Posted by: The Saffa Mom | December 11, 2010

“That wasn’t really Father Christmas mom!”

 When my princess turned two years old, we planned a birthday party at her school. I was not ready to try and host 20+ x 2 year olds in my tiny townhouse, and I could just imagine my mom losing her marbles if I approached her on the subject….. So next best thing- bring the party to you!!!! My princess knew no better, ALL her friends would be there, and of course there was cake and sweets.

My princess decided on Barney. (I HATE, and I strongly say that, HATE Barney!!! Don’t get me wrong, he is an awesome teacher, but shoot me if I need to go through it all again.) I arranged a Barney cake, and Barney party packs. My ex-husband arranged a REAL life Barney. (Hired the suit, and bribed his best friend to wear it (good friend hey?). Could you imagine “who” had been in the suit beforehand? Haha.)

At the time we had no idea…………but we were all so so so excited!!!

On the day, we arrive at her school, all start singing “Happy Birthday to you”, Barney comes around the corner- and then- absolute mayhem! Suddenly there are 20+ kids screaming. Yes, SCREAMING!!! And then… (it gets worse)…. the tears start streaming down their faces, while they are screaming. Suddenly I am a mom of triplets, with three kids I don’t know holding onto me for dear life, I couldn’t even check on any of the others.

Sorry folks……didnt manage to get a photo…..

As quickly as Barney came, is as quickly as Barney left. (Thanks anyway Mark).

Bad idea.

This time LAST YEAR, my princess’s nursery school teacher hosted a Christmas party for the school, and arranged that Father Christmas come to visit!!! Yah!!!! (This would be Robert- the Principal’s husband of course, because no one else would take on the role!!) Absolute Mayhem. Over a year later, and still no kids were happy about this. Way too much for them to comprehend.

THIS year things were a little  completely different. The kids all welcomed the idea, and were very excited!! (Being four comes with some understanding that this giant is not really a giant.)

When I picked my princess up from school she couldn’t wait to fill me in on their day. She was so excited to open her present (screw placing it under the tree), and didn’t even wait to get to the car. In the chaos of her communication, I asked her if it was really Father Christmas? “Yes mom, it was really Father Christmas”. “Are you sure?” “Yes mom.”

So, you can imagine my surprise when  we hit the road, for our 25 minute trek to our home in the country. My princess says:

“Mom, can I tell you something? (I nod) That wasn’t really Father Christmas you know. (I try desperately hard to contain the giggles, and give her a puzzled look) I was really Robert. (I am battling now to hold it in).”

“No my baby, are you sure?”

She is nodding harder then she has ever! She has serious conviction.

“I promise you mom. (She has only recently grasped the “promise” concept) I know it was Robert. I heard his voice. Yes mom, that wasn’t Father Christmas”.

I could no longer hold it in, and burst out in painful laughter. Imagine how she had been waiting until the perfect moment to actually tell me this. She had this huge smile on her face, as if she had discovered something BIG, and was the SMARTEST 4 year old in the world. (Which she is- might I add).

So now the explanation………….. is this always left up to mom or dad?

I tell her that Father Christmas is VERY VERY VERY busy reading all the letters, and working on all the toys. He needs some serious help. Clearly Robert thought that it was a good idea, and so he was helping Father Christmas.

She accepted that.

So the story is, and hopefully my ex-husband can grasp it, that all these people who look like Father Christmas, are really just “helping out”, because they know how SUPER BUSY Father Christmas really is. That is why they all LOOK different! (Fat ones, skinny ones, Old ones, Young ones, Short ones……….. I mean the list goes on and on. I have even seen a black Father Christmas. How do I explain that….the sun is very hectic in the North Pole? ) They all SOUND different! And they all SMELL different!

Father Christmas is that perfect jolly old man that Coke a Cola managed to capture for their advertising!!!!

Done. So there is NO reason why my princess needs to go and sit on any stranger’s lap working for a minimum wage to pay his next drink, while he whispers some baloney in her ears. (Please dear God remove any desire from Logan’s heart). Can you tell that i am currently reading a true story about a girl who was sexually molested by her step dad for years?   

I know you won’t believe it- but this is not really what my story was about.

All of this came to my mind while I was listening to a promotion on the radio. It was for a place in the North of Johannesburg, that was hosting a family day. Part of it was to reach a target to raise some funds for a charity organisation. (Good move). 

