In the spirit of Christmas, we tried to make the Playgroup as fun as possible for our little ones - songs, a tea party and a visit by the man himself. It all seemed so easy when the ideas were decided upon - but you try finding a bloke that actually wants to be Santa on a particular day and who has his own costume. Busy, Mad Friday and IBS were given as excuses, and eventually I followed up a phone number of someone's father-in-law who apparently was a good bloke.
Yes, that would be fine - and he even had his own costume. All I had to do was find a pair of size 11 wellies, but ringing around asking what size people's husband's feet are is not always well-recieved...
The day came, he was to be there just before half ten, parents were to arrive at 9.20, bring a present with their child's name on, I had a sack, the wellies, a thank you bottle of wine: it was all going to plan.
Instead, he arrived at 9.15 and was in a rush to leave. Everyone was late. A little boy in his mother's arms will be traumatised for ever as he was accidentily carried into the kitchen to see Santa getting changed. I rang a few people screaming at them to hurry up. A grotto was hastily arranged. Someone had forgotten their present, so I found something naff and stuffed it in Santa's wine wrapper.
We found some sleigh bells and frantically rang them. Santa ran in, not bothering with the wellies as he was in a rush to split. All but two of the children screamed. The traumatised boy stayed in
the other room, one girl buried her head in her mother's lap and refused to move.
Two children enjoyed it. The others sprinted up, grabbed their present and ran for it. We managed to bribe five to sit near enough to him to be in a photo.
As he returned chuckling to the kitchen, my daughter ran to the window to see the reindeers and was rewarded by seeing a bloke with a beard stuck to his jumper diving into a Mondeo.
We have decided next year to stick to a few twiglets and the rude version of When Santa Got Stuck Up the Chimney...