Of mince pies and pork pies

I was going to write another of my ‘What I watched this week’ posts today. However, the main thing I was planning on covering – a family Christmas film – annoyed me so much in the first few minutes that I switched it off.

I had to as it began to float the idea of the benevolent beardy bloke not existing. Now, obviously, it is remedied soon afterwards as he’s the main character.

I assume he is, anyway. He’s on all the associated artwork. But, I really don’t like the way films do this as it sows a seed of doubt in young minds.

Had my two older kids heard it – my wife and I loudly improvised a conversation about making tea while scrambling for the remote control – I know there would have been questions. They both have enquiring minds and are also a lot more knowing than I was at their respective ages.

They’re eight and six at the moment so this could well be the last Christmas they truly believe in.

Thankfully, the damage was avoided but it was a close one. This got me thinking whether we’re right to keep the most famous of ‘pork pies’ going. And I quickly concluded that we are.

Even though it means not telling the truth, I think it’s essential to let kids be kids. They’re not young for long, after all. Having something to believe in and look forward to is vital.

I think it’s important for us parents too. Take us, for example. I don’t mind admitting that we’re feeling rather down at the moment. It’s the same stuff that everyone’s gloomy about really.

Brexit-induced money worries, Brexit itself and bleak weather that I’d like to attribute to Brexit but grudgingly admit that I can’t.

Maybe that makes me a snowflake. But watch out, Brexiteers, I eat gammon for breakfast on Christmas Day!

Anyway, we need a pick-me-up and doing our bit to make Christmas magic for the kids is just the job. As well as regularly referring to the existence of the big man as fact, we’ve been working alongside the advent fairy.

We have an embroidered, hanging advent calendar my mum made which has 24 pockets. Each night, said festive deity leaves chocolates in it.

At the weekend, it left a scroll of paper featuring a rhyming poem giving clues that slightly bigger chocolates were hanging on the tree. The rhythm and meter were exquisite. What a talented advent fairy.

The kids absolutely love this and seeing the excitement on their faces every morning more than justifies this little white lie and others like it.

So I make no apology for keeping up the official line. A diet of mince pies and ‘pork pies’ is well and truly on the menu!

And, once the boys have sussed it out, it will be up to them to play their parts to keep the magic alive for their younger sister.

What do you think about ‘pork pies’ like these at this time of year?

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