A pattern emerged at the beginning of the month. Very young children and babies would come to visit Father Christmas before about 3pm, and definitely in the morning. Then, once schools were out the ages would go up and a lot would be wearing their uniforms having been dragged to the grotto straight after school.
I think school might have broken up for Christmas. Not only are we getting packed out but also it’s all ages all the time. Weekends are usually mum and dad with a child, whilst during the week it’s mum and nan, or people who are sisters or just mates. Right now it seems the original patterns have given way to a free for all.
The children, however, are getting far more hyper. This makes them hard work. They are easily distracted and not engaging with Santa as they should. Apparently, giving them a slap and saying shut the fuck up and listen isn’t an option.
The vast majority are good,and extremely excited about the small number of ‘sleeps’ remaining before presents day, erm, Christmas Day. I’m enjoying this.
When a child spurts out their demands, it’s essential never to promise anything. After all, the magic of Christmas is that you are never quite sure what presents you are going to get, are you? Plus, some presents have to be left until next year. Or there are many other magic reasons why presents on their list can’t be supplied.
Today I had an eight year old respond to my non-promise by saying, “Oh, but you will bring me everything I asked for, you will.”
“I’ll not promise. As I said, I’ll try my best, but I can’t be sure what I can bring. That’ll make it a really nice surprise on Christmas morning.”
“If you don’t bring me everything on my list I’m going to poison Rudolph. Next year I’ll put poison in his carrots.”
“Well, that’s not very nice. Poor Rudolph.”
“I hate him and I hate you. I won’t love you until you give me what I asked for, so there.”
And with that she stormed out of the grotto.