Ross O’Carroll-Kelly: Of course Santa exists – who do you think drinks all the Heineken?

Sorcha ends up saying the most unbelievable thing when the boys ask if Santa is real

There is literally nothing in this world that boils my urine quite like Sorcha's old man when he tries to talk about rugby. Yeah, no, he was at Ireland v the All Blacks last weekend – some vulture fund crowd brought him and a few of his barrister mates.

“What a wonderful victory,” he goes – this is, like, word for word. “I said to the guys afterwards that I shall be very surprised if Ireland don’t qualify now.”

I'm like, "Qualify? The fock are you talking about?"

“For the World Cup,” he tries to go.


How I don’t end up decking him is a mystery.

I’m there, “What a waste of a focking ticket.”

Sorcha’s like, “Ross!”

I'm there, 'The kid's talking out of his hole. Like your granddad here – an out-and-out spoofer'

Honor laughs, in fairness to the girl. She hates Sorcha’s old pair – especially when they just call in randomly like this.

“Hey,” I go, “there are genuine, genuine rugby fans who would have given their right orm to be there – and this bulls****er here ends up taking up someone’s place”.

Sorcha's old dear is like, "How dare you!", which is her stock response to pretty much everything I say or do, from turning up at her 60th birthday porty in my "Prick with a Fork!" borbecue apron, to turning up at the Foxrock Church roof repair fundraising fete, also in my "Prick with a Fork!" borbecue apron.

The dude just glowers at me. And that’s when the boys suddenly come in from the gorden, where they’ve been enjoying a play date with a few of their mates. Straight away, I notice that Johnny is sobbing his little hort out.

Honor goes, “What’s wrong?” because she’s very protective of her brothers. “Did one of those Bellamy boys fort on your face again?”

Johnny can't even answer her, he's crying that much. Instead, it's Brian who ends up going, "Conor said there's no such thing as Santa. "

He looks absolutely crushed as well.

I’m there, “The kid’s talking out of his hole. Like your granddad here – an out-and-out spoofer.”

Yeah, no, the boys despise the dude as much as me and Honor do.

“But Conor said Santa doesn’t exist,” Leo goes.

I'm there, "Of course he exists. Who do you think drinks the six cans of Heineken we leave out for him on Christmas Eve? It's the man with the bag. Isn't that right, Sorcha?"

The boys all look at their mother then – big, hopeful heads on them. And Johnny, through his tears, goes, “Mom, is Santa real?”

And Sorcha ends up saying the most unbelievable thing. She goes, "I would say that, yes, Santa does exist – but not as a corporeal figure, and more as a concept that encourages us to focus less on our own happiness and more on the happiness of others."

I’m like, “What the fock are you saying?”

And she goes, "Ross, I was reading an orticle by a child psychologist – it might have even been in the New Yorker – and she was saying that in this age of propaganda and untruth, we all need to become more aware of our honesty choices, especially as parents. When we're asked a direct question by our children, we should give an honest answer – otherwise it could fracture their already brittle trust in adult authority figures."

Sorcha’s old man – I swear to fock – goes, “I’d love to read that orticle, Sorcha. It sounds very interesting.”

In fairness to Honor, she's like, "What the fock is wrong with you people? Believing in Santa Claus and awaiting his arrival every year is what makes Christmas for kids."

“I’m just making the point,” Sorcha goes, “that we are now living through an era in which it’s virtually impossible for young people to believe what comes out of the mouths of grown-ups. Kids look to adults to make sense of the world for them – and doing that means demarcating truth from mythology.”

“I love the way you debate,” her old man goes, his cheeks all flushed with pride. “I always did – didn’t I, Dorling?”

I'm not talking about Lapland, the gentlemen's club on Aungier Street where I lost my wedding ring on Ronan's stag night. Of course I'm talking abou t actual Lapland!

Sorcha’s old dear is like, “Yes, you really know how to project your voice when you’re making a point, Sorcha. I’ve got goosebumps here.”

“All I’m doing,” Sorcha goes, “is quoting from this orticle. It said that promoting fallacious beliefs among children has been proven to lead to higher levels of, like, psychosocial maladjustment down the line.”

Honor’s there, “Okay, if we’re calling out all of the Christmas myths, presumably you’ll be telling them the truth about the nativity.”

"I beg your pordon?" Sorcha's old dear goes.

Honor's there, "Er, it's totally made up."

“How dare you!” the woman – again – goes. “The story of the birth of Jesus is one of the cornerstones of our Christian faith!”

Honor goes, "Yeah, and it has, like, zero basis in historical, biological or astronomical fact. Er, a stor moved to point out the location of the birth of Jesus to the Wise Men? Seriously? And don't even get me storted on the Virgin birth."

“What kind of talk is this?” Sorcha’s old man goes.

Sorcha’s there, “Honor is an atheist, Dad.”

“And you allow this kind of behaviour,” he goes, “under your own roof?”

The poor boys are staring at us with their mouths wide open, struggling to follow the conversation. I have to admit, I’m pretty lost myself.

“For me,” Honor goes, “the story of Santa Claus is far more plausible than the story of Jesus”.

I watch the colour drain from Sorcha’s old dear’s face. She’s a Minister for the Eucharist, bear in mind.

I’m there, “Well, there’s no need to persuade me, Honor. Santa Claus came to me until I was, like, 12 years old.”

Sorcha and her old pair think this is for some reason hilarious.

"Twelve?" Sorcha laughs. "Oh my God, are you actually serious?"

So I just look at each of the boys in turn and I go, "Yes, goys, Santa Claus is real. As a matter of fact – we're going to meet him! That's right! I'm taking you to Lapland!"

"Oh my God," Sorcha goes, "are you talking about actual Lapland?"

"Well," I go, "I'm not talking about Lapland, the gentlemen's club on Aungier Street where I lost my wedding ring on Ronan's stag night. Of course I'm talking about actual Lapland!"

“Oh my God!” Honor goes. “Boys, isn’t that so exciting?”

And I’m like, “Honor, book the flights. We’re going next week.”