I wrote my annual letter to Santa this morning. It's always better to be safe than sorry.
I told him I had behaved in an exemplary fashion all year which is bordering
on a fib, but I am hoping I might just get away with it. I explained that I really did not mind what he brought me, come Christmas morning, so long as it wasn't anything that could be loosely categorised as "Household Goods." I don't want to sound ungrateful
but I really don't want a new ironing board (or an iron for that matter) nor do I have any desire for a Super Dish-Mop, an airer or a clothes-prop.
I promised him all manner of delicious nibbles would
be set out for his night-time visit - which was generous of me in the extreme, especially considering that I will be at the home of the Youngest of the Darling Daughters who may well have other ideas about the whole business. I also - and this is important
in relation to the rest of today's blog - reassured him that I was not expecting a reply. Let's face it, he has enough to do between now and Christmas Eve. I really wouldn't like to be sifting through HIS email in-box.
Years ago, I agreed to help out the village Scout Group with their Christmas fundraising by answering letters from Santa. We had a special post box set up in one of the village shops in which the littl'uns could post their letters
- all of which were guaranteed a reply. Obviously (I say quickly) I was just standing in for the Main Man, who had equipped me with a number of Very Important Points to Bear in Mind When Answering Letters to Santa. Here are a few of the most important.
1. Never, never promise anything. Always say that you (i.e. Santa) will do your very, very best but that (i) stocks are very limited this year; (ii) on account of size and weight, it may be difficult to fit the
required present(s) onto the sleigh; or (iii) the elves are working to rule at the moment.
2. Remember Christmas is all about bribery. Make sure to press home that all-important message
about being extra specially good between now and then. It's the least their poor parents expect from you.
3. Funny stories about the reindeer go down well. Especially ones involving
4. Try not to get the names of the reindeer muddled up. It's Donner and Blitzen, not Bonny and Ditzy.
5. Rudolph is the one with the
6. While exercising care not to promise too much on the present front, feel free to pile on the pressure over the Christmas Eve offerings to be left by the fire-side or in another
area, as designated. Imagine the fun when the littl'uns remind their parents that Santa specifically requested a "glass of fine port, cranberry and cheese wrapped in filo pastry, and a fresh carrot for each of the reindeer so that they don't squabble."
The most worrying aspect of the letters I had to answer was the sheer amount of detailed information provided by the young writers. "We don't have a chimney but you will be able to get into the house
because Mummy always leaves a spare key under the wobbly tile on the front door-step" is a good example. Or: "I am not sure where we will be this Christmas because Dad says he's leaving home if Mummy invites her mummy to spend Christmas with us again this
year. Do you think you will still be able to find me anyway?"
Armed with this information, I could have established a very profitable blackmail business and raised lots and lots of much-needed funds
for the Scout Group. You will be pleased to hear I didn't.