My name is Sally, and I've been a very, very good girl this year. Honest.
What I would like for Christmas, please, is permission to go and kick some boys at my daughter's school. Specifically, the older boys who thought it was hysterically funny to run through the infant school dining hall telling all the children that you're not real, and by the way, your mum just puts the carrot back into the vegetable basket, too.
Sally, age 36.
My poor five-year-old came home from school last week to inform me that there's no such person as Father Christmas, it's just your mum and dad. She knew this because some boys from the junior school came into the infant dining hall and told all the children. Apparently they also said there's no Rudolph either, and no such thing as a flying sleigh.
I asked her what she thought the truth was, and she thinks the boys might be wrong. After all, if they were naughty, Father Christmas wouldn't have visited them, and perhaps that's why they don't believe.
I immediately agreed that she was probably right. Just to be on the safe side, I've also signed up for a website called Santa was in my House where you can upload a photo of your lounge, and they'll add in a picture of Santa, to convince any little sceptics that might be living in your house.
My friends mostly fall into two camps. Those, like me, who had older brothers and sisters tended to find out young, when an older sibling couldn't resist showing off their superior knowledge. After all, what's the point of having a little brother or sister if you can't crush their childish dreams?
Most of my other friends found out somewhere around the age of seven or eight, usually because adults aren't great at keeping secrets. "I was eight and stayed up late to try and see him, and I saw my mum take away the stocking and bring it back full," says Natalya.
My friend Pete meanwhile, realised his dad was faking the ashy footprints on the kitchen hearth. "My Mum was furious because he had ash on his slippers in the morning and was walking through the house in them," he says. "I couldn't work out why my Dad had been standing in the fireplace – then the penny dropped."
Some of my friends don't actively encourage their children to believe in Father Christmas at all, believing it's wrong to lie to children. But I can't help feeling that it would be sad if my daughter didn't believe – what's wrong with adding a little extra magic to life while you can?
I sense that next Christmas, even greater levels of subterfuge may be required to preserve the Christmas magic, though.
So, what tips do you have to help keep the illusion alive for your kids? Or should I just accept that kids today are too smart to be fooled?
And for the other side: Santa is a lie
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