OK, here we go: please can we keep Father Christmas under control this year?
I love Father Christmas. A shamanic, red-clad man dropping down my ceiling of an evening? Bring it on, have some sherry, bottoms up.
But, please, can we limit what he gives our kids?
I’m OK with people giving their children wahoo-level expensive gifts — their money, their kids, and it is totally the season to be jolly. What I would love, though, is for the expensive gifts to come from Mum, Dad, Granny, or Uncle Bert, not from Santa.
Because we tell our children, ‘If you’re good, Santa will bring you some great presents.’ And the children believe us. Children understand that Mum and Dad can’t always afford everything — that presents sometimes have to be limited and it doesn’t mean they aren’t loved. But Santa is magic, so for him money isn’t an issue…
So then when Santa brings an X-box, an iPad, a Bluetooth Swegway, and a holiday in Lapland to one child, but only two books and a jumper to another, the inference is that one child has been “better” than the other; one child is liked by Santa more than the other.
We all know that Santa won’t visit every child this season and it’s not because the children haven’t been good. So when he does visit, perhaps he can be kept under control?
Could we let Mum and Dad dish out the expensive gear? (Let Mum and Dad take credit for the expensive gear?!) It’s easily done — the kids just write modest Santa letters then ask Mum and Dad for any specials…
Then maybe Santa could bring the books and jumpers, a few chocolates, a funny mug. Because if he’s magic, and if he knows every child as well as we’re led to believe, then surely he knows already that what children want more than anything else is to be the same as their friends.
In terms of stockings, that, at least, should be possible?
In Germany, the “Christkind” (baby Jesus) brings the presents (on Christmas eve rather than Christmas Day), not Santa, not the parents. You see, even the Western tradition is not one but many. So be it!
Yes, thankfully the different traditions somewhat dilute what’s happening here, which sometimes seems to be just a trolley run through Amazon, followed by a lot of credit adverts. It’s still a nice family time but sooo commercial.