1007 Father Christmas - Christmas Father
When I was very young
by John Knight
I really believed in Father Christmas
The whole package - Reindeers - Santa Claus
The Christmas Elves - Gobal distribtion etc.
I made a 'Christmas Present List' and mailed it
faithfully each year to: Mr S Claus - North Pole
I left mince pies - sherry and nine carrots
Sure enough they had all been eaten
By Dasher - Dancer - Prancer - Vixen - Comet
Cupid - Donner - Blitzen and of course Rudolph.
And all the presents on my list were there.
My parents explained that the Father Christmas
In the CO-OP was just a local representative.
It all seemed so logical and so plausible.
When I was ten - I went to Grammar School.
We started to study Physics - always a mistake
I applied the Laws of Physics to Christmas.
Aerodynamics taught me that a sleigh
Loaded with presents and a 260 pound Santa
Pulled by nine reindeers was very very...
Unlikely to have lift off even on a day
With a gale force following wind.
There was also the questions of the
Restrictions of girth and friction on Santa
Negotiating even one chimney on Chrstmas Eve.
MyTime & Motion study also ruled out the feasiblity
Of delivery to over one billion homes in 24 hours!
My time as a Christmas Agnostic lasted 17 years
Then my daughter Sharon arrived and I was a Real Father.
Then on 24 December 1960 - I was a 'Real' Father Christmas.
I did not try to negotiate the chimney - but I did
Look the part - White beard - Red suit - Santa hat.
She was only nine months old at Christmas
But I did not want her to see her Daddy - in his
Pyjamas filling the pillow case - at the end of her bed
(Socks were out in 1960) - With everything on her list.
She didn't acctually write the list - but dictated it
To her Mother who was also dressed up - as a Fairy.
My stint as a 'Real' Father Christmas lasted nearly 30 years
'Til the last of my fledglings flew the nest in 1999.
When I 'played' Father Christmas at my Son's School
He said 'Daddy Father Christmas had hands just like yours! '
My 30 year stint as 'Father Christmas in Residence' was over
And the responsibilty of maintaining the myth with my........
Eight Grandchildren lies with my Children - not with me.
There is a problem however that effects all Englishmen.
Once we retire at 65 - in my case nineteen-ninety-nine
We metamorphise - by a series of not so slow transitions.
1. The hair turns grey and then snowy white
2. There is no incentive to shave - so we grow a white beard
3. We become more rotund in the tummy area
4. We spend a lot of time pottering in the garden in wellies
5. We wear a red wooly hat with a white bobble
6. We wear the wife's old red winter coat to keep warm.
From a distance - the perfect Father Christmas!
Because of this transformation we are soon in demand
The Local School and the ubiquitous Church Christmas Fete.
The news spreads - Have you seen John Knight
He's a dead ringer for Father Christ mas - He looked wonderful
with his Elves at the Supermarket Precinct on Saturday.
This is my worst nightmare - This is no longer pretend
I really am 'The Definitive Father Christmas' - From July
Through to March in the next year - and all for Charity.
In reality I quite enjoyed it - Until in October I heard my Wife
Discussing my Funeral wih her friend Patsy! ! ! 'I've been....
to the Undertakers and they have given me a decent price'.
'For a white coffin - on a sleigh shaped hearse - pulled by nine....'
'Not reindeers' Patsy gasped - 'I just don't believe it! '
'Yes they have contacted Colchester Zoo - and it's OK'.
'Oh Gosh' sceamed Patsy 'I hope he dies in December! ! ! ! ! '
(John Knight - Colchester - December 2009)