It’s dark outside and the rain is coming down a little sideways. It has been a terrible weekend in ways I cannot describe. Tonight we all needed a few distractions and they came in festive forms. The little man’s grandparents looked after him for a day over the weekend and they left an early Christmas present. I did not know such a thing was possible but they had a little story to justify it all and everyone was happy. No reason is really needed where presents are concerned. Tonight he coaxed the lovely Sharon into opening the boxes containing his big digger and big dumper truck. Then he unfolded the cardboard and played with it. The big digger eventually captured his attention when he realised he could load his wooden blocks in it, then unload, then reload, then unload, ad infinitum.

The little man’s early presents prompted the santa discussion between us. After some very deep debating we came up with a plan. We aim to keep santa very low key, neither confirming or denying until the day he asks us directly if santa is real. At that point we will ask him to clarify if he means ‘real’ in the physical sense or ‘real’ as a manifestation of our collective culture*. Of course we won’t shatter his world by telling him the truth as we are not cruel. I think no child could accept the truth that santa and his reindeer is based on shamanism and the use of the Amanita muscaria mushroom as a psychedelic drug. That truth is simply too disturbing to accept for any of us.

We did get into the festive spirit in some way tonight. We went to the back of the cupboard and wiped the dust off a bottle of brandy. A teaspoon each reminded us that it is too much for our throats and instead stirred it into a mixing bowl. All kinds of dried fruit were weighed and chopped to add a wonderful smell in the cottage kitchen. It is the beginnings of the Christmas cakes. All the hard work will begin tomorrow night but it will all be worth it in a month’s time, when santa visits (allegedly).

*of course we do realise that in a few years santa will be a necessity. I am sure we will call upon his naughty list as a necessary threat and a useful tool.