Smile Santa, you’re on candid camera!

Come in Santa, do you read me Santa? Over.

‘Mum I’ve been thinking.’
Yes dear.
‘I’m going to install some security cameras just so I have proof that Santa exists.’
Umm. Okaayyy. Help!
This is a real conversation, as exchanged between my son (aged 7) and me last week.
He’s been building up to the camera installation for a few weeks now.
First he wanted to know who REALLY eats the cookies and drinks the milk.
‘Is it really you and dad?’ he asked.
‘No of course not,’ I replied, poker face ON.
Then this: ‘Well if he exists when can I meet him? Why can’t I stay up and say hello?’
I replied: ‘Because everyone knows that only mums and dads are allowed to talk to Santa and he’s way too busy to meet all the kids on Christmas Eve. He won’t turn up if you’re still awake.’
Not one to be put off easily (I can see a career in journalism in the offing) he said: ‘Well why can’t I talk to him on the phone? Mum, have you ever met him, I mean really how do we even KNOW he exists?’
That’s when I unleashed the heavy artillery.
‘Darling if you don’t believe then he doesn’t come and that means no presents at Christmas.’
Ha-ha, game, set and match to mummy … this time.
When did you stop believing? I’m certain I was older than seven. I want my boys to believe for a long time yet and I’m going to do everything in my power to ensure they do.
What’s Christmas about if you don’t have the mystery and magic of a late night visit from Saint Nick to dream about?
Well okay I know Christmas is about more than Santa and presents … there’s the whole Baby Jesus in a manger thing too.
And that’s just it; my too cool for school seven-year-old has no problem believing the epic stories he hears about God.
He swallows them hook, line and sinker. To my knowledge he hasn’t devised an elaborate plan to trap Jesus on candid camera next time he looks down on us here at home.
So why the skepticism about Santa?
I blame the shopping centre Santa’s. Even at age seven, the idea that Santa sends thousands of look-a-likes to shopping centres to do his PR is far-fetched. Odd even. Particularly when half of the imposters have dodgy suits, no belly and thinning beards.
And then there’s the whole time travel thing. I mean if it takes us a whole day just to fly from home to Melbourne, how does Santa get around the world in one night? Huh, tell me that mum, tell me!
Surely the Reindeer will get tired? Isn’t that animal cruelty, making them fly all that way in one night?
But mummies and daddies have no fear, help is at hand.
A Twitter friend put me onto PNP, or Portable North Pole. It’s Santa’s online portal (of course it is) that helps mums and dads answer all of these tricky questions.
Did you know that Santa can control the rotation of the Earth … and therefore he controls time!
Ever wondered how he knows whether you’ve been naughty or nice? Well he has an army of elves located around the world and they report back to him.
You can even arrange for a personalised Santa video to be sent to your children (for a small fee!), just before Christmas.
Ahh the wonders of technology. I’d like to think that the humble letter to Santa will still cut it but when it comes to my resident skeptic I suspect not!

As appeared in the Gold Coast Bulletin. Read my Family Matters pages every Wednesday in the Gold Coast Bulletin.