“But Mom, We Have No Chimney!!”
I was six years old when we moved house. It was a move upwards too, as this home had more bedrooms, a much bigger yard, a swimming pool and room in the garage for two whole cars!!!! But there was one thing missing. As we carried boxes of toys into our new home on that mid-December day, this missing item became a matter of grave concern to me.
“Mom, where is the chimney?”
“We now have electric heating honey. We no longer need one.”
We were days away from Christmas, and this crushing realization that we were now a chimney-less family came as a devastating blow. I was on the verge of tears, yet remain composed enough to continue my interrogation.
“Does this mean Santa Claus won't leave toys under the tree this year?”
“Of course he will.”
“But Mom, We Have No Chimney!!!”
I could no longer contain myself, and I dissolved into tears. Mom put her arm around me and explained that Santa didn't always need a chimney to leave gifts for good little boys and girls. There were other ways for Santa to get in, and in our case it was the golden Magic Key. So, if you live in a home without a chimney, let me tell you about the golden Magic Key and other ways you can answer your kids when they ask how Santa is going to get into your place this Christmas.
The Golden Magic Key
Mom told me that Santa Claus always carries a golden Magic Key. (** note the capitalization and that it is made of gold. It must always be thus.) When his sleigh lands on the roof and he notices there is no chimney, he simply uses the golden Magic Key which is magic because it unlocks every lock in the world! This explanation worked for me, and I have used this one on my own kids...yes, our place has no chimney either.
The Portable Chimney
Of course the golden Magic Key is magic and all that, but the thought of Santa simply unlocking a door and walking can come across as a bit ordinary when you think about it. There's something more romantic about the thought of Santa squeezing his ample frame down a narrow chimney, so you may want to tell your children that Santa carries a Portable Chimney, which he straps to the side of his sleigh. If he visits a home with no chimney, he simply uses the portable one. And if your children say they have never seen a Portable Chimney strapped to the side of a sleigh in all the pictures they have seen, you can turn the Portable Chimney into the Invisible Portable Chimney, designed by the people behind Wonder Woman's invisible plane.
Santa's Secret Knock
Santa's Secret Knock avoids awkward questions such as “ How can Santa install and uninstall a Portable Chimney without anyone hearing?”. The Secret Knock is a much more fool-proof affair. The beauty of Santa's Secret Knock is that only grown-ups can hear it. When Santa does use it, only a parent can hear it and only a parent can let Santa in. (You might want to remove your door bell at this stage, to avoid an awkward question as to why Santa doesn't use that instead.)
He Just Can!
Not really a creative way to explain how Santa gets into a chimney-less residence, but it is nice and simple, and emphasizes the magic of Christmas. Any man who can fly around the world in a sleigh, and provide presents for millions and millions of kids AND stay happy and jovial at a time of year when the rest of us are feeling the strain, has to be pretty special. So when he arrives at a home with no chimney, he'll get in regardless. Because he's Santa. He just can!
You Could Always Move...
Older children might be a little skeptical about these explanations, so the ultimate way to get around it is to move to a home with a chimney. Expensive, but 100% effective!
Sophie Olver is a mother of two daughters and co-owner of MADC’S, designers and creators of the best quality children's sleepwear available in Australia, if not the world. At www.mad-cs.com.au bedtime is not the end of the day but rather the beginning of the next adventure!