Round here we have a rule. There’s no talking about Christmas or Santa until there’s about a month to go. It’s not an exact date in the calendar. Let’s just say it wholly depends on when I find I really need the enticement that Santa and a large bag of pressies offers. Safe to say, we have hit that point.
The eldest two are well warned that if they talk about it too early, Santa wakes up with a headache and instantly puts them on a naughty list. This year, being the first that we have a school-goer, is the first where we have one child who thinks he is smart enough to try and beat the system. For a couple of weeks there have been attempts to circumvent the house rules. Spidey, showing an uncharacteristic streak of sneakiness, and has taken to asking probing questions about the one he calls ‘The Man’. Generally he picks quiet but public locations – like the library, the traffic lights outside the school or a small shop to probe for information.
When is The Man visiting us?
How does The Man get into our house?
Is The Man watching us right now?
If we are good for The Man will we get nice things?
When are we going to tell The Man what we like?
Will we feed The Man and his friends?
Do you pay The Man?
And on it goes.
As November has passed Yoda has become increasingly worried about some bearded bloke (that isn’t her Daddy) breaking into our home and spying on us. I’ve had to do a little intervention here and there to allay her mounting fears and explain who The Man really is, while shooting the smart arse a dirty look. Spidey’s schoolfriends have been drawn into the deceit. Apparently they’ve been convening meetings on the other side of the yard to discuss important matters (like the best pages of the Smyth’s catalogue) to save him from getting in trouble lest he overhears their plotting.
By now I have no idea how many people in the Fairview / Marino area have heard the questions about The Man and wonder about my parenting skills and the dangers posed to my children. I have no idea how many Junior Infants have been telling their parents about Spidey’s man-friend and his unfettered access to our home. Best case I’m now thought of as some very liberal swinger. Worst case I’m probably on some Social Services naughty list.
On hearing it’s officially ok to talk about Christmas, Spidey marched down the road shouting ‘Santa, Santa, Santa. Christmas, Christmas, Christmas’. Clearly he’s been supressing himself. In the 24 hours since the news broke, Santa and Christmas alternate as the second or third word in most sentences. They are, quite literally, trending.
I’ll resist decorations and the repeated need to pick up the tree for a week or two yet, but the physical signs are there. The three Christmas hats are on the go already. One is a chintzy car crash of a self-designed yoke from a few years ago that Spidey is strangely attached to, but thankfully the other two are freshly knit and a tad more tasteful. Just a tad mind. For possibly the last year we remained immune to the Late Late Toy Show with it’s streams of Billy Barry dancers, lame jokes from Ryan and, with it have avoided the danger of last-minute changes to The List. Next year, when we start down that road I’ll have a fridge stocked with wine, and Ryan may seem hilarious.
Letters have been written thanks to the lovely template from Sadhbh at Where Wishes Come From and thankfully everyone has stuck to the script. I’m fine with items like ‘the farting monkey’ but not so enthusiastic about any surprise late additions. Next up, we’re heading into the Powerscourt Theatre for an Interactive Christmas Story with a gang from the Irish Parenting Bloggers. From this point on we’ve regular catch ups with various incarnations of The Man as the mania builds.
Yup. It’s undeniably that time of year!