Over the past few weeks, I have been wondering whether this will be the final year. The year that my youngest, who will be 10 in January, stops believing in the magic of Christmas. And that leaves me with a heavy heart. Since my son was born 13 years ago, we have visited Father Christmas every single year. 13 years of taking those all important photos as they look excited, and sometimes bewildered at being in the presence of Father Christmas.
We have visited him in many different locations, but by far my favourite has to be Centerparcs. Not least because you get a fairly decent toy, though you do have to pay for the privilege. Seeing the kids all excited as we start the queuing process. The excitement building as we get nearer to the magical door. Some years the children would rush over to him, and other years they would be a little confused as they walk in. It melts your heart seeing the reactions from your children when they meet Father Christmas. Because for those few precious moments he is real. Even to a 40 something year old woman.
We are visiting Winter Wonderland in Manchester next week, where we plan to visit Father Christmas. Will this be the final year we visit him ? Katie will be 10 next month, and her brother stopped believing in the magic when he was 7, so I know we are on borrowed time.
So next week when we visit him, I am going to take a little moment to cherish the past 13 years. To treasure the ordinary moment of seeing Father Christmas. As I have a feeling it may well be our last ever year.
The pictures above were all taken at Centerparcs between 2008 and 2011.