We’ve got two boys, Max is ten and Sam is seven.
For the last few weeks Max has been quizzing us about the logistics of Father Christmas flying around the world delivering presents in one night. How does he go to Zara without being seen? How does he sneak in and out without us seeing him? How do those reindeer’s actually fly? Just how OLD is he?
I’m sure that all parents of children of this age has been here and has thought long and hard about the right way to respond.
I was talking to a friend about it and she sent me a letter that she was planning to send to her girls when they started to ask the dreaded questions.
It really touched me and I wanted to share it with you – keep it safe and hopefully it will come in useful.
You asked a very good question: “Are you Father Christmas?”
I know you’ve wanted the answer to this question for a long time, and I’ve had to give it careful thought to know just what to say.
The answer is no. I am not Father Christmas. There is no one Father Christmas.
I am the person who fills your stockings with presents, though. I also choose and wrap the presents under the tree, the same way my Mum did for me, and the same way her Mum did for her. (And yes, Daddy helps, too.)
I imagine you will someday do this for your children, and I know you will love seeing them run down the stairs on Christmas morning. You will love seeing them sit under the tree, their small faces lit with Christmas lights.
This won’t make you Father Christmas, though.
He is bigger than any person, and his work has gone on longer than any of us have lived. What he does is simple, but it is powerful. He teaches children how to have belief in something they can’t see or touch.
It’s a big job, and it’s an important one. Throughout your life, you will need this capacity to believe: in yourself, in your friends, in your talents and in your family. You’ll also need to believe in things you can’t measure or even hold in your hand. Here, I am talking about love, that great power that will light your life from the inside out, even during its darkest, coldest moments.
Father Christmas is a teacher, and I have been his student, and now you know the secret of how he gets down all those chimneys on Christmas Eve: he has help from all the people whose hearts he’s filled with joy.
With full hearts, people like Daddy and me take our turns helping him do a job that would otherwise be impossible.
So, no. I am not Father Christmas. He is love and magic and hope and happiness. I’m on his team, and now you are, too.
I love you and I always will.
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