Last time we looked at the role of booze and school during the season of goodwill. Today we will be looking at visiting Santa. I know, I know, I promised to examine the joys of shopping and family gatherings... but hey, I didn't want to peak too soon.
When you have children they will believe in Santa. And it's a fact that most husbands believe in Santa too... I mean how else do all those presents get bought and wrapped?
So every year you will have to go on a trip to say 'Hi' to the big red guy. Sounds fun? Sounds easy? Yeah, right!!
Your child's faith in Santa depends on this annual visit. Get it wrong and you will have ruined their whole childhood. Yes, ruined their whole childhood.
I have compiled a few tips and tricks that should help you all.
All elves and helpers at the Santa extravaganza are miserable fuckers. While you are struggling with a screaming child/children and trying to fold a pushchair they will look on with a disdainful smirk. Moments like that are the reason they go to work.
All Santa's Grottos are totally child unfriendly. They are full of sharp things, chokey things, electric shocky things... and they are dark. If you can make your way to Santa without injury, you are doing good.
Be discerning in your choice of Santa. Remember, you will be judged by other parents on the Santa that you choose. My mother took my sister to see Santa at Harrods. She is still dining out on it twenty years later. And my sister is an Oxford graduate... so, do you see how important this Santa thing is?
It might sound like jolly middle class fun to go with your in-laws and assorted offspring on a Severn Valley Santa Express. It isn't. Essentially you are trapped with your in-laws and lots of screaming children on a cold train in the middle of nowhere. If you are very lucky someone might come round with a trolley full of booze. Just ignore your mother-in-laws *lip curl* as you self medicate with brandy.
When you finally get your audience with the big red guy ( after travelling, queuing, getting cold, getting wet and scaring your children) your children will be mute. Even though they will have been wittering on since the crack of dawn about what they would like for Christmas they will be totally silent. Enjoy it, savour the moment. You will not know quiet like it for another year.
Your audience with Santa will be over in approximately two and a half minutes. Santa doesn't like to chat. And he doesn't think it's funny if you ask to sit on his knee and then giggle like a schoolgirl.
Santa will give your child a gift to take home. This gift will be unsuitable, unhealthy, possibly sticky and downright dangerous. Your child will be sobbing within 5 minutes of opening it. I did hear of one poor family being given umbrellas by Santa. Within five minutes of arriving home there were several poked-eye incidents as a result of frantic umbrella opening and closing.
I hope that this guide will help you to have a happy Christmas. If you would like to thank me you can leave me a glass of gin under your Christmas tree.