Posts Tagged ‘Santa’
“Mummy, will Santa end up on the cooker?” asked DS the other week, looking dubiously at our oven’s extractor hood. “Will he land in a saucepan? And what if you’re cooking something?”
(It’ a valid, concern, I thought – I always seem to be cooking something these days).
“No, silly,” said DD, a veteran of how Santa gets into our Dubai villa (which is obviously sans chimneys). “He makes himself tiny and comes through the air-conditioning vents. Duh!”
Either way, I decided to thrill them both on Christmas morning with a picture of Santa caught on camera right next to the cooker, courtesy of www.northpole.com (see below) Merry Christmas!
Given the last conversation I had with DD about the tooth fairy, I’m not encouraging chats about the origins of Santa, as I’m sure you can understand.
Two years ago we negotiated the hurdle of, “Is the Santa I see in the grotto / shopping mall / Polo Club the real Santa?” by agreeing that those were just fake Santas because the real one is far too busy wrapping presents with his elves in Lapland to fanny about in the malls of Dubai.
DD’s question this year was slightly more taxing:
“Mummy, where’s Santa really from?”
“Lapland, darling. It’s very far north, where it’s all cold and snowy.”
“Are you sure?” she asked. “It’s just that the ones we see, well, it’s hard to tell because of the beard, but I’m sure they’re Filippino.”
Alarmed tone of voice as I’m bending over the bath washing DD and DS, who, amazingly, still enjoy having a bath together (just as I enjoy paying DEWA that little bit less).
“Your hair’s coming out brown on top!”
“Yes, darling. My hair’s really quite brown.” (Between the grey bits.)
“It’s not really blonde. My hairdresser makes it blonde for me.”
“Because brown hair really doesn’t suit me.”
I think about giving her the “my skin’s too pale for my hair” spiel but fear it will be either lost in translation or misused in the future. I consider telling her I dye it because I’m going grey but know her schoolteacher will know all about it tomorrow – since I told DD that I’m 40, everybody in town now knows that DD’s mummy is “40 like the UAE”.
“So – just checking, mummy – you mean, you can change the colour of your hair?”
“Yes darling, when you’re older. When you’re an adult.”
“You mean that Stephanie from Lazy Town’s hair might not really be pink?”
“No darling, it probably isn’t really pink.”
It’s the top of a slippery slope. I wonder how long Santa’s got.
Two sleeps to go and Santa’s elves have really let me down. The stockings aren’t ready, and I’ve still a mound of family presents to wrap. I can’t believe it’s come to this; usually I’m so organised. But, this year, for the first time ever, I had a five-and-a-half-year-old to contend with.
In years gone by, I’ve managed both to shop and wrap presents under DD’s nose without her realising. A little sleight of hand; a “Look over there!”; bags left in the car; and a carefully considered “Why don’t you play in your room?” has always got me through it.But this year, DD is watching me like a hawk. She wants to help with the wrapping; she wants to help with the shopping; she wants to know WHAT’S IN THAT BAG.
“DS would love that!” she says about dinky little toys and board books we see, and I think: yes, he would, but in his stocking from Santa – so I can’t buy it with you here. I’ve had to make double trips to every shop, sneaking back after dark to buy the things I couldn’t get under the watchful gaze of Bright Eyes, and wrapping late into the night.
But there were only so many late-night shopping trips I could make, so we shopped for DH’s present together one morning.
“Don’t tell daddy what we bought,” I said, as DD wrote gift tags that said, ‘Dear Daddy, Merry Krismas, love from Dorta.’
“Can I tell him we got five presents?” she asked.
“I suppose so. Just don’t mention what they are.”
When DH got home that night, she ran up to him.
“Daddy! You’re going to LOVE the DVD we bought you!” she squealed.
“What?” she demanded as I looked at her in horror. “I didn’t tell him WHAT DVD it is.”
I almost made a terrible mistake. I thought I had Christmas all wrapped up and then I realised, with a jolt of horror: I hadn’t done a stocking for DS.
Not a problem, I hear you say: he’s not even one. He doesn’t know – he won’t care. All he’ll want to do is chew the wrapping paper.
That’s what I thought.
And then I remembered DD. Dear, clever, smart DD, who’s going to ask: if my baby brother’s been good, why hasn’t Santa brought him a stocking?
Oh boy. Shopping mall on Christmas Eve. Something I always try to avoid. If you read my blog regularly, you’ll know I did DD’s Christmas shopping weeks ago.
A frantic rush around Toy Store and a dash through M&S with DS in the pram and DD flying behind me, all the while hiding my purchases from her eagle eyes. There’s not a lot you can hide in a nappy bag from a 4-year-old, I can tell you.
Anyway, situation solved. Tomorrow there will be one big stocking and one baby stocking at the end of mummy and daddy’s bed (DD is very concerned about a strange man – albeit Santa – coming into her room when she’s sleeping. We have to write him a note to leave the presents in our room. ‘Hope she doesn’t want men in her room till she’s 40,’ says DH).
I promised to take DD to see ‘Santa’ today.
‘What, the real Santa?’ she asked. She’s four. Mummy, think quickly.
‘Um. Yes,’ I said.
‘You mean… we’re going to the North Pole? After school?’ DD’s eyebrows raised quizzically. The new Audi’s magic, but not that magic.
Think quickly mummy!
‘Ah. I see. Um. No, not reeeally the real Santa. He’s wrapping your presents at the North Pole. It’s one of his helpers.’
That seemed to work. So, we gathered together a friend and her mum and headed over to the good ol’ Polo Club, where Santa was not only making appearances, but offering sleigh rides!
After dinner, a skinny, Indian Santa turned up with his sleigh pulled by a pony. The two girls clambered on and clip-clopped off for a 25-minute ride around the grounds (okay, if I lived in England I’d be nervous about this, but I don’t and I wasn’t). When they got back, I asked how it went.
‘I could tell it wasn’t the real Santa,’ said DD. ‘His skin was brown and he was too thin.’
Observant, I’ll give her that. But she didn’t ask about the reindeer.