18/12/2009 16:04 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Achtung Baby Or When In Rome

I delight in most Teutonic traditions, especially at this time of year, but I am begrudging in my acceptance of the present opening custom.

There's no chimney scooching action for our Bearded Hero here and if that were not enough, the poor chap has a very limited time frame in which to deliver. On the evening of the 24th the kids are taken outside for a short walk, mission being to cop a peek at the elusive Santa. Meanwhile, The Big Man slips unnoticed into the house. On returning, they find gifts have magically appeared under the tree.
Cue flying paper and gasps of delight. So far so good.

Problem being by this time it's getting late and therefore time for.....bed!

Cue tears.

Despite my protestations, we stick by this tradition but it's causing no end of befuddlement for Finje, as English books have Santa launching himself down chimney pots and children shredding wrapping paper, accompanied by bleary-eyed parents, in the wee hours of the 25th. I resolved to have a crack at spinning a yarn about Father Christmas having differing ports of entry in different countries. It all started well but, being no J.K. Rowling, I ended up talking fluent moron (I'm a gifted multi-linguist). Still, I think she bought it. That's the thing about three-year-olds, you can blither on about anything as they've not yet entered the "inconvenient questions" stage.

Next, the tree. Here I did put (well....stamp) my foot down. Christmas tree erection also takes place here traditionally on the 24th. Well, I want my tree at least a week before the Big Day! Note to self: the real peril of dealing with a three-year-old is that in no time at all you begin to sound like one. Feathers already ruffled at having to capitulate on the timing of gift opening though, I got my way. So today we're off to share with our daughter the delights of attempting to fit said insanely large tree into a very small car, whilst refraining from the use of unseasonable language.

Of course it's all fabulous and this being the first year that Finje can really grasp what is going on, the festivities are infinitely more amusing and gratifying. Panic not, I've not been hit with the Oprah stick! I won't get all dewy-eyed on you, but you have to admit it's almost impossible not to get caught up in the magic of naivety.

By the way, Finje wants a guitar. Still too young? Jury's out here.