Maybe it was the few glasses of wine and maybe it’s the fact that two of our four children will not be home for Christmas (a first) but I swear to God I was an emotional wreck after watching the Late, Late Toy Show. The tears literally rolled down my cheeks; maybe I’m getting soft and sentimental in my old age – maybe I was always soft and sentimental – at any age!
There were so many touching moments and so many talented youngsters and of course there was that slot when all those beautiful children with special needs get to play with an assortment of toys; that really got me; damn it if that didn’t move you than you must have a heart of stone. And that’s when I count my blessings, two of my children may not be sitting around the Christmas table this year but they are, to the best of my knowledge, hale and hearty and, hopefully, happy. I genuinely don’t remember a Toy Show that left me so moved and emotional. And like many, perhaps most, households around Ireland it’s the show that we always watched together as a family.
Christmas, for our children, will always hold the memory of the Late, Late Toy Show. Of course the Toy Show was also fraught with danger. That’s right danger as in any of our children spotting a toy that they’d dearly love to receive from Santa – even though letters had been written, and dispatched, and acted upon.
Indeed we had a wee crisis one year when our eldest fell in love with some toy or other featured on the show. He had already written to Santa who had put aside his present all neatly wrapped and ready for delivery come Christmas Eve night but what the hell we’d squeeze this toy into his stocking also – only problem was he wouldn’t tell us which toy. Would he write another letter to Santa regarding his new request? He would not. And why not? ‘Because’, he told us, ‘Santa will know which one I want.’ Well now Santa, as we all know, has many gifts but I do not believe he is psychic.
Then we wondered if he had confided in his younger siblings which toy he wanted. He hadn’t. Dilemma in the Moran household. The matter, however, was resolved in time thanks to the power of prayer although in fairness it had less to do with God and more to do, a lot to do, with his resourceful granny. Granny did a fair bit of babysitting for us back in the day and always, when bringing the children to, bed would have them kneel by the bedside and say a little prayer. And so granny, who was very much aware of our dilemma, encouraged James to say a little prayer, out loud, to Santa just to remind him of what presents he hoped to receive. Bingo! Problem solved, dilemma dissolved and all thanks to granny’s intervention. I tell you Santa’s credibility would have been severely dented, and questioned, but for granny’s stroke of genius. The lesson, of course, for us parents, and all parents, is never, ever let your kids write a letter to Santa until AFTER the Late, Late Toy show has aired.
In the meantime here’s an interesting letter to Santa for you to peruse:
It has come to our attention that you have not made any returns to this office for a period of some several hundred years. It has also been brought to our attention that, not alone are you double-jobbing but treble, quadruple and multiple-jobbing in every shopping mall from Kilkenny to Killybegs. Reports have also reached us of a Toy Manufacturing Company, employing numerous elves, in your name for which there is no record of VAT returns. No records at all! We regret to note that such a substantial sum of money is now overdue. If payment of this amount is not made by December 25th we shall have no alternative but to commence appropriate proceedings for recovery of same. Please deposit required sum down any chimney of our numerous offices throughout the country.
Mise le meas,
The Tax Inspector.