What I thought was the Bad move, was the fact that they wanted to gather as many Father Christmas’s in one place at one time. The individual  on the radio station promoting the event claimed that “somewhere out there”, had managed to do 15 000, but he would be happy with 10,000. (I googled that, and couldn’t find anything of the sort- in fact I only found this: “872 people gathered in downtown Brockton to celebrate the city’s role as home of the first ever department store Santa and set the world record for the Most Santa hat wearers in one place at one time.” I could have bad googling skills however.)

Courtesy of

Anyway, back on track…..

Could you possibly imagine that? 10,000 Father Christmases? What about the deer and elves?  You could have mayhem, depending on how many two year olds happen to be there.

Then please explain, what do you actually tell your kids. The one’s who do still believe in Father Christmas? Why are they all here, when they should be working their butts off at the North Pole? Some may even think it is a potential career opportunity.

“What do you want to be when you grow up my boy?” “I want to be a Father Christmas!!!!”

UHHHHHH…………….not going to pay the bills!!!

I realise that we spend a life time trying to teach our kids that lying is an absolute “no-no”. But what have we done? Now, it will just be more lies upon our original lies. (Could you imagine the amount of lies that come out on a day like that?)  

I dismissed the idea of going, and continued working on my fantasy of keeping Father Christmas as real and secretive as possible. (For you my princess.)



  1. Great story! I reminds me of when my girl was small, I’d tell it here – but I think it’s a blog 🙂 I’m writing it today! Thanks for the inspiration!!

    • Awesome!!!! Can’t wait to read it!!! Xx

  2. […] I read a blog this morning that reminded me of this story. Thank you Bokkie! […]

    • That sounded absolutely awesome!!! Shoo wee, I just want to pack up and join you for Christmas- with snow!! So jealous! Stunning post.

      Thanks for the ping Ed!!

  3. Great story. I know it was not the main point but as a parent of twenty five years, I can honestly say I have yet to meet any adult that doesn’t have the exact reaction to Barney as you. Yet, he lives.

    • “I love you, you love me….we’re a great big family!!!…” You are so so very right! He will keep on living! Yah! Haha…. Thanks for commenting.

  4. Your welcome. Can’t wait to see the next blog.

  5. I’m still trying to convince Big Brother that there IS a Santa/Father Christmas. All he says is “hmm, yeah! Santa. I like Santa!” I might have to get creative this year…

    • Oh please post all the ideas you come up with. We can all share them!!!! I am quite excited. Saw a Father Christmas with Logan yesterday, and told her that I think her is a fake one……!!! She didn’t seem to believe me, it took quite some time, but she eventually just ran up to him and gave him the hugest hug ever. Will stick by my story though- the fake ones are all helping out. Only the Edmonton Tourist knows the REAL SANTA right? Haha.


      • My friend in Finland says the REAL Santa, she calls him Father Christmas, lives in Finland because that’s where reindeer live.

        I had Big Brother write a letter and stick it with the cookies and milk by the tree. I had just enough time between us composing the letter and leaving for Grandparent’s house to buy the toy he asked for. I hid the toy until he was asleep, he found it Christmas morning and was shocked! He also found goodies in the stocking under the tree. My only mistake was using the same wrapping paper that was left on the kitchen table… A small irregularity in the whole Santa mirage!

        • Haha…. that is why this year i wrapped everything in Newspaper. I think My Princess may have picked that up. I said that Father Christmas was eco-friendly. She didnt even notice teh newspaper. BUT i think that will be a new tradition!

  6. Such a sweet depiction. Your daughter is lucky…

    My 8-year-old daughter’s step mom recently told her that Santa isn’t real. Then she proceeded to tell her that if my daughter wants proof, she should compare my writing to Santa’s writing on the tags (even though I do the left-handed writing thing, there are similarities I’m sure…). I couldn’t believe that. Who rips the magic of Christmas from an 8-year-old???

    Anyhow, I love seeing that some people are still keeping the magic alive. Thank you…

    And yes, Barney is the dinosaur devil. And we all must have done something horribly wrong in a previous life to be around for his “return” to earth. 😉

    Great post!

    • What a cow!!!!!
      Tell your daughter that the wench is just jealous because she was never “good enough” to actually get anything from Father Christmas!!! “Jealousy makes you nasty”. And then make sure you just type the tags. Haha. Or finger paint them.
      Thanks for the visit!

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