Magic of a father at Christmas

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I have always been a fan of the festive period, but had long been of the opinion that it should only start within a week or so of the big day.

I was once a fully-fledged member of the army of moaners who endlessly complain about shops putting up Christmas displays while there are still green leaves on the trees.

But now I am one of those bug-eyed fanatics, who wants to suck up all that is good about Christmas. I cannot pinpoint exactly when this Chevy Chase-esque conversion occurred but it probably has something to do with the fact that I share a house with two festive fanatics.

My kids have been talking about December 25 since before pumpkins went on sale in supermarkets, despite there being a rule that the c-word mustn’t be mentioned until after the embers of Bonfire Night are out.

The rule is designed to keep the lid on our excitement, although the year’s first seasonal blockbuster was viewed in our house during the October half term.

During my 10 years of being a dad, every Christmas has become that little bit more special, probably due to the growing realisation that there are a finite number of years left before the ‘magic’ wears off.

My 10-year-old is in that difficult transition period, despite being all hair and attitude, she is still very much a child and one who ostensibly believes, although that is probably her largely hedging her bets.

With the four-year-old, we are slap bang in the middle of that golden age of childhood and the excitement ahead of Santa’s visit in little under a month’s time is already at fever pitch.

Last week began with a Monday morning meltdown, prompted by the reality that it wasn’t Christmas morning, even though he had been informed of that fact at least a dozen times a day earlier.

Should I take a firmer line and remind them both that there are still at least 20-odd sleeps until a rotund white-haired man slips his way into our home during the dead of the night, via a chimney? Should I heckers like!

Childhood is over in a flash, so why not make those memories as special as they can be?