Father Christmas fail

Hello, my name is Claire and I’m a Father Christmas failure.

It’s nearly Christmas and don’t I know it.

In the past week I’ve been to five million different versions of The Nativity with the common theme of BEING CRAP.

Bless the angels that I can get on Twitter in the school halls because my kids have collectively had two seconds on stage behind six hundred other kids in a day-long production.

Every photo I’ve taken has been of the heads of the people sat in front of me because I always seem to end up on the twentieth row.


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I’ve also opened a betting shop for who will spontaneously combust first because, let’s face it, the build-up is too much for little kids and I’m under so much pressure to deliver all the right toys to all the right girls and boys.

At the moment my odds stand at 2/1 favourite with my toddler coming in a close second at 4/1 because if he looks at the much coveted Gruffalo trunki one more time on Amazon, he surely will explode.

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The sending-Christmas-cards-to-every-kid-who-ever-lived has started.

With three children at three different schools, I’ve calculated that so far we’ve received 4832 cards with another ten thousand to go.

And let’s face it, the cards are usually so tiny that you can’t tell half the time who they’re from. The children love it but they’re not the ones scooping out the school bags and finding a place to put them all.

But you know what, you’ll be surprised to hear that I’m not actually that bah-humbug. I am fully looking forward to doing naff all at my Mother-in-Law’s and I will gratefully accept all presents.

This year is probably the last time my eldest will believe in Father Christmas and once he knows, he will make damn sure that his siblings know that it’s just Mummy & Daddy telling lies.

So I’m kind of thinking that this Christmas is a bit special.

Except I’m the weakest link. No actually – my husband is.

Off he trots to Christmas parties, client drinks and seasonal pats on the back while I’m left to organise everything at home.

Except for last Tuesday when he took the day off and spent three hours on a conference call in Toys R Us.

Of course the conference call was followed by the same row that happens in Toys R Us all over the world where I want to get absolutely everything off the kid’s lists and my husband doesn’t want to get anything except a boring learn-about-science kit.

When I murmur that doesn’t he know our kids and that kit surely means they’ll blow up the house, he points out that isn’t he paying for everything even my present to him.

The guy in charge of the store’s CCTV must show his family a jolly time each year by airing our footage. It beats The Sound Of Music any day.

Anyway, here we go. My Top Five Father Christmas Fails:

1. Taking my toddler with me when hitting the shops.

Firstly, because he wants everything. And secondly because I made the HUGE mistake of buying my 4 year old nephew’s present when I had my 4 year old son in tow. So my toddler had the most almighty hallelujah tantrum that the checkout lady was wishing she could deck the halls with him.

2. Buying wrapping paper when out with the kids.

Because, you know, they never remember to wipe their bums but they sure as hell remember that the paper on their presents is exactly the paper that Mummy bought in Sainsbury’s. And because I hate wrapping (it’s a craft), I’m going for a basic white-with-silver-snowflakes so there’s no passing it off as being different.

3. Toddler + Advent Calendar = Mummy bashing her head against the Christmas tree.

The person who invented advent calendars clearly did not have children. Trying to explain to a 4 year old that he can only open one door a day for the next 25 days will leave you redder than Rudolph’s nose. On the first day of Christmas he tore off all the doors. On the second day of Christmas he ate every chocolate. On the third day of Christmas it was in the bin.

4. Ordering on Amazon so that the delivery arrives on a Saturday.

Thus ensuring that one of my children opens the door to the courier.

5. Losing the children’s lists on the same day they wrote them.

I had to tell them that they had been posted to Santa even though they knew I hadn’t left the house. Everybody they encounter is under strict instructions to ask them what they want for Christmas.

These fails have been made worse by the fact that I’m terrible at lying. I’ve tried everything, even resorting to “Oh those toys in the car are for the little elves” because, let’s face it, if you mention elves then you can’t possibly be lying.

But it’ll be fine in the end.

We’ll be up at 5am on Christmas morning and Santa will get all the credit for my hard work and stress.

To survive the season until then, well, there’s always the threat of Santa on speed dial and copious amounts of mulled wine.

Plus I do like to use Christmas as an excuse to buy things for myself.

It’s from Father Christmas after all.

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