A reasonably long time ago, when I was a very new parent, I had a highly strung little girl as my first child. Many things worried her. The idea of a man breaking into her house, even to bring lovely things, was utterly terrifying. So we let her into a secret. That father Christmas is a shared story of generosity and giving. That he doesn’t exist in corporeal form and certainly wasn’t going to be posting himself down our non existent chimney.
Other adults in my family were horrified. We were ruining the spirit of Christmas, taking all the magic away. If the magic consists of a gibbering three year old, to scared to go to sleep, you’re right, we were.
But I don’t think that is what the magic is supposed to be about. You don’t need to believe in a coke advertisement personified to enjoy Christmas and perhaps it’s better if you don’t. Perhaps you can value the thought and care and love put into finding or creating the perfect present by an individual for an individual.
And let’s not even get started on the religious aspect of it all. Because the mixed messages our society is sending there are way too big to untangle for a child.
What stories or explanations do you share in your house at this time of year?