We have a Christmas tree decoration that I bought from the school’s Christmas Fayre a few years ago. It’s the head of Santa and if you press it, his mouth opens up. It’s a bit weird actually, a decapitated Santa head. Somebody (probably me because I love making a rod for my own back, I will keep having these “good” ideas that refuse to die when the moment has passed) once put a chocolate gold coin in Santa’s mouth and Tom, my son, thought that was brilliant. Thereafter, practically every five minutes, he checked Santa’s mouth for reappearing gold coins.
It became a thing. A relentless, neverending thing. Every time he passed the tree he checked Santa’s mouth. Every time he went in or out of the living room he had to veer off and check the tree. I had to explain that it wasn’t good for him nutritionally to live off of chocolate gold coins from Santa’s mouth and that one after breakfast, lunch and dinner was three a day and quite enough for any boy. Last Christmas, 2016, Santa was once again installed on the tree and Tom had a box of small candy canes and we alternated between candy canes and gold coins.
Dear reader, Santa is still with us. Christmas may have gone but Santa has not departed for the loft with the other decorations. No, his grubby and battered face haunts me still, hanging from the knob of a door on the writing bureau. Apparently the appearing after-dinner treat is such a good trick that Tom would like to perpetuate it throughout the year. Who am I to stand in the way of such innocent joy?
It’s a little disconcerting, the decapitated head of Santa. I can see it out of the corner of my eye when I’m watching TV on the sofa. I guess I’ll learn to live with him. Ho ho ho!