Do you believe in Father Christmas?

I love going ‘home’ for Christmas - that is back to England – but this year I’m not, only the second year ever. Wherever I have lived or live, Italy or Spain, Christmas means home, but this year means Denmark. This year we have gone over to my brother’s place as he now lives in Denmark. Christmas for me is the time of year I meet up with all my best and close friends of a lifetime and my family. Time moves continuously and our family has become bigger and in to my brothers’ and friends’ families. Not everyone is in the same place anymore. So yes, of course, it is different.

But it is also the same. It is the time of year when a feeling overwhelms me as soon as I start doing my Christmas shopping, which if any of you know me, literally means from a few days before Santa’s big day itself…if I’m kinda organised…last year half of it was done in the airport and left me with a proud-as-a-puppy-sat-next-to-a-pile-of-poo content with myself if I am honest. And then it grows within me as I board the plane, moving and spreading to every inch of my body when land and almost ceremoniously put on the gloves and scarf and the big winter jacket. Then as I dump my bags and the phone calls and meetings start, proper Christmas business is underway. This is the moment when I really am in Christmas mode.

Last minute dashing in to town for presents and last minute wrapping, cursing myself to have chosen presents not in straight-lined boxes. Eating my first mince pies, mull wine, or any wine for that matter. Beer. Quality Street and Roses Chocolates I would never eat all year round. Clementines and tangerines. Nut cracking and nibbling. And TV, especially movies, so many movies, especially the ones I have seen so many times, namely the Star Wars ones to exclamations along the lines of ‘oh c’mon Andrew, again?!’

My Christmas mode now involves the next generation, my nephews and nieces, and how I keep the tradition alive. I believe in this. I loved how on Christmas Eve my brother let me take a bite out of the mince pie and leave it on the plate next to the half-eaten carrot and half-drunk glass of milk as we came in to the living room early on Christmas morning. I got to play Santa and Rudolf this year. Just like our dad did for so many years. The look on the kids’ faces when they see the pile of presents after Santa’s presence. This is the cherry on the cake of Christmas for me. I hope to do it one day with kids of my own. I will carry forth my dad’s way.

I will be a guardian of this way, to carry a child’s belief of Father Christmas for as many years as possible. If any doubts arises I will combat it to the final breath. Just like one of my best friends, who arranged a call from an app posing as the big bearded man dressed in red himself, to his home for his son knowing his little man would have go to the phone first, when he started having doubts. My best mate was one proud dad when he saw his son’s face as he spoke to Santa over the phone, knowing he had kept the dream for at least another year. But one day there will be no more believing in the big, bearded, jolly fellow, and a kind of fear raises its ugly head.

But I will continue to believe, for the next generation. We will carry it forward, we need to believe in the kids. But don’t we just need to believe regardless? I’m not talking just about Christmas.

Sometimes we live in fear in this world. We live with doubt knocking on our door like a repo man refusing to go away. So we need to believe to combat the fear and the doubt. When the moon shines and a blanket of darkness shrouds over us, do you fear the sun will not rise the next day? No, I don't think so, we believe it will rise and give us light.

We don’t need to dress up in red and jump down a chimney. Don’t get overweight and get stuck down a chimney either. Instead we can be guardians of belief. And not only at Christmas.

Merry Christmas to you all.


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