Friday 16 November 2012

How to keep your child believing in Father Christmas: 10 tips

It’s a sad fact, but it does seem as though children are growing up far quicker than ever before. And a casualty of this is often that their belief in Santa disappears sooner than it did for you when you were a child. So I’m handing this blog over to a VIP guest who might be able to help a little….

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you: Santa Claus!:

Ho, ho, ho! Thank you for allowing me to write a little message on your blog. I won’t keep you long because I am rather busy. 

Right, so, it would seem that the subject of this message is: how to stay believing in me. Well, let me tell you something. There will come a time when your child does stop believing - it doesn't mean that I've gone away of course, it just means that they are growing up and looking at new things. One of the problems parents often ask me is: What happens when their friends stop believing, but my own child still does? I tell them that just because their friend no longer believes doesn't mean that they have to stop. All the while they believe, I will keep visiting. Every year, no matter what. And don’t worry about hurting my feelings if you don’t believe in me any more, I know its just a part of growing up. But it doesn't mean I don’t still expect you to be nice all year though - I don’t like naughty people, no matter what their age!

I often ask parents to help me keep the magic alive, and here are a few tips I like to share:
  • Rule 1 is obvious and I'm sure you do it already: Christmas Eve is the time when you must get everything ready for my arrival. Put out your stocking (or whatever it is you like to use) and always leave me a drink and snack. I am partial to mince pies, but anything you can spare is gratefully accepted. Leaving a carrot or two for the reindeer is always a nice touch too (although they are messy eaters, so expect chomped carrot ends to be scattered around!).
  • Rule 2 - everything I leave is always wrapped in different paper to the rest of your presents because I don’t buy wrapping paper from the shops that Mums & Dads go to. Mine comes from the North Pole and is very different.
  • Rule 3 - many children worry about how I enter their home if they don’t have a chimney. Please tell them that this is not a problem, I have adapted my entries and exits over the years to accommodate this problem as many newer houses don’t have chimneys. If necessary, I am able to use a special magical key to enter a door - or if push comes to shove, I can sprinkle magic dust over myself and simply sparkle my way in. Don’t worry, it doesn't hurt and I quite enjoy it! I can also enter through cat flaps, lofts, windows and even letter boxes. No present goes undelivered because I can’t gain access, I know every trick in the book!
  • Rule 4 - hiding presents before the big day is a very important task that parents must adhere to. Enough said.
  • Rule 5 - I can sometimes forget to wipe my feet when I enter a house, and it has been known for me (and the reindeer) to leave footprints. Not always, but sometimes. I would like to take this opportunity to apologise to parents for this - and for anything that I may knock over, inadvertently move, dislodge, or crease.
  • Rule 6 - if you have been very good during the year (and I mean exceptional), I will write to you. My letters are very special, I only send 100 a year to the children who have shown the very best behaviour throughout the year. If you think that your child should be near the top of my Nice List, click here to let me know and I promise I’ll write to them (and send them some early presents too)!
  • Rule 7 - the Santa’s that you see in shops, etc (eg, in a ‘Grotto’) are not always me. There, I've said it. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't  If you are in the least bit doubtful as to whether it is the real Santa that you are meeting in a shop, then the chances are it’s one of my helpers. But don’t worry, they are all fully authorised and everything you say to them is relayed directly through to me. Sometimes I wire Grotto’s up with CCTV so that I can listen in and find out exactly what you are hoping for. So don’t worry, I never miss a thing!
  • Rule 8 - if you spot a helicopter or low flying plane in the sky between October and December, it is me. I’m just keeping tabs and updating my Naughty or Nice List.
  • Rule 9 - whilst most of the gifts that I leave on Christmas Eve are made by the Elves, sometimes I do have to add things that have come from normal shops. I only ever use suppliers that have passed rigorous tests and have full Santa Approval however.
  • Rule 10 - a wonderful way to experience my journey on Christmas Eve is by tracking me at Norad is the North American Aerospace Defense Command. They are a proper military organisation, working to protect the air space over North America. Honestly, they’re real, check them out: Every year they use their specialist equipment to track my movements as I travel around the world.

 There will eventually come a time when boys and girls reach an age where they question if I really exist. But even old, grown up people know that I do - but not always in the way that you think. The spirit of Santa changes as we get older - I can change from the lovely jolly man in my red suit into something that is even more magical: the spirit of Christmas. I may stop visiting after a while, but my spirit lives on. You know that magical feeling you have on Christmas morning that everyone feels no matter what their age? And that wonderful feeling when you give someone a gift? That’s the spirit of Christmas - and me!

Ho, ho, ho - Merry Christmas to you all!
Santa Claus

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