I fully understand why people may not wish to go down the full-blown "Santa and his elves make the toys and then he comes down the chimney/in the back door where there is no chimney/through the gas vent if you live in a flat and leaves the pressies under the tree before downing a half pint of milk and a digestive and leaving the way he arrived". After all, if you have had to scrimp and save and spend hours and hours of your time acquiring the precise gifts your beloved cherubs desire and then wrapping them in the dead of night so you won't be caught, it really sticks in the throat to have Santa take all the credit. I mean, hands up all parents who have had their children turn to them after opening the mountain of gifts from "Santa" on Christmas morning and ask "So what did you get me then?" Yup, thought so.
Well, I can say, with some pride that Husband and I solved this little dilemma. Or to be more accurate, Husband's mother did, back when he was a boy, and now I am passing this important information on to you. (Especially you, Lynsey!)
The key is to develop a very close and personal relationship with the fairies. The fairies are crucial. The fairies work hand in hand with Santa and with hard-working parents. This is how it works: parents and other family members (the ones who know their children best), organise the presents in advance of Christmas. The fairies visit at a predetermined time (no, Second Born, you may not watch, these fairies are invisible to anyone under 18) and take the presents away to Santa. Santa then wraps them and delivers them on Christmas morning in the accepted fashion.
This arrangement has a number of benefits:
- The children know the gifts come from you and your family and therefore appreciate the effort put in (in theory at least)
- You don't risk that horrible moment on Christmas Eve when your child decides he no longer wants the latest gizmo he has been going on and on and on about for the last three months and wants something completely different instead. After all, the fairies have to finalise their arrangements at least a couple of weeks in advance so no last minute Christmas List alterations are possible. Sorry!
- You can still take advantage of the supreme bribery opportunities provided by the whole "Santa only brings presents to good boys" thing without having to actually threaten to withhold presents yourself. After all, that would be mean whereas Santa is just doing his job.