"This image reminded me of the pranks I would often play on my children William and Becky when they were very young. On Christmas Eve after they had excitedly retired to bed, I would wait until it grew dark and then I would gently ring a small bell in the front garden under their bedroom window and add a faint 'Ho...ho...ho..'
One year, with the compliance of another adult, I used a telephone extension in another room of the house to phone one of the children. As the excited child spoke to Father Christmas on the phone (I cannot remember whether it was William or Becky for the life in me), I left a letter from Father Christmas to the other child on their bed. Both phone call and letter requested the same thing from each child. They were each sworn to secrecy not to inform the other of the content of my conversion with them and each were told that if they listened carefully on Christmas Eve that Father Christmas would ring his bell to let them know that he was coming. They were told that they would be the only child in the world to hear Santa's bell although others might pretend they did.They were also told that if they were still awake as he approached their house, then he'd simply fly over it and miss out leaving presents for them this year. This ruse worked until William was 8 years old and Becky was almost 10 years. I lie not!
There was also a red 'magic boot' beneath the tree that would be empty until I passed my magic hands over it and the two children repeated a magic mantra three times with their eyes closed, 'Hoot, hoot...hoot, it's the magic boot.' Upon speaking the magic words, the boot I'd been holding all along would be vigorously rattled by the children and inside, the boot shaker always found a sweet. Thirty five years on and the Christmas tree is never decked without the 'magic boot' beneath it. I love the magic of Christmas. I love all my children. I always will." William Forde: December 17th, 2013.