I’ve been dreading the day my kids no longer believed in Santa. I knew it was there in the future, but I imagined it was further off.
Then just two weeks ago, my son came home from school and the words that every parent hopes won’t be said for ‘just one more Christmas’ came spewing forth.
“Santa’s not real. George told me.”
It’s the ramp-up to the most exciting time of year. The next few weeks are to be filled with promises of joy and awe of lists to write out, of Santa photos to be taken, of anticipation and wonder and here he was just eight-years-old and that carpet of magic had been swept from under him.
I tried to bluster my way through convincing him, but I am sure it was a second rate job as he simply looked disappointed.
One of the biggest events on our calendar was the next day. The local community carols.
Do you go to carols? Did you used to when you were young?
When I was a kid, Christmas carols meant burnt fingers from wax dripping onto them. It meant mum laying out Jatz and cheese squares on a plate and covering it in cling film to take to the local park. It meant a bag of salt and vinegar chips as a special treat. It meant drinking Tang with your friends on a rug under the stars near the see-saw while your parents drank cask wine out of plastic flutes with the neighbours over on the park benches.
It was one of the dads dressed in a Santa suit driving in to give the kids a present on his Ute. He always knew our names and we never put two and two together why.
It was a once-a-year community occasion that we all looked forward to with glee.