The death of Father Christmas was brutal and swift when it finally came. It had been inevitable for maybe a year or more and occurred on the sofa of an average mid-terraced house in a suburb in Gloucestershire.
No one could have guessed that old St. Nic’s existence was in such a perilous state but in the modern world where everything is instantly available, perhaps the biggest surprise was that the big fella lasted as long as he did. Behold the glorious world of the internet, it has everything you want but nothing you need.
What most people didn’t realise was that Father Christmas was in fact very real but once you stopped believing in him, having given in to the cynicism of the world, he stopped appearing to you. Furthermore his existence or not was contingent on enough people believing him and this is what lead to his death, the balance had finally tipped in the favour of those who didn’t believe, those devout believers in nothing magical or supernatural, those deniers of faith and the power of prayer. They are the people who look at the most beautiful painting in the world and explain how the artist was suffering from drug addiction or mental illness, because “science” explains everything.
The inconvenient truth for this band of naysayers was that Father Christmas did exist, to those who wanted him, as did fairies and dragons, and Merlin the Wizard. But the fact of the matter was that it would only take one more person in the non-believers column to erase this magic from life then there would be more people in the world who didn’t believe than believed and Santa’s fate would be sealed.
And so on a chilly and damp day in October it fell to one little girl, so full of awe and believing up to this point, to deliver the knock out blow to that magically festive elf. Little Amelia Staunton, uttered these innocuous words.
“Darren Simpson in Mrs Phillips’ class says Father Christmas isn’t real, it’s just the parents.”
Amelia dissolved into tears and a rip in the fabric of time occurred. Father Christmas vanished into this gap, to exist no more in our world and leave no memory of himself behind.
For a year or two people would still hang out stockings and not quite remember why they did it, it was some long forgotten ritual that had lost its original meaning.
Sent to play forever in the world of Sigh and Mother Nature.
©John de Gruyther 2014