the C word

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The question of Christmas, and how one approaches it with a little person, is on my mind.

Elizabeth is busy chatting about Santa and how he is going to be bringing her a bike for Christmas. I'm not sure where she got this idea from but it's cute, and luckily we have got her a bike for Christmas so it's all looking rosy so far in the Potter house.

I had at one point been all up for radical honesty about the Santa thing (much to Darren's amusement), thinking I would be all anti-establishment and tell her that Santa was a big fat commercial con right from the word go, like tell her that now, she is two! Darren's point was that I would be the most hated parent in nursery, infant and junior school because Betsy would break hundreds of tiny little Santa loving hearts every year by giving the game away. Still I was resolute.

Then the onslaught began, Christmas seems to arrive in early November these days. So far I have sobbed over adverts for John Lewis, Sainsburys and Boots, I am a silly, sobbing Christmas advert sucker. Not only that but Santa has arrived in his big red snazzy outfit in all of Betsy's favourite telly programmes, she knows him. I can't explain his make-believeness, she's not old enough to understand, so what does a radical Santa-shunning parent do? Well bugger me if I'm not just going along with the whole thing. We've chatted about Santa, elves, presents (it always comes back to the presents with Betsy). Man, I just can't help myself, she loves it, can't get enough of it, wants me to explain in great detail how she is going to get a big old bag of sweeties delivered on Christmas morning and at exactly what point she will be allowed to eat them.

I don't remember when I found out Santa wasn't real. There was no big revelation that I recall, I don't imagine I was overly disappointed, it just wasn't that big of a deal in 1970s England, well not in our house anyway. I feel like with Betsy it will be a case of us pretending and her thinking 'jeez these numb skulls are still going on about freaking Santa Claus', wry amusement shining right out of her big browns.

So what to do, how long to carry it on for? I suppose we'll know, I reckon we've got two years, maybe three at a push of pretending and then she'll either cotton on to the fact that presents say they're from Grandad and not my good man Santa, or Mummy will let it slip after one too many port and lemons.

Ho ho ho and all that jazz.

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Do you still believe in Santa Claus?