"Just as I used to do as a little girl, my daughter has written a wish list to Santa and is confidently expecting him to wiggle down the chimney with a sack bulging with goodies ranging from a violin to Silly Bandz, the ubiquitous rubber bracelets all the rage among young girls.
She has been aglow with anticipation and her face lights up every time she hears the word ‘present’.
And the idea of having to disappoint her makes me feel sick to my stomach. In an attempt to soften the blow, I tried to lower her expectations the other day.
We were singing along to carols in the car and when it came to the last verse of In The Bleak Midwinter I made her listen to the bit that involves the poor man with nothing to give other than his heart.
My six-year-old smiled at me from the back seat, agreed that love was a very nice present and then asked with considerable shrewdness for her age: ‘But Santa’s still coming, isn’t he?’
Incapable of treading on her dreams, I decided I might be able to afford stockings if I filled them with lots of little, cheap things that would give the illusion of bulk and plenty."