Father Christmas Spoiler Alert!
Fatherly Christmas tips that work!
Please ensure your little one cannot read this as it is the ultimate spoiler!
If you have managed to maintain their belief in Santa Claus then I applaud you, there is nothing better than seeing those little faces light up on Christmas morning as they creep into the living room and see the Christmas tree surrounded with gifts.
In all honestly now that my children are adults I really miss it!
BUT they all still believe, as they got older I told them that it was essential that they continue to believe in Father Christmas, there was a real danger that if they stopped believing that the presents might stop coming...
So now we all play along and we are all the better for it, there still remains a little bit of the magic!
Some of the things I used to do to ensure that even if they doubted, these were enough for them to still question their own disbelief!
I confess the long wait on Christmas Eve to ensure the children were actually asleep used to fill me with dread, the thought of them still being awake peeping out from beneath the duvet was frankly too much to bear, considering the effort I would put into making it all as real as possible.
A little thought before entering the child's bedroom is essential to avoid messing this up completely.
Night vision goggles are not essential but quite useful
I recall a story told some years ago by an SAS soldier prior to a night raid, he recounted how they had spent a long time just sitting in the dark getting their eyes acclimatised to the dark and how everything had been ruined by security guards switching on powerful searchlights, they had to delay the raid and sit in the dark again...
So, with this in mind, I would sit in the hall on the stairs in the pitch dark until I could see around me without the aid of artificial light, THIS IS VERY USEFUL, you may snigger, but using the torch on your smartphone will only waken them, trust me. Night vision goggles are not necessary.
It is essential that you retrieve their stocking from the bedroom and escape back to the hall to fill it, the crinkling sound of wrapping paper is sure to awaken them.
Retreat to the hallway and far enough away so that if your child decides to investigate they will not see what you are up to as they come to the door.
Fill their stocking quietly and then carefully tiptoe into the bedroom being mindful to place the stocking in the place they had originally hung it.
Now silently close the door and sit a while longer outside and listen.
One year I heard a gasp of excitement from the bedroom, we didn't get much sleep that night, I seem to recall being woken by three mad crazy children waving their stockings and prancing on the bed. BUT I hadn't been spotted! Victory!
Santa Chimney image courtesy Chanel Dehond
As we all know Father Christmas comes into the house down the chimney.
My children were always encouraged to leave him a little snifter and a snack to help him on his way, that translated into a fine Armagnac or an aged Calvados (no dodgy Sherry thank you very much) accompanied by a mince pie and a Tangerine.
We had a real fire so it follows that Santa would make a real mess, I would scatter a little ash along my path to the Christmas tree with a few bits of charcoal and a few pinches of the ash over the presents.
I would make a point of leaving rough footsteps in the ash, making the imprints bigger than my foot size.
Of course, it was essential to scoff the mince pie and let crumbs fall to the floor, this guy is in a hurry! The Tangerine would be eaten and the peel left where it dropped, the drink would be savoured and the glass left on the floor near the fireplace.
Part of the fun was to come down in the morning and feign real annoyance at how messy Santa had been, this added to the reality of the whole act... I mean the children were told off for making less mess than that so why shouldn't Santa be reprimanded?
Santa, despite being very busy jumping in and out of wormholes, travelling at warp speeds delivering presents to 1.5 billion children, approximately 5,500 homes a second eating 150 billion calories and probably, let's be honest, in no state to be driving his sleigh!
It has been calculated that his shopping bill would be approaching £280 billion, that's a lot of air miles...
So there you have it, just a few things that you may find useful, a few things that make Christmas more real and definitely so much more fun :-)