An open letter to the man pretending NOT to be Father Christmas.

Photo by Vratsagirl on Flickr, used under Createive Commons.
Mince pie photo by Vratsagirl on Flickr, used under Creative Commons.

Dear Father Christmas (for I know it was you),

It was the hair that gave you away; shoulder-length and whiter than the first snow.

While I know you were carrying a clipboard, I would suggest that if you were trying to go incognito you might want to dye your hair a less obvious colour – or at least wear a hat. A two-year-old could spot you a mile away and, in fact, mine did as soon as you got out of your RED van.

“Father Christmas,” she shrieked. I pondered for a second how she even knew about you but then I saw your face. You were clearly not happy about being caught and seemed determined to continue the charade that you were just a tradesman visiting one of the flats nearby.

You went the wrong way at first. I understand, the numbering around here is best described as abstract. Believe me, it’s a discussion I’ve had many times with random people in the street. And maybe that’s why you were visiting? I imagine in the dead of night on December 24th when there generally aren’t many people around to ask where the block containing number 40 is (I can tell you, it’s not where you think) and you’re on the clock it’s frustrating. A little recce in advance is probably a good time management exercise.

But all the while you were looking vaguely around, my toddler, who you were studiously ignoring, was getting ever more excited, even doing a little dance as she babbled about fairies (I’m sure she meant elves, please apologise to them). When she called to you again you made a cross face and decided to make a dash for it, leaving her asking why you’d gone?

You, Father Christmas, turned me into a liar. I had to tell her that Rudolph had escaped and you were chasing after him (she looked confused, maybe her knowledge doesn’t extend as far as reindeer?). Long after we had got in the car and driven off she repeatedly asked about you. And when we got home she even looked out the window in the sort of forlorn way I thought she reserved for giant pink elephants.

So I’m writing to tell you, respectfully, that it’s just not on. In the good old days I’m sure it was fine for you to be out and about in October but times have changed. Maybe it’s not the same in the North Pole but in Norwich some shops had their Christmas stock on display at the start of this month. Your face is EVERYWHERE. And, get this, I’ve already had a mince pie (in my defense my mum brought them).

If you’re not willing to wear a disguise my suggestion would be to delegate. You have staff, right? An elf would have looked far less conspicuous than you. I know it must be miserable being recognised wherever you go but there must be ways, Kendall Jenner recently went on The Tube on her own with only a grainy photo to show for it – and she has the paparazzi on her tail. I’m sure she could give you some tips – and the advantage is that she has everything so you wouldn’t even need to give her a present.

For the sake of toddlers (and their parents who don’t want to start hearing about Christmas nearly THREE MONTHS before the big day) please just think about what you’re doing. We have more than enough festive stuff to try and avoid without the big fella himself making an appearance!

With love,


PS Our flat, should you be interested, was directly in front of where we were standing.

PPS I’ve been pretty good this year, honest.

PPPS If it wasn’t you we saw and he really was a tradesman (doubtful) I think you should make a law (you can do that, right?) saying that anyone who looks like you has to be jolly or at least offer a little wave to any excited children that spot them. Thank you.


19 thoughts on “An open letter to the man pretending NOT to be Father Christmas.”

  1. Oh Tara, I love your posts! Such an entertaining writer! And you just had to get my taste buds going didn’t you? I adore delicious mince pies! I was definitely not keen to get to Xmas, this year, with all the extra work and heat etc etc, but now I have seen your photo, I can’t wait!! And I am happy to be a referee for you, if Father Christmas needs to run a check on those who have been good!!! Thanks so much for giving me a big smile!


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