Play along with Santa or it’s no presents for you!

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Well folks, the presents are bought, wrapped and under the tree, the radio is blaring Christmas songs constantly and work is winding down for the holidays – it really is just days until my favourite day of the year.

I love the run-up to Christmas. I know it’s usually hectic with battling the queues in the shopping centres and supermarkets but I think December 25 is a magical day.

I’m looking forward to having the family round on Tuesday, watching their faces as they open what I hope are well-chosen gifts and then settling in for a huge meal and Christmas telly.

With my daughter being pregnant, I’ve been looking after my grandson Jack more over the past few weeks and, at the weekend, I got to take him to meet his favourite person in the entire world – Santa.

Circumstances meant I wasn’t able to visit a local shopping centre, but I was fairly excited at the prospect of taking Jack to the grotto as in other years it’s been his mum and dad who got to accompany him on the trip and I was looking forward to seeing his wee face light up as he sat on Santa’s knee.

We joined the massive queue on Saturday alongside all the other youngsters and waited.

And waited.

And waited.

We were over an hour in the queue. By the time we reached the front, we were both hot and bothered and Jack was dying for the toilet but at least we were there.

Santa’s elf greeted us at the grotto door to be met with Jack asking who she was.

“I’m an elf from the North Pole,” she replied.

To which Jack looked her up and down, squinted and then said – to my horror – “No you’re not, you’re just a woman in a green and red costume.”

I could have died, I was so embarrassed and pretty sure other youngsters around us had overheard but the young girl just laughed and showed us in.

When I clapped eyes on Santa, my heart sank. This was not a convincing St Nicholas.

His eyebrows were dark and underneath his polyester beard, his real bristle was visible. The outfit was shockingly cheap looking and I was worried what Jack would say to him after his comments to the poor elf.

But, to my surprise he was good as gold, told him what he wanted, accepted his present and then hopped off his knee.

When we left I asked him what he thought of Santa.

“Gran,” he said.

“That wasn’t the real Santa, the real Santa doesn’t have the time to be hanging about shopping centres. That was just a man dressed up. But mum says you have to play along or you don’t get the present.”

Fabulous – glad we endured over an hour of waiting for that then!

Merry Christmas everyone – hope your day is spent with loved ones and more chocolate than you could ever consume.

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