HimI never really believed in him. My earliest memory is of studying his image and wondering how a big lump slid down a small chimney? A few weeks later I met him in the flesh, at a department store – my Mother sat me on his lap. I looked closely, the face was real, the beard was fake, I was freaked. I gave him my list, promised to be a good boy and was glad to be gone from him.
Next thing he turns up at my school, startling us all when he burst through the door with a load of loud: “Ho, ho, ho’s!” Again, I looked closely – this was a different man from the one in the store: fatter, faker, older! I kept the doubt to myself. Even on Christmas Eve, as I tried to force sleep, I pondered how reindeers could fly without frigging wings? But on the day he delivered, and I was astonished!
The following year the big man’s credibility was stretched further. We had moved from a house to an apartment, we no longer had a chimney. “How’s he going to get in Mum?” My question took her by surprise and she stumbled over the answer, mumbling something about his elves delivering to flat dwellers; her uncertainty enforced my disbelief. I was so relieved – because the truth was, the thought of a big fat beardy man with bulging sacks coming into my room while I slept disturbed me deeply as a child.