Not the Father Christmas that most parents have to be, you understand, I was asked to be the real one. To 300 children aged 2 - 7 at a school Christmas Fayre.
Those that are asked to take on this most prestigious and magical of undertakings have an incredible responsibility. The power that comes with the boots, suit, beard, and hat is incredible. And humbling.
As I peered over my nylon beard / itchy moustache and greeted each child, I saw something that I don’t think I will ever forget. The magic of Christmas. Not in the fairy lights, or tinsel, not in the tree or sparkly stars but in the wide eyes of children that were embracing their reality of meeting the big red bloke. I had a fizzy nose and watery eyes on more than several occasions. A definite tear on two.
I asked the children what was the most important thing on their list. Doing what I do for a living - which is, if I am honest, to help my clients sell more of their stuff to more families, I was fully expecting to hear echoes of those lists of expected best sellers for Christmas that we see in the July press releases.
But no. Amongst a myriad of seasonal oddities, I was asked for 15 fire engines, 9 trainsets, 8 dolls, a book on The Romans, 3 spaceships, a cooking set, an aeroplane, 2 plastic Tigers and a Killer Whale (a real one). There were two requests for “Everyone to have a happy Christmas”. My point is there wasn’t an iPad or L.O.L. in sight.
It doesn’t matter how much marketing, advertising, commercialisation and profiteering goes on at this time of year…the magic of Christmas is alive and well in our children.
I saw it with my own mince-pies.
And right now I reckon that’s about as good a thing as there can be.