The big Father Christmas question

This will be Tibbons’s third Christmas.

This will be Tibbons’s third Christmas - but arguably the first where he's really been able to appreciate the build-up and the sense of anticipation ahead of the day itself.

I had thought that was the case, anyway, until yesterday when a friend asked T if he was looking forward to Christmas - not a flicker of emotion, nor a glimmer of recognition from him that this day of presents, food, and family would soon roll around.

Assuming that Tibbons was just playing it cool and does, in fact, realise that there’s a reason we and all our friends and family have suddenly brought the outdoors indoors in the form of rather unwieldy Christmas trees, Daddy-O and I may face a bit of a parenting conundrum this festive season in the form of a rather jolly, plump fellow with a love of mince pies.

It is, of course, Father Christmas of whom I speak - rather than either of Tibbons’s grandads.

You see, I remember the magic of Christmas, but less so the magic of the father thereof.

When I was about four, my brother - caring, sharing type that he is and was - gave me the gift of truth for Christmas and told me in no uncertain terms that the bearded man who had snuck unseen into our home on the same night each year was just a figment of our imaginations. Those may not have been his exact words as he was only six, but you get the idea.

He had pretty convincing evidence too: no signed presents from the man himself and a sighting of our mum eating the mince pie we left out and biting off a chunk of carrot in her best reindeer impression. I was two things - convinced and crestfallen.

So, I ask myself, to Father Christmas or not to Father Christmas?