Father Christmas and The Cardboard Chimney

“It was the eve of Christmas… 

…Father Christmas was gathering all of his presents to put in to his sleigh to deliver to all of the nice girls and boys.

One by one, he jumps down the chimneys and leaves the presents neatly under the Christmas tree, before eating his mince pie, drinking his glass of milk and giving Rudolph a carrot to help his nose light the way…”

The book reading was going well, until…

“Mummy, how will Father Christmas deliver my presents if there’s no chimney?”

“Ummm”

Oh shit, yeah; the kid’s got a point.

We’ve just moved house and the new living room doesn’t feature a fireplace – it’s just a bare wall (which isn’t very handy for the big guy on December 25th!)

So, what do you do when you have a child who’s worried his dreams are about to get crushed? 

You make damn sure they don’t. And you build a fireplace.

How? 

Imagination and cardboard. (For those who lack imagination, try Pinterest)

How long? 

Approximately 3 hours (depending how many times your child pulls it apart)

What do you need? 

Patience, wine, strong tape, red paper, white paper, wine, orange paper, yellow paper, a black permanent marker, wine, scissors, Pritt-Stick and wine.

Oh, and a relatively well behaved child. 

And wine.

What will it look like? 

Don’t laugh, but I’ll show you how I did it “Step-by-Step” just down here…

Here goes…

1. Pour a glass of wine. 
Unfold two medium sized boxes until they’re flat. Cut the bottom sections off, so you’re left with three squares instead of four. These will be either sides of your fireplace. 

2. Take the lid from a cardboard box, flatten it, place it in the middle of the fireplace and tape the shit out of it until it sticks to the side ones.

3. Remember that little bit I asked you to cut off earlier? Quickly go and grab that. 

Found it? Awesome. Cut the corners so they look like the box in the picture above. The one in the middle but at the bottom…

4. Time to lay the foundations… 

Or just glue the white paper to the cardboard, whatever.

Liiiiiike this…

5. For this part, you’ll need wine, so get a top up if you’re not already pissed yet.

Take about 20 pieces of red paper and your scissors, then cut them in to three sections.

Size doesn’t matter because…

a) It looks quirky

b) You’ll be too merry to give a donkey’s arse

6. Get your Pritt-Stick (“prick stick” if you’re feeling absolutely bloody hilarious and pissed), then glue the backs of the little red bastards (bricks) one at a time and “stagger” them as you would lay bricks.

Leave the bottom part of the “chimney breast” free, so you can get even more creative (lucky you) with the little red bastards.

If my four year old can do it, you have no excuse. 

Yep, see. That’s him doing it right there.

7. Get your permanent marker and draw (tediously) around each little red bastard. 

You probably won’t give a shit what it looks like at this point. 

Actually, you won’t give a shit.

It’s the thought that counts anyway….

8. Take the bit of cardboard at the bottom in the middle and draw on it with your marker to make it look like a fire guard.

Mine looks more like chicken wire, but you get the jist.

9. Find a long piece of cardboard and plonk it on top of your fireplace to make your mantelpiece. 

Yes, plonk it. 

10. Get some white paper and cut some ridiculously random shapes to make it look like “snow”. Then, cut some flame shaped pieces out of the orange and yellow paper, stick it behind that bit of cardboard in the middle on the floor and da daaaaaah!

Now look at that.

I’m no fucking Mr Maker, but look how chuffed he is to know that Father Christmas won’t forget about him this year!

You don’t always need to spend a fortune to make your children’s dreams come true. 

All you need is time, love, patience and wine. 

And maybe Pinterest…

It’s the season for giving after all.

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