I cannot call you dear, unfortunately you are no longer dear to us. Yes, that's right, the magic is over. The illusion of your existence has been shattered in this house. The pre-teen has seen to that (another post in its own right).
My children are not stupid anyhow. They have seen me at 9.30 am on a weekday during the recent half term, swearing under my breath at the computer as I try to load the Tesco Direct website. Yelling in despair as I realise that, despite my best efforts to get in there quick and a copious quantity of vouchers to "double up", I have failed in this year's attempt to secure their heart's desires via the World Wide Web.
In fairness that isn't your fault.
It is Martin Lewis's fault.
Thanks to him giving everyone the "heads up" on GMTV (or whatever they're calling it this week) on that very same day as I was doing my Christmas shopping, there were no actual toys or video games left.
Cheers Martin. Just so you know, come Christmas morning when my offspring are eagerly opening their gifts hoping to find the latest My Little Pony Castle/Lego Movie Set/Supermario vs Sonic the Hedgehog whateveritis game, they will instead find the sorry remnants of the Tesco toy catalogue and I will be screwed.
Anyway Santa, that aside, you may well ask why I am writing to you via the medium of the internet (you are on the internet aren't you? I hope so because my printer has run out of ink). Well, I too was a little girl once. I used to write you my dreams for a happy toy filled Christmas and leave you a mince pie and a whisky by the tree.
The trouble is that when you are a grown up there is nobody to magically give you gifts anymore. What's worse is that having blown every penny of cash that we have as well as all the Tesco vouchers on our children, it is highly unlikely that we will be buying ourselves any gifts either.
So Santa, I am writing to you in the hope that a little Christmas magic really does exist and telling you what I, a mother of five, regular gin drinker, and occasional housewife would like.
And I'm not talking about another Cath Kidston flowery handbag (they are actually a shit present), or a large supply of gin. No. I have something much more useful in mind. The ingredients for a Happy Christmas.
1. An Enthusiasm Bottler
A what? A device to bottle people's enthusiasm. Do you remember the time when my first child had his first Christmas play? Do you remember how enthusiastic we were as parents? Do you? Well, that enthusiasm leaves at around child three (and definitely by numbers four and five). What I would like is a device that bottles it up so that I can get it out before each school play and give it back to myself.
This year we have somehow found ourselves in the situation that we have two separate school performances to attend in the same week. What would be great is if we enjoyed it as much as we did for our first Christmas nativity. DH has been ducking out of attending them for years (sneaky sod) and so I feel an appropriately large does of enthusiasm might be required there.
2. An Invisibility Cloak
Specifically I need this in the run up to Christmas, so can this be an early gift?
I want to be able to do the school run without being accosted in the playground by various members of the PTA for raffle tickets or tickets for a fundraiser pamper evening (please, if I want to be pampered for the evening it won't be the PTA I'm calling on to help me).
It would also be handy for hiding the children's presents under. I never have enough clever hiding places and despite the fact they have seen me order most of the presents online I would still like a little mystery left.
Plus, if it all goes tits up with the Enthusiasm Bottler thingy then DH and I can take it in turns to hide under it with a hip flask during the various school plays...
3. Neverending batteries (all sizes)
One word. Furby.
Yes, another of those
The number of batteries they go through is phenomenal, and if I'm honest I'd quite like to enjoy Christmas without having to drunkenly stab a Furby's bottom with a screwdriver after too many glasses of Prosecco, while I attempt to calm a wailing five year old because the batteries inside the godforsaken creature have died yet again.
So, there you have it, Santa. You may as well forget the garden centre grottos and naughty list. You are dead to my children now.
I still believe though, and if you grant my wish? I'll leave you a whisky and a pie.
Lots of love to you and the reindeer
Philippa (age 40 1/4)