Up at the North Pole, Father Christmas is having an Identity Crisis. It’s more than a little painful, and so close to the Big Day, too.
Why is it, he asks Mother Christmas plaintively, that more and more people are calling him Santa these days? Even Paddington, who is a Bear steeped in tradition, refers to him as Santa in his latest film. What is the world coming to? Mother Christmas
looks up from her darning - those pesky elves have been walking around the workroom wearing only their socks, complaining bitterly that their pointy-ended shoes are causing painful corns. Hence, lots of holey socks to be darned each evening while the elves
are sleeping. Really, she wonders silently, what does Mr FC have to moan about, sitting there in front of the fire nursing a large whisky, when everybody knows he only has one Hard Day’s Night to worry about?
Still, patience is a virtue and Mother Christmas, of necessity, possesses plenty of it. Is it so very terrible, she asks in a placatory voice, to be known by more than one name. Indeed she has heard it said (Mother Christmas
reads the Daily Blog, don’t you know?) why have one name, when you could have two? Father Christmas is not convinced. He doesn’t read the Daily Blog which he refers to, tartly, as The Daily Drivel.
He is still recovering, he says, from his meeting with the Trio Of Rampaging Rascals whom he encountered on what was called a “Santa Cruise.” Note, not a Father Christmas Cruise. Mother Christmas suggests, mildly,
that on this occasion the use of the title Santa was shorter, snappier and so better for marketing purposes. Mother Christmas knows a lot about marketing, having recently accompanied three of the reindeer on a PR course. As in Publicising Reindeer, you understand.
Father Christmas snorts, rudely, and says he has never, ever needed to market himself, or his Unique Selling Point, as everybody on Earth is quite happy enough to do it for
him, moreover at no personal cost to Himself. This means, he warms to his subject, that he is now able to pay both elves and reindeer considerably above the Living Wage with carrots thrown in for the reindeer as an extra sweetener. By doing so, he has avoided
further confrontation with Rudolph, Shop Steward of the Reindeer Union, who had been heard singing “The Red Nose” to the tune of the North Pole National Anthem “Oh, Christmas Tree.”
Mother Christmas decides she had better change the subject, as Christmas is a Time Of Goodwill and so not the time for discussing Industrial Relations. What happened, she asks Mr FC, when he met up with the Rampaging Rascals?
Was it as traumatic as he feared? Funnily enough, it transpires that the Trio were pretty well behaved - it was the fear of meeting them that had traumatised him. Mother Christmas mutters something about the fear of fear being greater than fear itself - she
is reading motivational books in the run-up to Christmas in a bid to avoid Anxiety Attacks when faced with inevitable problems, particularly those of an Elf and Safety nature and just about anything Reindeer-Related. Father Christmas snorts again; you can
tell he doesn’t believe in self-help, not when he’s got Mother Christmas to keep the sleigh on the road.
There was one very sweet moment, he tells
his long-suffering wife, when he asked the Trio their names and one of them declared that her name was “Happy Tala”. Oh, bless the child, exclaims Mother Christmas who is a sentimental old thing at heart. Father Christmas then rather spoils the
moment by recounting that the Trio Of Rampaging Rascals, including Happy Tala, were somewhat underwhelmed by the books he gave them as presents. Mother Christmas remarks that she doesn’t like to say she told him so, but she had suggested that a dinosaur
or something Peppa Pig Related might go down better than books. It is, she concedes (because she does need to keep the Big Man happy, there being only a week to go till he sets out on his Time Travels) easy to be wise after the event.
Has he heard, she asks, that the Rampaging Rascals will be spending Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with their Nanni, she of the several names, wild hair and tendency to exaggerate in the interests
of a Good Story. Father Christmas says that’s all he needs.
Mother Christmas decides that Silence is probably Golden and just keeps on darning…