Taking Stock - December 19, 2011

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Twas the week before Christmas and all through the house not a creature was stirring – except, of course, a mother armed with scissors, tape and reams of wrapping paper and a dad stressing about his shopping shortcomings.

The little ones, they’re not worried.

Two of them don’t know what Christmas is and the third, well, she’s already handed Santa her request – in person no less – so she’s sleeping soundly ahead of the big day.

I must admit her response to the man in red did throw us, as parents, something of a curve ball.

When jolly St Nick leaned forward and asked The Munchkin what she’d like him to bring her, she was unequivocal in her reply.

“A robot,” she said, with a sense of stubborn determination.

Now, here’s where I would have leapt in and suggested she try again.

After all, we’ve made a list and checked it twice and, up to that moment, there was little to no chance of Santa bringing her a tin man on Christmas morning.

Sadly My Good Wife was in charge of this shopping mission and before she had a chance to step in and head off this particular line of gift questioning the big man had made his promise.

Ho, ho, ho – thank you very much.

Of course, whether or not there is a robot in that stocking on Sunday is very much down to Mr Claus and his elves.

But he’s given his word and I’d hate to see a little girl disappointed.

He could have stopped there, but no, Santa had more bad news.

“Don’t forget,” he said, “to leave out a carrot and a glass of milk on Christmas Eve.”

Not a mince pie?

And milk?

Now, I’m all for Santa supporting the campaign against drink driving but, as we all know, he only takes a sip (there’s no time for comfort breaks on that sleigh ride) leaving the rest for mum and dad.

So what about a nice glass of sherry, or better Merlot?

Ooh, or a lovely pint of Lancaster Blonde.

At the very least he could stump for a coffee – surely that would help him stay awake throughout the night.

I know, I’m being picky here.

After all, Christmas, discounting the obvious and very important religious side, is all about children.

I love taking The Munchkin to church, sitting round the table with the family and even getting up with the little ones at the crack of dawn.

After all the greatest gift we can get, as parents is, seeing their smiles on Christmas morning .

That, and socks.