I really, really want my kids to have a great Christmas. It’s practically a requirement for me, as a parent and lover of all things Christmas, to make sure every holiday season rocks their little green and red socks off. Unfortunately, it seems to be getting harder every year to keep Christmas awesome while keeping my sanity in the process.
Today I fantasized for a quick moment about happily handing over some candy canes and hot chocolate to my kids, then engaging in a mature conversation with both of them (yes, even the two-year-old) on how to behave at Christmastime. It went a little something like this:
Our tree exists purely for festive decoration. There is nothing festive or decorative about a half-naked Christmas tree. Please stop incessantly removing every ball, toy, ribbon, and bow that has been placed on the bottom half of the tree, or else next year Mommy is installing an electric fence around the entire living room.
The gifts that are already wrapped and placed under the tree right now are NOT for you. Stop shaking them before you accidentally break the new wine glasses Mommy bought Grandma for Christmas. I’d hate to have to replace them with the ones I bought for myself. Nobody comes between me and my holiday buzz.
Santa brings your gifts on Christmas Eve, not me. But, just so you know, Mommy and Daddy (mostly Mommy) tell Santa EXACTLY what to get you every year. And then we pay him. LOTS OF MONEY. That’s right. Mommy and Daddy give entire paychecks over to Toys ‘R’ Us, ahem, SANTA CLAUS, in exchange for him to bring everything on your wish list come Christmas Eve. It’s a real holly jolly kind of business transaction.
That tattling little elf on the shelf is ALWAYS watching. This means that when you feed your broccoli to the dog under the table during dinner, Mommy might not see you, but that creepy elf dude sure does. So stop doing it before he rats you out to Santa. Dog farts are masking the pleasant aromatics of my Christmas cookie-scented Yankee Candles.
If we end up spending over two hours in line waiting to take an overpriced picture with that credit-stealing fatass in the cheap, red suit, you had better be smiling brighter than the sun when we finally get to the front of the line. I don’t care if you have to pee so bad you might leave a yellow stain in his lap; I don’t care if your mouth is drier than the Mojave and your sippy cup has nary a single drop of juice left; I don’t even care if you just caught a glimpse of Santa secretly grabbing an elf’s ass and now you’re mentally scarred for life. You better just plop yourself right down on his germ-infested lap and put on the biggest shit-eating grin you can muster. You’ll deal with the rest of it in therapy later on. We have Christmas cards to mail out, for pete’s sake.
There are children all over the world who are much less fortunate than you. Like, starving children who own nothing but the clothes on their back and maybe a stuffed animal they once found in the gutter. Remember these poor babies on Christmas morning when there are no gifts left to open and you even think about throwing a bratty little tantrum because Santa got you the wrong action figure or whatever. I truly hope the six-year-old boy from Bangladesh who made that action figure kept it for himself when no one was looking.
Mommy loves playing with you. Really, I do. But on Christmas Eve, as well as the day or two before that, my to-do list will be at least seven miles long and I’ll have not even one minute to spare for coloring, reading, playing LEGO’s, card games, hide-and-seek, peek-a-boo, couch forts, or really anything at all besides cooking, cleaning, shopping, wrapping, baking, and running errands. I can, however, flip on the TV show of your preference, if you’d like. But only if it’s DVR’d or on regular TV. I won’t have the patience to fumble around with that exhausting “On Demand” menu that day.
I know you’re Dreaming of a White Christmas, and Walking in a Winter Wonderland, and thinking about all that redundant “Let It Snow” bullshit. But the people who wrote those snowy seasonal classics probably never had to visit several family members residing in separate boroughs of New York City in one day. Holiday traffic is bad enough by itself; throw a blizzard in and I might as well just pull over on the side of the Belt Parking Lot, whip out a fishing pole, then catch and make dinner right there under the Verrazano Bridge using the EZ Bake oven I bought my nephew for Christmas. So do me a favor and go tell Frosty you’ll see him in January.
Everybody loves Christmas cookies. They’re fun to make and yummy to eat. You can even get a little messy while making them. But you need to understand that the key here is a LITTLE messy. The goal should not be to cover yourself in flour, from head to toe, then do the same to everyone around you (see picture below). At least try to keep the flour within a ten-foot radius of the kitchen table. Just try. Do it for Santa.
Per a new holiday tradition, I will allow you to watch A Christmas Story with Daddy on Christmas Eve, despite the fact that you’re probably a little too young for it. But be forewarned, you are never to ask for a BB gun, lick a frozen pole, utter the “queen of all dirty words,” or ever even consider owning a giant leg-shaped lamp. Or else you’ll be downgraded to watching A Muppet Christmas Carol by yourselves next year. No offense, Kermit.
The reason the delivery man keeps bringing all of those boxes to the door, you ask? Oh, it has nothing to do with online Christmas shopping at all. I’m actually building a small village out of cardboard boxes for bears to hibernate in during the winter. Where is it, you ask? I can’t tell you, there are bears already living inside. It’s much too dangerous. Now stop asking questions and go lay under the Christmas tree to stare at your reflection in the shiny balls. It’s fun.
Christmas day is December 25. Putting the Christmas tree up DOES NOT magically change the date to December 25. Today is not Christmas day. Tomorrow is not, either. Nor is the day after that. You *MUST* stop asking me every fifteen minutes if it’s Christmas yet. It is not Christmas yet. Do you understand? Christmas. Day. Is. Not. Here. Yet. Believe me, when December 25 rolls around, you will be WELL aware that it is Christmas. Until then, do us both a favor and keep your ugly sweater on, alright?