I am getting fed up with sloppy Santas. Parents who don’t play the game. Parents who are letting the side down, letting the cat out the bag, the satsuma out of the stocking… If you’re going to lie, lie good. Has anyone ever felt resentful that their parents stayed up til the small hours high on adrenalin and sherry, crept into their bedroom, strangled a cry as they stood on a piece of Lego, dry-retched on a mince pie, lost a filling on a raw carrot and stuffed their stocking full of gifts? No.
1) Never use the same wrapping paper for Father Christmas’ gifts as the presents under the tree. Rookie mistake you say, but I have seen this with my own eyes.
2) Why not forgo paper altogether? Can we really expect them to believe that he makes the toys and then has time to wrap them as well?
3) Don’t hide things in lame places. They will find them. Hiding places must be impenetrable and preferably booby-trapped.
4) Left FC presents on the kitchen counter in full view by accident? Someone rummaged through your shopping and found an FC trinket? Sorry, these gifts are now null and void and will have to be given to someone else.
5) Remove as much plastic packaging and as many labels as possible. “Mummy, why do the elves get everything from H&M?” is not an easy question to address.
6) Make your delivery in the dead of night and do not make a sound. This is a stealth operation.
7) To guarantee zero noise of cascading presents tumbling into stocking remove stocking from room and fill in neighbouring room.
8) Let FC give some inappropriate gifts to put them off the scent. Mummy would never give me a whole jar of chocolate spread/real nail polish/a kazoo. Ok, maybe not a kazoo.
9) Look noticeably peeved when child shows you contraband gifts.
10) Don’t let them break you. If child asks you if Father Christmas is really real, look enigmatic/crestfallen and say: If you don’t believe in magic, the magic won’t happen. Which roughly translates as if you don’t play the game you don’t get the goods. Let’s remember who this is for after all.