I’ve recently got into cider.  I love it, I do.  And of all the many ciders on the market I LOVE Aspalls Cider.

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This is pretty awkard isn’t it?  You visit a mates house for a nice, relaxing afternoon that incorporates Fifa 12, Jeff Stelling and several gallons of beer and yet your over-riding memory of the whole day will be hearing his missus taking a leak. 

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This is one hell of a heart-breaking moment. Finding out that the jolly fat fellow in the red who magically drops off presents into your room every Christmas Eve is in fact not Father Christmas, but actually your parents.

I was convinced Father Christmas existed until my best friend at the age of seven, Stephen Gill, nonchanantly decided to tell me the horrible truth at the school dinner table. I was tucking into my cheddar cheese sandwiches looking forward to that magical time of year once again, and Stephen decided to ruin the entire festive period by telling all.

And as tough to take as it was, it suddenly all made sense. So that’s why my parents are so keen to leave out some booze and biscuits for him – so they can have it! I’d always thought it was quite irresponsible of mum and dad to get Santa shit-faced on whisky and then send him on his merry way, steering a gaggle of reindeer through the night sky behind the wheel of his sleigh.. Now it makes sense. They weren’t advocating drink-driving, they were getting drunk themselves!

It makes sense of course, but it is sad. Because Father Christmas epitomises Christmas. I know the Christians will kick off and say it’s about God and Jesus and Mary and the donkey blah blah blah, but Santa Claus is the one magical character that adds a touch of fantasy to the festive season. A man who children adore and think of as this magical, all-seeing, gift giving hero. A santa superhero. It’s brilliantly innocent. And I for one will do my best to make sure my kids still belive in Father Christmas until they’re well into adulthood.

I’m sure that won’t fuck them up…