Christmas Advice From One Mama To Another
Christmas. That most joyous of seasons. Of holidays. The one that becomes even more magical once you have kids. If you can see beyond the utter madness, that is. Here are some ways that Christmas can send parents slightly insane. Scrooge? Me?
1. Advent calendars
Seriously, don’t get me started on advent calendars. You’ll never hear the end of my rant. Since becoming a mother, I’m utterly convinced they are evil and were only invented to torment parents every single, painful day. Because if I have to explain to my children that, ‘No, it’s one door a day BECAUSE THAT’S JUST HOW IT WORKS’ one more year running, I am going to ban Christmas altogether. I mean it. We’ve tried advent calendars with chocolate (the most evil of all), advent calendars with those boxes you fill (annoying) and standard, boring, underwhelming calendars with just pictures behind the doors. The latter completely backfired because not only did my daughters want to know whether they could open more than one door a day (STILL NO!), I was also forced to debate, every day, why there was no chocolate or present behind the door and deal with that crushing disappointment as well.
2. I hate doing crafts
We just don’t see eye to eye. Yet, along comes Christmas and I feel I’ve failed as a parent if I don’t at least attempt to make a Christmas Tree out of toilet rolls. For a long, long time I thought that the magic of Christmas – our entire joy – rested in one of those cardboard creations. Then I finally made one last year and I can now confirm that it does not. My entire joy rests in gin. The End.
3. Festive activities
Oh the pressure! If you haven’t seen Father Christmas, patted a real life reindeer, been ice skating and taken a trip to a winter wonderland by 2 December you’re basically Scrooge and a rubbish, miserable parent. Never mind that your two year old can’t walk in a straight line, let alone ice skate or that your four year absolutely HATES seeing Father Christmas in the flesh. They’re no reasons not to part with the best part of a week’s wages for the privilege. If the guilt doesn’t get to you, the peer pressure from everyone else doing it and posting it on Facebook will.
4. The School Christmas Show
I blooming love the christmas show at school. What I love slightly less is parents who insist on videoing the whole thing. Right in front of you. Are they really going to watch it back? Every second of the 45 minute production? Also, whenever I’ve attempted to take even a snippet of video, all I’ve managed to get is the back of someone’s head. So they’re basically going to go home and not watch 45 minutes of the back of someone’s head. Gripping.
5. When I was young I used to go through the Argos toy catalogue and tick everything I wanted
The catalogue was about 350 pages and I ticked most of them. These days my kids watch the adverts that dominate the channels and gradually brainwash your kids as Christmas approaches. They want approximately 90% of what the adverts are offering. I take this to mean that they don’t really know what they want and you can bet your life that by the time I’ve bought and wrapped that robotic dog they simply must have, on Christmas Eve they’ll announce they want something completely different. In other words? Don’t sweat it. Don’t go mad on more stuff you’ll only have to store. Let other friends and relatives waste their money and, better still, keep it at their house.
6. Christmas cards
It’s very on trend now NOT to send Christmas cards. You know because of the environment, stamp prices and the fact that people just can’t be arsed. They say they’re donating your card to charity instead. Mmmmm. Well, last year I decided to donate their card to buying gin. For myself. To get through another 365 days of parenting.
Happy Christmas everyone!