Lynn Dike

The countdown begins

2007-11-14 10:14

Lynn Dike

So it's that time of year again, and the countdown to Christmas is going into overdrive. The festive season special advertising has already begun and there are constant reminders of just exactly how many days, hours and seconds there are to the big day.

We've already had our office kids Christmas party. Get in early I say, so that the little mites can spend the next six weeks whipping themselves into a frenzy of festive spirit, just imagining the pile of new loot under the tree come Christmas morning.

Children really make Christmas special, and since I don't have any of my own, I like to borrow the offspring of my friends to play with. Nothing engenders a bit of festive cheer like getting the little ones half crazed on sweets and giving them toys with irritating noises and a long battery life.

Of course, there is an army of small individuals out there who take old Santa Claus rather seriously, as I was reminded last Christmas Eve.


I arrived at my cousin's house for the annual festive dinner shindig, laden with food, drink and pressies, only to be met at the door by a very curious five-year old. My standard greeting of "Hello my angel" was met with a stony stare that practically stripped the varnish off the door.

"Whose presents are those?" she asked, her small eyes homing in like a tracer bullet. "Well they're for you and your brother, your mommy and daddy and your granny and grandpa," I replied.

"Oh really," she questioned, giving the best interpretation of a sceptical glare that a five-year old could muster, "Where did you get them, because only Father Christmas brings presents and that's not until tomorrow?"

I froze like a reindeer caught in the sleigh lights. Bugger, I'd forgotten that mommy and daddy's official line was that only Old Nick delivered Christmas presents, and all festive gifts came from him.

"Um, well, you see, Father Christmas was very busy so he popped in and asked me to deliver these to you personally for him," I replied. The disbelief on her face was noticeable and a little daunting. "Yeah right," she said, "And since when do you know Father Christmas?"

Pass the eggnog

I had visions of her dragging me off to a small room, shining bright lights into my eyes and powering up the battery for the electrodes. A small bead of sweat broke out on my temple. "Well," I replied, "I've known him for years. He's a very kind man, and I made sure to tell him how good you've been this year so you can get lots of lovely pressies."

"And," I whispered, "I didn't mention the incident when you decided that the entire house could do with a dusting of your brother's baby powder, so you're off the hook on that one."

This seemed to pacify her slightly and she nodded in agreement. Then she whipped out a photograph for me to look at and asked in a slightly threatening manner, "Is this the man you know?"

It was a picture taken in a shopping centre of her sitting on the lap of a rather anorexic Father Christmas who looked slightly less than cheerful. "Oh yes," I said, "That's him, that's Father Christmas. He's looking a bit thin so best you leave lots of milk and mince pies out for his visit tonight."

"Oh okay," she replied, "You can come in now. And don't forget to leave the presents under our tree."

Christmas just gets a little jollier every year, doesn't it? Pass the eggnog; I feel the need for a bit of festive spirits.

Send your comments to Lynn.

Disclaimer: News24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24.


SHARE: publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.