Cull crooked Father Christmas

It is still the silly season (so-called), and Father Christmas will be doling out prezzies to lucky little ones the world over.

It is still the silly season (so-called), and Father Christmas will be doling out prezzies to lucky little ones the world over.

Some smart-aleck adult once wrote an angry letter to a newspaper chiding someone for spreading "the lie" about the existence of Father Christmas.

The way he presented his "facts", it was like he was expecting praise for discovering that Father Christmas is a big lie.

That's petty crap that spoils a fun phantom children have enjoyed for hundreds of years. For goodness sake, why does any adult bother with "proving" what is so obvious? And how that nothing "discovery" found its way into print beats me.

I remember, though, one bad Christmas when there was obviously no money in the house. I put up my sock as usual and woke up early in the morning with anticipation. I was devastated when I discovered Father Christmas had not put anything in there.

I had been a good boy for some time and surely I deserved something? My embarrassed father almost blew my fairy-tale myth that day. He brushed my coarse hair with his palm and said: "Er, Charles, actually my boy, in fact err ." I'm sure he was going to tell me it was all rubbish. My mother sensed it coming and screamed at him: "Joseph! You can't!"

He let go of me and vanished into another room where I think the old girl gave him a tongue lashing.

I love fairy tales. I loved Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Little Red Riding Hood. Then I was obsessed with Oliver Twist and Tom Sawyer. Eventually it led to James Hadley Chase and worse.

Nobody shattered my mythical world.

Adults the world over are busy discovering earth-changing innovations in technology and other scientific fields and we still have morons "researching" the existence of Father Christmas.


We believed a lot of worse "truths" when we grew up, and we did not turn out any worse for that. For example, we believed that if you did not squat in quiet respect when a funeral procession drove past, death would strike your family. And if you laughed at a disabled person, your mother would turn into a tikoloshe.

Our parents did not believe any of that nonsense, but they did not disabuse us of it because of the greater good in believing the "truths".

But loving Father Christmas does not mean any affection for the scruffy charlatans who prance in an undignified manner at shopping malls and taxi ranks, cajoling us to buy glittering fakes.

Father Christmas proper - the old, generous, graceful, genteel gentleman who embodied the fabulous grandfather I never knew, is all but gone. In his place is a greasy buffoon in smelly takkies jumping up and down, ringing a criminally loud bell and begging us to "kena mama, kena papa" - so we can be ripped off. Perhaps yes, he should be culled.