So, it’s Christmas (well, nearly). The time of year that revolves around presents the soap specials and of course, the big jolly man in the red suit. Loads of kids get all excited with anticipation from Mr Clause. But, a good few years ago, there was this little girl who was terrified of Santa. Petrified of the thought of him coming near her. That little girl was me.
Yes, I was afraid of Father Christmas. Looking back, it was a completely stupid fear, but everyone in my family finds it funny and love to share the memories of it over Christmas. “Remember the times that Jazz refused to go in the same shopping centre as someone dressed up as St Nick?” Yes, yes, it’s all very funny to them. But, imagine how I felt! I was scared witless! But, this year, I’ve decided to try and see the funny side of things. I also thought that it might give you lot a giggle, so I’m sharing my experiences of Father Christmas.
I don’t remember how the fear actually started but my gran says that it started at the tender age of two. It was a Christmas time and my mother, my gran and I were going to Somerfield to get some food for the festive season. Father Christmas was outside promoting the deals the store had and my mother took me over to go and see him. The jolly fellow decided it would be nice to take me out of my mother’s arms and hold me. Bad move. Apparently I started screaming blue murder because I thought he was taking him away from my mother (and I was always by my mother’s side in those days. I hated being away from her) so my mother quickly took me back and bought me some sweets to try and cheer me up. You’d think that’d be the end of it, but it isn’t.
Every year up until I was seven, I was scared every Christmas because Santa was supposed to be coming at midnight to drop off my presents. Obviously, my family couldn’t leave me in that state but they couldn’t just say he wasn’t real, could they? For all they knew, I could’ve blabbed to the other kids at school and then their Christmases would have been spoilt by yours truly. I’d never be able to live that down, either. So, what was the solution my parents came up with?
“Don’t worry, Grandpa Griff works for Father Christmas. He’s spoken to him and they’ve made a deal. Father Christmas will park his sleigh halfway up the street, then Grandpa Griff will drive up, collect the sack of your presents and bring them in for you, yeah?”
My Granddad had to “collect” them for me just so I would calm down. But, when he sadly passed away, that Christmas, my mother then had to say “It’s alright, Grandma has taken over the job and she’s getting a taxi up and she’ll collect your presents instead.”
Now, this whole thing lasted for a few years. During those years, my mother tried to get me to face my fear of Father Chrimbo by doing a numerous amount of things. One of them being to visit him in Caerphilly Garden Centre with my step brother as we picked him up from his house. Did it work? Nope! There’s a photo that will haunt me forever. I won’t attach it to this article to save myself from permanent embarrassment, but picture this- a little girl in a faux Dalmatian fur coat with a face that looks like she’s just seen a ghost, a mother in a Christmas jumper holding that little girl on a very unimpressed looking Santa’s knee and the unimpressed Santa grinning a very fake smile. Yeah. Not what I want to be showing my kids (IF I have kids) in the future.
Anyway, all this kerfuffle about Old St Nick lasted until I was about 7 or 8 when I realised that the carrot I left out for Rudolph (hey, just because I didn’t like Santa doesn’t mean I didn’t like Rudolph. I loved Reindeer. Still do.) was in the dog’s basket. Over the next couple of weeks I noticed some other signs, too, like my presents were wrapped in the same wrapping paper as my mother had bought. Kids in school had started to believe he wasn’t real, too. So, one night, when my mother and I were writing Christmas cards, I said “Mam, tell me truthfully now is Father Christmas real?”
“Of course he is, why would you th-“
After pestering her for the rest of the night, she could tell I wasn’t going to give up so she sighed and said “Alright, alright! He’s not real, okay?”
I was furious.
“MAM! YOU MADE ME WORRY AND CRY AND FREAK OUT ALL THESE YEARS! FOR NOTHING?! HOW COULD YOU! YOU’RE MY MOTHER! WHY DID YOU DO IT?!”
“Well, I thought you would’ve outgrown your fear and if you did, it would ruin future Christmases with you knowing he’s fake.”
I still wasn’t amused. But, the following year, I wanted to prove to people that I was no longer scared of Santa. So what did I do? Went back to Caerphilly Garden Centre to see Father Christmas and apologize for the way I acted all those years ago visiting him in the centre (I thought it was the same bloke dressed as him all the time) he smiled, bellowed a jolly laugh and said “I forgive you, Jazmin. Here, have an extra selection box on me. But shhh, don’t tell the elves I gave you this!”
So yeah, that’s my little story of the fear I had of Santa. Just thought I’d share it with you