I’m tired of Father Christmas.

Am I allowed to say that or am I committing some huge maternal faux pas? I have been embracing his funny little ways to the best of my ability for sixteen years now and I’ve had enough. It’s too complicated, too easy to slip up and strangle myself in the web of porkies that I have spun over the years.

It crossed my mind this morning that Christmas is nobbut a hop, skip and a jump away and I am uncharacteristically unprepared. To be fair to me, I have been a bit distracted in what would normally be my pre- Christmas build up period but when I say I have done almost nothing so far you have to believe me. This is not one of those situations when you say you’ve done nothing but what you actually mean is that you haven’t quite finished curling the ribbon on the presents.

No. I have baked my cake – twice (the first being a tad on the crunchy side) and there my Christmas preparations cease. I blame my kids. You may not think that that is entirely fair. After all they are just waiting for Christmas to happen to them. The trouble is buying things for my children is the main focus of my pre Christmas activity. It perhaps shouldn’t be but there you have it. Gifts for other family and friends can be sourced in a couple of concentrated spurts of activity but stuff for the kids needs strategic planning.

So, to return to my original theme. My younger two children, despite what appear to be the massive odds stacked against this being true, do still seem to believe in the beardy chap. I know this may seem unlikely but I had exactly the same with the elder two who had earnest conversations with our teenage babysitter long after you could possibly have imagined that they might. I must just breed them gullible.

The trouble began about a month ago when child 3 announced her foolproof plan for testing out Santa. She would write her letter in secret and send it up the chimney without telling anyone what it contained. Clearly this is a highly risky strategy but what could I do?! I bleated a bit about disappointment on the day etc but I’m not sure the situation was resolved satisfactorily for either of us.

Then child 4 decided that he wanted the Lego Death Star. Have you seen how expensive that is? For a bit of lego? Well, a lot of lego actually but how do you explain that Father Christmas does not have an unlimited budget? Tricky.

But the worst of all is that I can’t get any of them to button down what they actually want. ‘I might like this but then again I might like that…’ Now I know that they will be delighted with whatever they receive but I would rather buy things that I know are winners than take a chance.

What I really want to do is to tell them that it is me who chooses, buys, wraps and then hides all their gifts and that if they don’t tell me what they want then all stock will be gone and they will have to put up with whatever’s left. It’s not awfully festive though is it? Not really in keeping with the magic of Christmas? I’m holding on to the hope that this is the last time that I will have to jump through this ridiculous, self-created Christmas hoop and that next year we can do the whole thing with a nod and a twinkly wink like I do with the Big Ones. But then I thought that last year. And the year before……..