Sunday, 2 December 2012

JYC Day 2 Clearing out Santa's grotto

We believe in a magical Christmas in our family.  The reality of Father Christmas has to be believed in for as long as possible.  Because he only visits those who truly believe right?
Since my children were born I have been asked by Father Christmas to be one of his official helpers.  Not actually an elf because although I'm the right height I'm not actually very good at making toys.  Father Christmas would get all the gifts for our children and ask me to hide them away for him in our house so that his sack wasn't too heavy on Christmas Eve.  This was a bit of a tricky one for me because I happened to have two very inquisitive children and there was nowhere in the house that would have been a safe refuge for Santa's gifts to be hidden away.
Well, nowhere IN the house, but the loft was definitely out of bounds.  In those days we didn't have a loft ladder attached to the loft hatch so to get up there would have involved them in dragging a step ladder up the stairs from the garage and I think I would have noticed if they had been trying that!  Now this was all fine and dandy for Father Christmas, his sack was nice and light for his big night out with Rudolf, but I then had to somehow get his presents down out of the loft and into sacks after the children had gone to sleep.  And we all know how long it takes to get to sleep on Christmas Eve don't we?
About this time, it started to become popular for people to decorate the outside of their houses.  It hadn't been that big a thing in the UK until then, we did the inside beautifully but the outside was left more or less untouched.  So when people started adding coloured lights outside, and sparkly icicles from guttering, and illuminated statues in the garden it was very exciting.
So we came up with a cunning plan.  On Christmas Eve we would go to the Nativity service at the church to sing carols and come home, have tea, bath and get into pyjamas and then I (being Chief Elf) would put the children in the car and drive around the local streets, checking out the external decorations and voting for which street had the prettiest houses.  Meanwhile, back at home Deputy Chief Elf would be up in the loft, sorting out gifts and bringing them down to the spare bedroom to be hidden away until Father Christmas visited during the night to arrange them by bedsides.  These were the days before mobile phones and Chief Elf had to stay out as long as possible to give Deputy Elf time to get everything organised because she had no way of knowing how things were going back at home!
When I drive past decorated houses I still remember those long drives in the dark, with two excited, tired children in the back and how we managed to help Santa prolong the magic as long as possible.

11 comments:

scrappyjacky said...

We still drive out to a local village to see the wonderful display of outdoor lights.

Beverly said...

The Chosen One's family attended midnight services when he was a child. He, his dad and brothers would get in the car and have to sit and wait while his mom finished getting ready. When they returned from church Santa would have been. Guess his mom was doing than putting on lipstick :)

Maria Ontiveros said...

We put up our tree and the Nativity sets today. Still need to decorate the tree, but it is starting to look festive. Many of our neighbors have outside lights. We may or may not follow suit. I'm using this as an excuse to work on the garage and attic clean up.
Rinda

Karen said...

Oh Deb you have really made me feel all Christmassy! I too am one of Santa's secret helpers and looking at the decorated houses is one of our traditions still.

Amy said...

I can't beleive how my parents kept so much from four of us as we were growing up - my two are still very innocent, I thought TNYO might not be this year, but no, he's planning on making some reindeer food in the very near future and has asked me to buy him some glitter.

alexa said...

Lovely! You did really well ... I am sure they have great memories, thanks to you!

Kirsty.a said...

Great story.

ComfyMom~Stacey said...

Now that is a fun tradition! We head to one of the parks an hour or so away to see the light displays there. I hide the gifts in the giveaway bin in my closet. No one ever looks in there. They might see a bra. Eww! Mom's bra!

Alison said...

A lovely memory Deb.....I am another believer that we should keep the Christmas magic alive as long as possible...and given that Kirsty still wakens up at 6am on Christmas Morning, I reckon we've done a pretty good job!
Alison xx

boysmum2 said...

I retold this story to a friend of mine who has 6 kids yesterday. She was laughing so much imagining you driving round late at night. Thanks for a great laugh

Sian said...

Deb, this is a magical story. I may be a little behind on blog browsing - but boy am I glad I got here for this one. It's going to be giving me a smile for the rest of the afternoon.