I know I should say Peace and Goodwill to All Men. I hope those of you who know me, know that this would be top of my list if I wasn’t so innately cynical.
But sadly, as the world becomes ever crazier around us, I wish for simpler things. Achievable things.
I guess my girls get this. Because on their respective Christmas wish lists, World Peace and Rain (not too hard or soft) both came in at number 6. Well below the Evil Elf Lego set (I wonder if they see the irony in that?), a pencil case big enough for a ruler, shiny kokis, toys for the cats and seedsticks for the bunnies.
Maybe they know, already, that World Peace is a big ask, and possibly above Santa’s paygrade. Although the request for rain did seem to do the trick.
Despite their sweet letters, I do find myself wondering if my two small people are starting to suspect the truth. That instead of a jolly big bearded man (or maybe I should rather say a big bearded jolly man), clad in a red suit and pulled around the world by flying reindeer, Santa is in fact a grumpy, half-asleep parent, clad (if you’re lucky!) in tighty whities, tripping over the cat and swearing profusely at having to bite into a biscuit after having already brushed his teeth (although I have yet to hear him complain about the whisky.)
I know it’s not standard, but at what age do kids stop believing in Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy? World Peace?
I have always been a proponent of keeping the magic going as long as possible, keeping my girls believing in whatever they choose to believe in, for as long as they are able; because what is life without magic and fairies and dragons and the possibility of the Loch Ness Monster?
People tell me that I am raising my children in a bubble. And I guess I am. I know that they need to know about Aleppo, the truck driving maniac in Berlin and the unconscionable inequality in which we live, every day of our lives in South Africa. In my defence, I do tell them (bits and pieces). Also, they have their own eyes, and make no mistake, they notice.
Perhaps that is why I am letting them live in the bubble? To extend their childish and innocent joy for as long as possible; because it won’t be long until they are forced into opening their eyes to the real world around them.
Or maybe it’s because by allowing my children to live in this bubble, I gain the possibility of temporary asylum from the real world too?
It would be good to believe in World Peace again. I might even put it on top of my list, above new running shoes. Those ones with the big foamy soles that aren’t available in South Africa until February, in case Santa is listening, and happens to be passing over the US….