“A time for living, a time for believing…Its a time for giving, a time for getting. A time for forgiving and for forgetting…”  
– Excerpt from “Mistletoe and Wine” performed by Sir Cliff Richard, 1988

Yes, Sir Cliff, that’s all well and good but you forgot one other important point.  Christmas is also a time when blackmailing your children is socially acceptable.

“You’d better eat your food or I’ll tell Santa and he won’t visit.”

“Stop screaming / jumping on the sofa / throwing your ball at my head.  Santa won’t bring you any presents otherwise.”

I know this isn’t what the true meaning of Christmas is all about, but it’s come in very useful so far.

Now Olivia’s old enough to understand the concept of Father Christmas, she’s old enough to realise she needs to be good if she wants him to leave her a few gifts under the tree come Christmas Eve.  Blackmailing her, as described above, is simply a (harmless) way to remind her to behave.  That’s my line and I’m sticking with it.

The trouble is, what happens when Christmas is over?  I’m actually going to start having to deal with tantrums and bad behaviour in a proper manner *gulp*.

There’s only one thing for it…

Until then, I’m making the most of Santa.