Santa and the the child's right to play
It's just turned Christmas Day in the Corrigan household. Our three elves are all in bed and Santa Claus is expected anytime now.
Being a hi-tech family, we've been tracking his progress across the world on the NORAD website, which turns out to be the online presence of the worryingly named North American Aerospace Defense Command, turning its capabilities to a happier task for one day of the year.
Looks like Santa started off in Fiji and New Zealand. Being both techie and festive, the Corrigans Skyped our family friends in Auckland this evening, where Santa had already visited hours ago, apparently leaving a High Street Musical dance mat (whatever that is) in his wake for our seven-year-old's seven-year-old Northern Irish-turned-Kiwi pal.
I like to think of Santa as one of the world's first true internationalists and as a defender of every child's right to play. Anyway, according to the Google Map, Santa will have travelled across some pretty troubled regions of the world before he and Rudolph make it to our little corner, so let's hope he leaves some lasting cheer for children everywhere.
By the way, if you haven't already had a look, here's a link to my (slightly tongue-in-cheek) modern-day human rights take on the Christmas nativity story.
As we approach year-end, let me express thanks to all our ever-growing band of Belfast and Beyond blog contributors, readers and commenters over the last year and here's looking forward to a great 2009.
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.