‘Dad, is Santa real?’

SantaBoy Wonder: ‘Dad, is Santa really real?’

Me: ‘Why do you ask?’

BW: ‘That man walking into the shop said he wasn’t real.’

Me: ‘Did he now. He probably meant a man on the tele pretending in a film. That’s allowed, it’s not the real Santa, it’s just pretend.’

BW: ‘You said the Santa I saw the other day was the real one, the one who gave me the yo-yo.’

Me: ‘That’s right, he talked to you about what you wanted, didn’t he? And then you got a letter from Santa a few days later saying he knew you were doing well at school and he’d seen some presents wrapped up by the elves with your name on them.’

BW: ‘But we had a Santa man at school yesterday, who asked me what I wanted. But he wasn’t real. He didn’t wear glasses and I could see his dark beard underneath his pretend white one.’

Me: ‘Right… well that was probably one of the teachers pretending as it was your Christmas party. That’s allowed as well. We had a pretend one at my work party the other day, someone dressed up to get us in the Christmas mood.’

BW: ‘So, the Santa who gave me a yo-yo was real but not the others?’

Me: ‘Lots of people dress up as Santa, on the tele and for parties. They’re allowed to do that. But the Santa we took you to see, he wore glasses didn’t he, his beard was white and he knew you wanted a light sabre and some dinosaurs, so he must have got your letter.’

BW: ‘At school, the teachers said that Christmas isn’t actually about Santa. It’s about Baby Jesus.’

Me: ‘Did they now. Well, that’s a whole other story, son. A whole other story.’