So, here we are again. Christmas time. A time of generosity, warmth and love. And presents, and malls, and Santa pictures, and creepy Elves on Shelves and entitled children, and crowds, and over-priced wrapping paper, and Christmas baking, and mess, and … *sigh*
As is tradition with most parents, the house is gradually being tran
sformed into a half-assed version of the holiday home decor posts we see on Pinterest. We listen patiently to our kids’ long list of unreasonably priced toys they want,no…need to have. We brave the crowded malls, searching and snatching up every trinket we can find. We buy the baking supplies and Christmas cookie cutters for an afternoon of keeping our mucus-munchers from eating raw shortbread batter, or “baking”. And after a whole month of trying to “make memories” for our booger bandits, we’re exhausted, deflated, and quite frankly, hung over from Christmas with very little show for it. That’s not what the holiday season is supposed to be about.
So let’s get real here, Santa. While you might be the face of Christmas, it’s us parents that make it happen, and year after year, we put in an obscene amount of effort with very little return. So, I’m writing a traditional Christmas list requesting your help to bring balance back to the Christmas season and to the parent/Santa relationship.
1. Lose the The Elf on the Shelf. Now, I don’t speak for myself here (I did not fall for Buddy’s clever little marketing strategy), but really, the Elf on the Shelf has had his day. Today’s parents have a hard enough time remembering their own name, let alone moving a creepy little Christmas elf all around the house each night. He’s a pain in our asses and it’s time he moved on. Tell him you’re moving in a different direction. Tell him you’re restructuring. Tell him you’re outsourcing to Mexico. Whatever. Give him a decent severance package, throw him a good-bye party and send him packing.
2. Quit the cookies cold turkey. Having cookies ready for you when you visit our homes is one of the main reasons we all make the stupid (and messy) decision to bake every year, or to buy them at the grocery store and then lie to our kids, saying we slaved until midnight making them from scratch. Either way, we’re done enabling your habit. Consider this an intervention letter. Get yourself in a rehab program and stick with it, Santa. Our consciences and our kitchens will thank you for it.
3. One Present Comes From You. And it’s gotta be a cheap one. Not to put too fine a point on it, Santa, but you’re stealing our thunder. We know you have the best intentions, but really, do you listen to the whining all month? Do you spend an hour finding a parking spot at the mall? Do you sing Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer six thousand times a day? Do you clean raw shortbread off the ceiling? Do you endure their relentless impatience while desperately trying not to show your own?
No. You don’t.
The big gifts are comin’ from us and we’re gettin’ the big reactions.
4. Mandatory Naps After Presents. Why is this not a thing? I mean, I’m ok with getting up early, having a good breakfast and opening presents together as a family.
It’s wonderful. It’s magical. It’s Pinterest-worthy.
But to extend that energy beyond 8am after waking up at 5am is torture for ourselves and by extension, our Christmas-crazed offspring. Cranky-pants parents make cranky-pants kids, and who needs that crap on Christmas Day? Send out a customer satisfaction survey, do a focus group, put it in a spreadsheet, and I’m sure you’ll see that a post-presents nap is absolutely necessary.
5. Leave a bottle of Christmas Cheer for Mommy and Daddy.
A big one. That is all.
Look, I know you’re a busy guy, Santa. I don’t want to get on your naughty list here, but we’re supposed to be on the same team. You supply the loving, friendly and all-knowing authority figure, coupled with a tried-and-true reward system, and we carry out that strategy with our children. It’s a great thing we’ve got going here, but the returns are a little weighted in your favour. All we’re asking for are a couple of perks for us parents to keep the Santa plan running smoothly and to make all the effort we put into making each and every Christmas a memorable one for our kids totally worth it.
Niagara Mommy and exhausted parents everywhere.
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