After all that effort –
- the mince pie munched, leaving just a few crumbs on the plate in front of the fireplace to show it had been appreciated by The Man in the Red Suit
- the carrot artfully crunched with just a morsel left (“Oh look!” says Hannah, “Rudolf left some of his carrot!”)
- the sherry womanfully guzzled after the stockings had been filled and all the presents stacked in sacks
And what do we hear at tea-time today?
“I’m not sure I believe in Father Christmas, lots of my friends at school don’t.”
This from Ben, who’s been umming and ah-ing about Santa for a few months now, and who’s probably, at nearly nine, reaching the end of this lovely period of fantasy.
But he says all this IN FRONT OF HANNAH, who’s only 6 and well within the bounds of belief.
I don’t give him the “stone look” – like I do when he disses the tooth fairy in front of her, but I try to change the usbject.
“Why did Father Christmas give me a remote control helicopter, which is what I wanted, but it was you who gave Hannah a NIntendo DS?
How come you didn’t give me a helicopter as well as Father Christmas? How did you know he was going to give it to me?”
Bugger the logical mind of a nearly-nine year old.
Our replies, full of flannel about Nintendos being too expensive for Santa to dole out willy-nilly fall on deaf ears.
“I have some other questions,” he says.
“What are they?” enquires Hannah.
And finally my heroic efforts to change the subject make their mark – and we move on to pudding.
But what should we do?
I fear he really has reached the point of no return, and while I’ve been trying to ignore him up to now, as I wasn’t convinced he’d really given up on Santa, I think this is it.
And if we’re to save Hannah for another year, we probably need to “have a talk” with Ben.
It’s so sad though….