It's here! The 1st of December! You are now formally allowed to get excited about Christmas! I have a bit of a reputation for being a bit 'bah, humbug!' about the festive season, which isn't entirely justified. It isn't Christmas per se that I dislike, more the silly buggers that get excited about it in May. I can't be doing with the 'only 209 sleeps til Christmas!' gubbins that litters my Facebook newsfeed, and talk about how many re-mortgages you've had to make to buy your little princess her tartan unicorn with 9ct gold horseshoes, and Sylvanian Families Buckingham Palace.
I do like Christmas, honest I do. Very little can beat the look on The Childbeasts faces as they came downstairs on Christmas morn. The Daughter was so excited she was shaking like a pigeon in a cattery. I've been trying to remind her of this as the big day approaches, because her behaviour has been dreadful and she currently deserves nothing other than a Satsuma and a smacked bum. Our threats of no presents have fallen on deaf ears for months now, so today I brought out the big guns: Santa called. When I say Santa, I mean that I rang my mobile from the home phone. I'd reached my limit of tears, tantrums and smart-arse retorts, so while The Husband was trying his hardest not to drown her in the bath, I put my evil plan into action. As my phone flashed up 'Santa Claus' (along with a 'Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer ringtone for added oomph), I went into the bathroom saying "I don't know how he got hold of my number but look who's ringing me!", and showed her the phone. She immediately burst into tears and shrieked "I already know what he's going to say! I'm on the naughty list, I know it!". I partly closed the door and stood in the hallway, talking to Santa in my most earnest sounding voice.. "Yes Santa, I understand...I know Santa, I'm disappointed too..", whilst relishing the hushed anticipation coming from the bathroom and trying not to laugh.
I had to recant our conversation, word for word, spinning a web of lies involving Santa being able to see everything and having a magic phone. And yes - it did work! Her behaviour this evening has been exemplary, with the odd reminder that Santa will be ringing back in a week to check she's behaving herself. While I sit, smugly thankful for the results that lies, bribery and deceit have had, I am suddenly struck by a horrifying thought - what on earth will I do when she no longer believes in Santa?!!