OPINION: Sadly, there's going to be a disappointed little boy in the Hotton household on Wednesday.
Despite my best efforts, the 3-year-old has convinced himself that he'll be getting the gift he wants. I've tried to tell him that it's unlikely and infeasible but he's adamant.
Ask him what he wants from Santa and he's only got two things on his list: a watch and a sheep (not a washing machine as the dentist misheard this week - that would be equally as weird). I don't know where the idea for the sheep has come from and he most certainly has not given much, if any, thought to how we could house an animal of the ovine variety.
It's been pointed out that there are a few logistical obstacles to overcome, including the fact that Santa doesn't have sheep lying about at the North Pole, that they don't travel well in sleighs, or that the biosecurity is relatively high so he's unlikely to be allowed to fly one in, but the answer remains the same: a watch and a sheep.
Then things took an unexpected turn for the worse. His mum was so pleased with his behaviour one day that she, somewhat unwisely, told him she would let Santa know so he could get another present from him.
Now he wants a cow. Doh.
Regular readers might recall that I'm something of the Christmas Grinch, but I have been trying to get into the mood. It's just that I've failed miserably.
I've regularly been told that Christmas gets better having little ones but I haven't found that to be the case. I'm hoping that Christmas Day will actually be fun; assuming they both remain "good", I'm sure they'll end up with a visit from Santa (just minus a sheep and a cow).
And I am looking forward to seeing how Zach reacts when he wakes up in the morning. We may have to bolt his door shut to keep him in bed until a reasonable hour - and by reasonable I mean 8am (almost impossible I know), but it's going to be exciting to see what he does when he sees his stash of presents. I've got a feeling that Santa will be bringing him a tee-pee this year, so it's likely that the presents will be hidden inside.
I expect there will be crumbs from the biscuits left out, and an empty beer bottle, and I'm sure the Yunca will be wide open from where he's popped down the chimney.
Of course it's also Piper's first real Christmas but she's still at that age where eating the wrapping paper or pushing her brother is far more fun.
Hopefully we won't have spoiled them too much this year . . . I'm expecting that to be done by the grandparents, which of course is what they're meant to do. Just as long as there isn't a sheep wrapped under the tree at their place. Or a cow. Or any type of farm animal.
Mark Hotton is a fulltime journalist/fulltime dad who plans to watch Bad Santa on Christmas Eve while whipping up some desserts. He genuinely hopes you have a cracking Christmas with your little ones.
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