'What do you want for Christmas Tom?'
The desire is firmly engrained - he shows no sign of wavering and besides, the letter's in the post already.
Tom also has an advent calendar. It's pretty fancy as it was fashioned by his Granny, blessed as she is with a surfeit of embroidery skills. It has 24 rings to which are attached presents for every day of advent. It was in action last year too (and the year before come to that) and Tom certainly remembered its function when it made its appearance at the start of the month.
The routine was quickly established - down in the morning and straight into the present of the day. after a couple of early negotiation attempts, Tom has grudgingly accepted the formula:
'I want to open another one!'
'No it's one present every day'
'No its two every day!!!'
Nooo - just one...'
He's a pretty good kid and hasn't given in to the temptation. This maybe because, two weeks in, he's learned that quantity doesn't equate to quality and, quite frankly, waiting until the morning for 3 jellybabies or a small toy is no great hardship.
On a number of evenings he has shown great interest in the present at the bottom of the calendar - the one that awaits on Christmas Eve. Tonight, apropos apparently nothing, Tom informed me it was Christmas Eve. Strong assertions of this type are pretty common at the moment and he wasn't to be dissuaded.
'It will be soon... not tonight though...'
'It is!! It is Christmas Eve!'
He then went over to the bottom gift and gave it a little squeeze, his curiosity rising to the surface again.
'It's quite hard... It's cheese!!', clearly quite excited at the prospect.
'Can I taste it!!'
Have we managed to lower his expectations that much? Maybe he'll actually be disappointed when he unwraps the wooden box of animal dominoes...
I'll let you know.