The Seven ages of Santa


Scary Santa….or Santa the law enforcer? You decide.

He’s a rum old chap, that Santa. He lays low for eight months of the year, then – pow! – he’s popping up all over the place. In shops, on the TV, and then even in the nooks and crannies of your house. Only this tubby fellow, with his bag of giftwrapped goodies, could get away with something that would otherwise be known as stalking.

And forget the Seven Ages of Man – you can gauge where you are, in your journey through life, depending on how Santa looks to you. He changes, you see, depending on how old you are.

Here they are: the Seven Ages of Santa.

Scary Santa

To 99.9999% of children under the age of three – the ones that can walk, talk, scream or run away, that is – Santa is the most terrifying man alive. A stranger with shocking facial hair, who sits in red suit that looks suspiciously like a giant red babygro. An overfed man whose job description requires him to grab them for a sweaty (and maybe even beery) cuddle.

The man is a monster.

Santa is THE BEST

From the age of three, till roughly six or seven, Santa is tops. Children still believe that there is a man who manages to squeeze his huge tummy down a narrow chimney and bring them presents. Even if they don’t have a fireplace.

And, at this stage, they’re so enthralled by the magic of Christmas that they’re just as excited by a couple of chocolate coins and a small orange, as they would be by a state-of-the-art tablet.

Santa – is – my – Dad (aren’t I clever)

Clever little sods at this age, aren’t they. They’ve cottoned on to the fact that ‘Santa’ is really their Dad, who sneaks  into their bedroom with presents, after quaffing that sherry they lovingly left out for the big guy.

And they want to tell everyone how clever they are – because they have figured out that Father Christmas doesn’t exist. Younger siblings. Small children in the primary school playground. People stood in the queue for the village fayre Christmas grotto.

Children this age should be segregated from the end of September, for the good of everyone else’s Christmas cheer.

Santa – is – my – Dad (boo hoo! Waaaah!)

Luckily, the ‘clever-clever’ stage doesn’t last long. Once the kids realise that Father Christmas isn’t real, the mourning begins. It’s a disappointment they’ll have to deal with for the rest of their life: the person who brings them gifts, rewards them for being good, and trumps Mum and Dad in his all-knowing, all-seeing magical properties, Is. Not. Real.

This is where some kids regress back into pretending they still believe….because that’s a lot easier than accepting the bearer of all gifts will never visit them, ever again….

Sod Santa

A few years down the line, the disappointment wears off, and is replaced by a more general, teenage funk. Your parents lied to you about Santa? Who gives a toss – they lie to you about everything, anyway. Santa is just a sad old man in a shopping centre, with too much time on his hands.

Oh wait, it’s Christmas Eve. Mum – Dad – can we play Santa again… just for one last time?

Santa? Who?

Busy, busy, busy. Life as an adult singleton leaves no time for Santa. At best he’s to be seen in the decorations laid out by your parents, who quite frankly are looking forward to the time when someone will cook them a turkey for once.

The big chap has disappeared. Probably hiding out in the North Pole, working overtime to make presents for the next stage….

Santa: the absent law enforcer

Bang! He’s back. For anyone lucky enough to have kids, Santa is a blessing. An overlord, who can take the flak when the littles demand a present that’s too pricey (‘hmmmm….Santa might not have enough room on his sleigh for that brand new bike and the seven Octonauts toys you’ve asked for’). And he’s the most effective form of behaviour management any parent could wish for. No need for reward charts or naughty steps – just tell them the bearer of all gifts is watching them, and the wee folk will snap to attention straight away.

But the best bit of all? You get to hang out with little people who think that looking inside a stocking and finding an umbrella is the most wonderful thing to have happened all year.

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If you liked this post, why not check out these:

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Old TV shows they ought to bring back

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  • rachelreallife
    December 9, 2014 at 7:51 am

    I love this! Scarily accurate. 😉

  • Phoebe @ Lou Messugo
    December 9, 2014 at 10:58 am

    Oh yes, spot on! I loved the years as Santa the law enforcer!

  • Kate Thompson
    December 9, 2014 at 11:05 am

    I love this- very clever and oh so true.

  • Globalmouse
    December 9, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    This is so funny and so true…he has many guises! We love Father Christmas in this house full of believers (and enjoying him as an absent enforcer!)

  • Rosie Corriette
    December 9, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    Love this! Boo is definitely at the stage of Santa is the BEST! Like everyone though her first Christmas in 2011 consists of a photo with the main man himself and Boo looking terrified!!

  • Pinkoddy
    December 9, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    Luckily this year I have 2 in the best age range.

  • Xandi | Lattes and Little Ones
    December 9, 2014 at 8:28 pm

    I love this!! Santa is the one and only law enforcer in our house right now – there might even be a naughty or nice app downloaded on the iPad in times of emergency – cruel I know but it does the trick! Ahh Santa, we love you 😉

  • Sonia
    December 9, 2014 at 8:33 pm

    Ahhh I’ve always loved Santa whether I believed or not, thankfully my kids have never been scared of him and hoping we have a couple more years before my daughter realises he’s not real x

  • Stephs Two Girls
    December 9, 2014 at 8:43 pm

    Ah I love this post! Sadly at just 9 I think we’re getting nearer to the teenage Santa than we should be, but hoping this year goes ok 😉 Merry Christmas to you! x

  • Foz
    December 9, 2014 at 10:57 pm

    We don’t do the whole santa thing but loved this and can guess at how true it is!

  • Ryan Costello
    December 10, 2014 at 2:39 am

    My 2 are still in clueless stage but reading this I can relate looking back on my own childhood. Im looking forward to my kids taking that same journey.

  • Laura
    December 10, 2014 at 6:09 am

    Love it. My children are definitely at that ‘Santa is best’ stage while my husband appreciates Santa as a law enforcer.

  • Stephen
    December 10, 2014 at 9:47 pm

    Ha, this is absolutely true…

  • Rachel
    December 10, 2014 at 10:56 pm

    It’s quite creepy really that this strange man enters your house at night whilst you are sleeping! Used to scare me x

  • Actually Mummy...
    December 11, 2014 at 10:36 am

    Ahh brilliant post. Mine are in the ‘I know he’s not real but I’m not fessing up that I know’ stage. It’s lovely really 🙂

    • Nell
      December 11, 2014 at 12:19 pm

      That’s a pretty cute stage. I’d be there now still, if it wasn’t for the kids! 🙂

  • Jen aka The Mad House
    December 11, 2014 at 11:11 am

    I totally love this post. it is so true. Fantastic post

    • Nell
      December 11, 2014 at 12:19 pm

      thank you!

  • agatapokutycka
    December 11, 2014 at 11:22 am

    haha this is so true!
    I still think than Santa is the best !

  • Kara
    December 11, 2014 at 7:56 pm

    Oh so true although Eliza (almost 4) is terrified of hime still

  • Suzanne3childrenandit
    December 12, 2014 at 8:21 am

    Ah I LOVE your little cutie resting under her precious brolly! How I miss those days of cuteness, my lot are nestled somewhere in between stages 4 and 5! Great post Nell x

  • Franglaise Mummy
    December 18, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    Genius! And so true….which makes me very sad as I think that at 8 this is likely to be L’s last xmas believing 🙁


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