Dear Father Christmas, Please Could You Clear Up A Few Things?

Dear Father Christmas,

Please could you clear up a few things?

A group of children standing silouetted in a doorway as Father Christmas leans over and talks to them

At dinner last night my eldest daughter told me she was going to write to you and ask for a Tablet and a big bag of sweets. I suggested you might not be able to afford a Tablet, after all if you gave one to her surely you would have to give one to every child who asks and that would cost a lot of money. And I’m not quite sure how it works, would you need to outsource some of the elf work to Apple or Microsoft? 

You see in my house it has always been the case that you have brought people a stocking. They have got bigger over the years from my Grandad’s sock I had as a child to a stocking my daughter can get both of her legs in, but it’s still just been a stocking. All of the other presents have been bought by family and friends with their hard earnt cash and they are labelled accordingly. So this is the first issue I need you to clear up. If you just bring us a stocking full or cheap toys, sweets and, of course, a clementine why do you bring some other children presents too? Children at school talk and what happens when one child says Santa brought them the new Xbox and another child just got a few books and a penny whistle? I don’t expect the children to understand that it’s not because one child behaved better than the other, but that some parents are better able to financially support the work of elves.

And that’s another thing. I’ve seen the films, read the stories, I understand that the toys should be made by elves in the North Pole, but the gifts in the stocking seem to be very similar to what can be bought from Amazon or the Supermarket. Is my understanding out of date? Do you still have elves who work for you or do you have big machines making your products now? Or maybe the elves have all had to change jobs and you order your products online? Have you moved from production to solely logistics now? I wonder did the elves strike? They always seem to be so happy, but could they keep their good humour when faced with redundancy? At Christmas time there is always plenty of work for an elf helping out at Grotto’s but the rest of the year I can’t see them in office jobs, the relentless cheerfulness would infuriate everyone. Maybe they do telesales or try to encourage people to reclaim their PPI now? Actually maybe not because I have been sworn at quite a few times in these phone calls and that doesn't seem very elf like.

A display fireplace with chairs, stocking and other Christmas decor

Oh and what about all those other Father Christmas’s that appear in grottos all over the country at this time of year? My daughter asked if she is going to see the real Santa and I said no. I said they were “helpers” because how else to explain the variance in quality and aesthetics? I said that sometimes you sneak into these Grottos so you can never be completely sure, but obviously I made this all up. What was I meant to say? Are any of them anything to do with you or are they are all fraudsters trying to get parents' money?

I don’t even know what to call you. I like to say “Father Christmas”, but it’s always been a struggle to discourage my eldest from calling you Santa. Santa is shorter so works better from a marketing point of view, and what happened to the “Claus” bit? I haven’t heard that for a while. I went online to look at what different places call you and it just gets more confusing. Obviously I knew St Nicholas, but outside of the UK and America (and a few other countries) you have strange and bizarre names and personalities. In one country they even think you are a goat, but I guess that’s better than the Catalan Defecating Log! For once Google just made me more confused. So I’m turning to you. 

Please Father Christmas, Santa Claus, St Nic. Please clear things up: What do we call you? What do you bring? When do you visit? I don’t expect you to share your trade secrets about where you get the toys or how you get them to everyone's house, but I am fascinated. In return please let me know what you would like left out for you on Christmas Eve. I’m sure we can do a mince pie and some carrots for your reindeer. We also have rum, whiskey, wine and champagne, but if you want anything else I’ll need to add it to my Ocado order.

Many Thanks



  1. Everyone seems to do it so differently! When we were little Father Christmas filled a sack and when we started questioning it, we were told that our parents sent the money to father Christmas for them all

    1. I think that Father Christmas effectively being a personal shopper with parents money is a great solution

  2. I love this post Kate! It's got all the questions, I would like to know the answers to. There should be some guidelines when you become a parent as to what to say to children so we're all on the same page and nothing gets conflicted when the kids go to school! Let me know if he replies, I'd be interested to hear what he has to say? ;)

    1. Thank you Emma, he replied on twitter, but to be honest I'm not convinced it was the man himself and I was unconvinced of some of his answers for instance he says he doesn't live in the North Pole, doesn't have any elves and only has 2 reindeer.

  3. Always 'Father Christmas'. I can't abide 'Santa'... Great post, Kate :) We always had stockings - and still do to be honest! I don't understand about Father Christmas gifting the big presents - that doesn't seem fair when the children go back to school and feel inadequate because someone got an iPad xxx

    1. I keep saying 'Santa' by accident, but I'm really not a fan. I find it fascinating how differently everyone does the presents and I'm sure TV programmes and films must reflect the differences too, but I haven't really ever noticed


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