Has Father Christmas been sprung?




Rachel, now 7, turned to Abbie today, aged 3, and said

“Abbie.  The Easter Bunny and Father Christmas are real.  It’s not just Mummy and Daddy putting presents under the tree.”

And then she walked off.  No knowing wink to me.  No nothing.  She just delivered the line dead straight and off she went.

So the big question now is does she know that Mummy and Daddy putting presents under the tree is an option?

Sadly this is a part of the growing up process for all children.  They learn that fairies aren’t real, that magic doesn’t exist in the form that we read about and that the presents are delivered down the chimney.  The day is coming, if it isn’t here already, and it’s one that we dread partly because we think she may be disappointed but also because she’s about to pass another milestone on the way to adulthood.  Another step away from being my baby girl.  I held her in my arms today – it was like holding an enormous traffic cone.

She knows that some things aren’t real, such as fairies, and I’ve been very clear that she shouldn’t tell Abbie yet.  Let Abbie believe for now.  So I don’t think she’ll spill the beans.

But on Thursday this week I will be on the 3rd floor of Bentalls dressed as a Fairy Godmother schmoozing with a man dressed as Father Christmas.  I’ve told the kids he’s the real Father Christmas.  But they know I’m not a real Fairy Godmother.  To the estute child there’s quite alot to give the game away.  We’ve been playing alot of Cluedo recently and Scooby Doo is now staple viewing.  Has her young detective brain been developed to the point where she might spot that Father Christmas is wearing a fake beard?  Why did I let her watch Scooby Doo for goodness sakes!

This may be the last Christmas where both kids believe in Father Christmas so I intend to milk it for all it’s worth.  That said I’m not going to let her get too close to Father Christmases just incase she spots elastic holding on their beards!

You can catch me storytelling in Bentalls on the 3rd floor on Thursday 17th November at 4:15pm and 5pm.  You’ll see me – I have on my favourite dress ever!!!


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SARAH CANTRILL is a woman on a mission to inspire every young child to become a reader for pleasure.  She is the Artistic Director & Founder of STORY STORKS, a social enterprise that delivers interactive story workshops to early years children and their grown ups, that help kids to fall in love with stories and develop their early language skills meaning that they have an easier time of learning to read when the time is right.  Infact 85% of the kids who come through STORY STORKS  are right where they should be or ahead in terms of progression through the reading book scheme once they get to school and the ones who are behind are trying hard because they know that it’s worth it – that to read is to unlock a whole world of fun and adventure and learning and imagination and they might take a bit longer to get there but they’re determined that get there they will.






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