out that she’d been fed this line previously by Super Daddy, this was also perfectly satisfactory for Little Monster Blue who by now had retrieved the nearly lost Haribo and was stuffing foam fried eggs in his chops like they were going out of fashion.
“How do the reindeer fly then?” comes the next challenge. I reply that Santa sprinkles them with magic flying dust and gives them only commands that reindeer understand. I stole the magic flying dust from Arthur Christmas, and embellished the rest myself. I quite like that.
We then moved on to the small matter of how he gets into our house on Christmas Eve when we don’t have a chimney. I explain knowingly (as my mother and father told me, so that makes its true) that Santa has a magic key which fits each and every door. Once again, this satisfied the question and I was beginning to think I had it covered.
Then pipes up Little Monster Blue.
“And Santa’s got a big tummy ’cause hims got a baby in it. How did it get there?”