Have you taken the kids to see Santa at a Department Store near you? Here is a piccy of him without the fancy dress.
Actually this is a 13th-century depiction of Saint Nicholas of Myra who has morphed over the centuries into Santa Claus. As any fule kno, he was a 4th-century Greek Christian bishop from Lycia, a province of the Byzantine Anatolia now in Turkey.
Anyway, onwards and forwards to Santa Claus. I lost my faith aged 6. My sister and I were lying in bed on Christmas Eve pretending to be asleep. The door opened a crack, and we glimpsed the big man in red (though strangely barefoot), and with a hint of white curly beard, tiptoe in with the heavy stockings. We held our breaths. He was finding his bearings in the pitch black.
“OW! For F**K’S sake!” shouted Santa in Dad’s voice.
My innocence ended right there.
After that, all visits to Father Christmas at Herrods, Selfishes and Harvey’s Nickers were tarnished forever.
Here is a photo taken this morning of the normally quiet little stream a few feet from their house.
Here is a photo of the same stream making a small diversion through their living room just over a year and a half ago.
It’s a beautiful part of the world, and we love staying with our friends, though we’re beginning to wonder if we shouldn’t be fashioning a makeshift boat out of the bedframes. Now that would be even more memorable than the Christmases I spent playing the guitar and singing to long suffering and captive audiences at a homeless shelter.
You know the X Factor isn’t going to call you back, when everyone goes and sits out in the snow rather than listen to yet another do-gooder accompanying herself to a medley of Christmas Carols. Even my visitor stats seem sky high compared to the number of bums on seats then.
So, wherever you are, me and the Mummies wish you a peaceful, happy and dry holidays with those you love. May your children wake up on Christmas morning with smiles on their faces and, just in case, tie some Bubble Wrap around the radiator pipe.
Happy Christmas and see you again in 2014!