Ah, advent. The period of increasing panic as Christmas looms ever closer and I fail to get everything done in time. Despite my best intentions I inevitably miss the last second class posting date and end up posting my cards on the last first class posting day (yes, even the international ones). Last year we signed up for a free one month trial of Amazon Prime, their next-day delivery scheme, just to try to get presents to people in time. When the festive period actually arrives I love the chance to spend time relaxing with friends and family, but the run-up period is always stressful.
Since having kids I’ve added even more pressure on to myself by trying to make the advent period as magical as possible for them (without them getting too over-excited). And a key part of this is taking them to see Father Christmas.
In previous years this has always been a stress all of its own, as the geekdaughter has always been apprehensive of new people, and she was scared of Father Christmas. Wouldn’t look at him, wouldn’t talk to him. In fact last year she went on a Christmas steam train outing with her class at nursery, and he best they could say to me about her Father Christmas encounter was “well, she didn’t cry this time!”.
This year though she’s decided that she’s going to be brave, and last week we had our first chance to put this to the test. It was our local town’s Christmas market and Father Christmas was paying a visit in his big red bus. My mother and I took the kids, and she waited outside the bus whilst I took both kids in to see the man. This was a bit of a mistake – whilst the geekdaughter was true to her word and spoke very nicely with him, the geekson was a bit of a nightmare. He’d been wanting to get out of the pushchair for ages, then when I did let him out he didn’t want to wait in the queue, and then when we got on to the bus he was far more excited about being on a bus than about seeing Father Christmas! So I couldn’t dedicate as much time to the man himself as I wanted to, as I kept having to run after the geekson to prevent him making a break for it off the bus!
I had primed the geekdaughter well. I had warned her that Father Christmas would ask her what she wanted for Christmas, and I’ve been asking her for the last week or so to think about what she’s going to ask him to bring her. Her answer has always been the same – pyjamas. I’ve been very happy with this as an answer – easy to get hold of, a wide range of choice so I can buy something to my taste, it’s all good. Now what I was not expecting was her conversation with Father Christmas to go like this:
FC: And what do you want for Christmas?
FC: Oh that’s a nice easy thing. Probably the easiest request I’ve had all night. I’m sure I can find you a nice pair of pyjamas. How about a nice Hello Kitty pair?
GD: (rather shyly) yes please.
Errr…. Hello? Hello Kitty??!! Where did that come from? Since when did Father Christmas start recommending particular styles or designs? I’m not averse to Hello Kitty, but it wouldn’t be my first choice for a pair of trousers I must say. However now the geekdaughter is expecting a nice new pair of Hello Kitty pyjamas for Christmas, which is not what I was planning at all. *sigh*.
She did make me proud the next day though. We went shopping together, and as a rather sudden growth spurt means that she now only has one pair of pyjamas that fit, I took her into Next and told her she could choose a pair of pyjamas to keep her going until Christmas. She carefully considered all her options, and then decided that what she really wanted, more than all the pink and flowery options in the girls section, was the elf pyjamas from the boys section. Oh yes, complete with hat:
Knowing what her memory is like, I am sure the Hello Kitty thing will not be forgotten, and I’m going to be chasing around at the last minute trying to find a pair! Curse you Father Christmas!
I should say that I am not particularly anti-pink and flowery, but as a non-pink-wearing (doesn’t go with red hair), tomboy-kind of a girl, I’m just not that way inclined!