Last year was the first year that hubby and I didn’t have our annual barney over the Christmas tree. You see, hubby, lovely as he is, is a bit of a scrooge at Christmas. He hates the hassle the Christmas tree produces each year – made more horrendous by my insisting on a real one each year – complete with weeks of sneezing as both of us react to the lovely pine needles (but seriously, it’s not Christmas without that smell and incessant itching, is it?).

But last year we managed to put all that aside as we smiled with smugness at our beautiful four-month-old girl holding onto the star as we tried to guide her hand to the top of the tree. It was a Christmas miracle!  But now, as missy gets a bit older, a new set of challenges is upon us. That of Christmas tradition, and deciding how we want to deal with it. The decision from us is we are going to create our own traditions, family traditions be damned! But the doozy that befuddles us both is the one of Santa.

In each of our families Santa is present – that’s a win, no tiny cousins daring to “out” Santa to our little one (though Mumma does feel a little bit uncomfortable about the flat-out lying for years, she sees the magic in it) – but Santa has different responsibilities according to each family.

In mine (well, most of mine, my dad’s family didn’t celebrate Christmas when I was a child at all, but that’s a whole other story we don’t have time for), Santa brings us gifts from himself, you know the ones, the ones the little elves spend hours upon hours of overtime hammering together with little tools, and load the sleigh up with (hope they’re getting high-risk pay on top of that overtime) on Christmas Eve (and holiday rates!). Santa then does his boozing around the globe, evading the booze buses and stumbles (breaking and entering) into our house overnight, where he leaves a sack of toys and departs. The next day we unwrap gifts from Santa. And then, when we see our relatives, we get presents from them too.

For my husband (and many of my UK friends), Santa has a slightly different function. A friend of mine told me that her stepdad would get the bus up to the north pole to give Santa the presents to deliver (if you ask me, this is not a productive use of either the stepdad’s, or Santa’s time), and then Santa delivered ALL the presents from everyone, something like a fancy DHL truck that flies. I think there’s a mix of presents, some from Santa, some from family and friends, it’s a little unclear, stories vary, but the general gist is all presents come by way of Santa.

Though the differences are small, it does pose a bit of a quandary when Aunty 1 gives a present, and Aunty 2’s present comes under the guise of Santa – though she of course still gets credit for the presents. Is it just me, or is the whole thing confusing? Why do we all do different things? Is it different again in other countries? I imagine so.

Now, many of your probably say to yourself “it doesn’t matter, this woman is overthinking it”. To a large extent you’re right. But what if my daughter is like me? What if my daughter spends her childhood questioning the logistics of Santa, befuddling her parents with doozies every festive season. I remember myself constantly questioning why I got presents from Santa and not from Mum and Dad (something I have decided to remedy by giving miss something small from us, in addition to her Santa sack – spoilt much?).

What do you think? What are your Christmas traditions? Now, I know there are going to be a lot of posts flying around about the commercialisation of Christmas, about the fact that we don’t need to spend loads of money on our little one, how we should be giving to those in need. I agree to all of that and, as of last year, we started a family tradition of buying Christmas lunch for people at our local mission. But, for the sake of this jaunt, let’s put that one aside for now, and talk Christmas traditions. What’s yours? And how does Santa work in your household?

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