Andrew Robinson is a Childcare Practitioner by day and a parent writer by night. He is an outnumbered dad to 2 girls and a cat. He likes cracking open a bottle of Prosecco for no particular reason. Andrew gives us his top tips of travelling with children, and how it needn't be feared!
So, another year has nearly passed. Christmas is fast approaching and your child's brain has developed some sudden sense of curiosity toward the magic of Santa Claus and what the old man stands for.
With advertisements on devices everywhere, and shops stocking up on Christmas goods before the heatwave has finished, your kid will inevitably begin to ask some more thought-provoking questions.
The important thing to remember when responding to the questions is that Christmas is a magical time for both children and parents. Keeping the magic alive can bring so much joy to all – even though Santa is one big, gigantic lie!
Don’t worry about feeling guilty about lying to the little sprogs. Our parents did the same for us – and we still have fond memories of the excitement of finding a sack full of presents delivered by a big, fat man with beard.
Here are some common questions you may encounter from the little believers:
How does Father Christmas know I have been a good boy/girl?
Ah ha. He just knows. Telling your child that he is always watching their behaviour can be a little frightening for them to process. So just informing them that his brain is magic, and he has helpers who tell him whether they deserve presents is enough.
How does he put presents in my stoking when we haven't got a chimney, plus the doors and windows are all locked?
Mmmm. A difficult one here. a little more complex for the parent to swerve. Keeping the concept of magic alive is a good swerve tactic. He is magic, he can open anything he wants. If that is a little too frightening, maybe buy a special key and leave it out on the doorstep outside, so he can let himself in.
Where does my letter to Santa go?
A special elf postman collects the letter as normal from the post box and he flies it to Santa’s grotto where Santa reads them all.
How does he travel all around the world and deliver to every child?
Magic. Magic. Magic. The reindeers and Santa sleep all year to save up all their energy in order to fly all around the world in one night as fast as they can. But if the magic option begins to wear thin on the kids, bring a little technological fun in to the proceedings. Suggest that the reindeers are electric, and they are the fastest in the world.
What do naughty children get?
Here it is tough because you don’t want them to feel too terrible for misbehaving and they fear getting nothing on the most magical day of the year. However, it is still a good bargaining tool when it comes to discipline leading up to the day. Be honest. Explain to them that when you were a child, you were naughty once and you received a bag a coal and a satsuma. Maybe go out and buy these items so they have some physical reference. Or, if you are mean, say naughty children get NOTHING…
Are the Santa’s in the shops ‘real Santa’s?
Are that age-old question. You probably asked this yourself. Santa has lots of ‘helpers’, doesn’t he? Yes. During the lead-up to Christmas your children will undoubtedly see Santa in many different venues. If you visit a grotto, you may wish to suggest this is the ‘real’ one to make that experience extra special. But just telling the kids that he is super busy with planning; he likes some help from time to time.
Why are Dad’s presents wrapped up in the same wrapping paper as mine?
Woops! School boy error here. If the unthinkable has happened. A good tactic here is to say that Santa noticed that Daddy was a good boy this year and ended up wrapping up his presents at the same time as the kids.
The letter from Santa looks like mum’s handwriting – is it hers?
Oh dear. You go to all that trouble of ensuring the secret of Santa remains. And you let the team down by not altering your own handwriting? Shame on you. Easy solution: Santa spoke to me on the phone and told me what to write.
What does Mother Christmas do?
She keeps things ticking all year. Give her the co-ordinator role. She makes sure the presents go to the correct children at the correct address. She makes sure the elves are making the toys correctly and that they are wrapped well.
What does he do after delivering all the presents?
He is tired. All that travelling exhausts him. Mother Christmas makes him a nice cup of tea and he falls asleep for the rest of the year, ready for the following Christmas.