Magical time to meet Santa(s)

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We are in the grip of Christmas mania, make no mistake about it.

Sir Elton’s schmaltzy advert has been on for so long that the child actor is now shaving and there are millions of lunatics who have had their trees up for the best part of a fortnight.

Everywhere you look, there are decked-out shops and offices with workers limbering up for the next festive party. Personally, I am fully locked in and have already started on the stashed chocolate and posh nuts, you know, the ones that aren’t dry roasted. When I am not stuffing my cakehole with over-priced yuletide treats, I am mainly queuing up to see Father Christmas with our youngest - we are readying ourselves for the third meeting of the season already.

I am a sucker for the magic of this time of year and you don’t get anything more magical than the look on a pre-schooler’s face when he is confronted by a stranger in a polyester red suit and a fake beard.

Yes, it can be confusing for most children to see the Big Man more than once before December 25, but the joy of having a three-year-old is they are easily convinced, especially if there is a bribe on offer.

Our first grotto visit of the year, which, I am ashamed to say, occurred a week before the start of December, saw our spirited nipper take Lapland’s best-known resident to task for not giving him the gift that he had asked for a full 60 seconds before. The small Rudolph toy, which had been thrust into his hands by Mr Claus Mk 1, was promptly launched into the November air with all the power of a Russian shot putter. It took about an hour for Mrs Tapp and I to explain the concept of waiting a month for the main event to the distraught little fella, but we got there in the end.

The second meeting passed off without incident and our inquisitive little boy was too engrossed in his latest gift to ask why this Santa sounded and looked completely different to the one he had met a week later.

I am only grateful that our sceptical nine-year-old hasn’t asked how a no deal Brexit might impede Santa’s freedom of movement in little over a year’s time.