Tuesday 30 December 2014

Week 168- X Factor, smoking in pubs and being Father Christmas...


I am Father Christmas.

And it's the best fucking thing EVER.

To be honest, I used to think people who went on about how Christmas was so much better with children were a bit wet. 

Talking about how brilliant they thought Christmas Eve was, putting out a mince pie for FC and a carrot for Rudolph. How they got caught up in the excitement of their children on Christmas morning as they raced down to see if there was anything in their stocking.

I just assumed it was cos they had dull mates or didn't have a good local to go to.

Our Christmas Eve's were properly messy.

Shots. Smoking on the sly in the pub long after the ban had come in. Seeing old mates you hadn't seen since, well, the previous Christmas Eve.

It was eight plus pints, a 12 inch pizza and then back to my mate's who lived opposite the pub, loaded up with as much take-out as we could carry, ready to dance in her front room to her back-catalogue of early 90s Britpop until the neighbours complained.

Seriously. How could you top that?

I pined for it the first Christmas Eve with my daughter in 2011.

She was three months old; oblivious to what was going on. And I was having a light beer sat on the sofa watching Gavin and Stacey.

I wouldn't have changed the situation. 

Of course I wouldn't. 

But I would have liked to duplicate myself, and my double go out on the lash whilst I sat off eating cheesy Doritos as a festive treat.

The thing is, it's never going to be massively entertaining if your child isn't even old enough to eat the wrapping paper. 

If you're having to muster up the enthusiasm for them as well yourself as they look at you blankly, waiting for their next milk injection.

But. Once they're old enough to get excited about Christmas. Once the threat of Santa not coming if they're naughty is real. Once they've written their shopping list for the big bearded guy.

Then, THEN, it starts to get good.

On Christmas Eve my daughter went to bed at 7pm without complaint.

The girl who normally won't even consider shutting her eyes without at least two stories and a song, got into bed and requested that we skip both so morning would come more quickly.

And at 7am I reminded her what day it was and I can genuinely say I've never seen a person more excited.

And that includes the Irish presenter from Milkshake and the last decade of X Factor finalists.

But the best bit was when she saw that the mince pie had been eaten, sherry drunk and there were distinct reindeer bites out of the carrot.

She looked like she was going to combust.

She went bright pink and couldn't get her words out.

And I thought, this is the business.

I can forsake the boozy night out if this is the pay off.

I now hold the greatest annual responsibility awarded to any adult.

I am Father Christmas.

And may many years pass before my children find out.

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