Thursday, December 15, 2011

Happy Holidays?

I soooo envy my kids right now. This time of year is's magic... it's...a lot of work to be a magician! I am exhausted. I don't remember having 'magician' as a required skill in my parenting job description. If there was a factual job description for parenting out there, I don't think there would be one person that would apply to an open position, even in this tough economy.

I'm so glad my kids still believe in Santa, however, I don't think I've ever wished that fat bastard was actually real, as much as I do now. I am a terrible liar. It's tough not to feel a little stressed around this time of year, since this has become some sort of sick game trying to keep the magic alive.

My kids are getting older...they are asking questions about the jolly old soul that brings them presents for being well behaved, which ironically, they really are not this time of year.

“How does he get all those toys on his sled?” Well, he umm...
“What makes the reindeer fly?” Well see, they uhhh...
“How does he do it all in one night?”

Damn it! Stop drilling me! It’s MAGIC OK?!

Then comes the joy of giving...

               "You know what I'm getting for Christmas?", they ask, and then catch me completely off guard with something that was definitely NOT on their Christmas List. I hate that list by way, that list of things they feel they deserve. Especially since we really can't afford most of them, and in a way they base their receipt of some of these things as a reflection of the type of person they are.  No pressure though pressure...

                                Oh Really??, I think, as I watch them putting each other in headlocks, rolling on the floor, jamming the others face in the their armpit. Well, you certainly deserve it since you are CLEARLY so well behaved...

I try so hard not to get stressed. I really want to enjoy the Christmas, but it really has turned into such an obligation...

I'm not sure why, but my Christmas card causes a little stress each year. Well, I do know why, it's because I like to include a picture, which requires my sons to cooperate for one. I am assigned the task of finding a split second where there is an image of them actually behaving.

But, I put myself through the pain of trying to capture them at their best. Here's how it started this year...

Umm, guys can you try to stay still?
Then this...

Umm, can you not put your hand there?
Then this...

Then this...

Umm, sorry honey, Mommy didn't mean to yell. Hot chocolate anyone? Tell Mommy again what Santa is going to bring you...Joy to the World.

Based on how I feel about Christmas this year, I wanted to just send this card to save me the time and stress of getting a good picture, and I think it portrays the spirit of the season...

Oh well, I will just crop one of the crotch grabbing ones, and call it a day. Well, that was fun.

As if this time of year isn’t stressful enough, this year I got the added bonus of unrelenting sicknesses running rampant through the family. Stomach bugs, colds, and this week …strep. Super. I’ve got to say though, it is very considerate for the schools to send those little joy filled notices home with the kids.

‘There has been a reported case of strep throat in your child’s classroom’.

Thanks for the heads up. Basically, I should count on them having it in… about…. say a day or two? Cool, I’ll plan accordingly.

I tried to shake my holiday blues the other night by planning a little trip. I put the kids in their pajamas, made them some hot chocolate, and set out to view some of the light displays in the area.

It sounded like a good idea, but it went a little something like this:

My first turn out of the neighborhood and there was a horrible shriek that came from the back seat.

“MOM! You turned too fast and I spilled my hot chocolate!”

Deep Breath…

“It’s OK, just try to hold on to it for the rest of the ride”

Don’t go back home… just keep going it will be fine.

I guess now is a good time to remind you that I have no sense of direction. But, I felt very brave this particular evening. I traveled across town and decided to turn down a random street off the main road to see if we could find any cool displays. Naturally, I picked the neighborhood with a bunch of bah-humbugs. Every 20th house or so had a couple of lights on it.... Boring.
My kids were pretty quick to let me know that I had screwed up too…

“Why did you turn down this road mommy?”
“There are no lights on these houses”
“This sucks”

Deep Breath…

“OK, we’ll turn around and look somewhere else”

At this point I had traveled fairly deep into a neighborhood I was unfamiliar with. Oh shit! I’m lost!

Panic was starting to set in. Do I take a left here? How do I get out?

“Are we lost Mom?”

“NO!! Now keep quiet for 2 seconds so I can THINK!”

Did I mention the kids hot chocolates were in cups that light up? Oh yeah, crazy flashing lights. Not only was I pissed that I can never figure out where the hell I am, the whole ride felt like I was being tailed by the cops. I secretly wished that I was. I would pull over, surrender, and spend the night in solitary confinement. Sounds like the ideal situation right now...
Wow, this was a kick ass idea to help de-stress…

After another half hour of aimless wandering, I gave up and turned on the GPS. What a loser. Well, that was fun.

Now on to the stress of shopping and an effort to show the kids they are really good people. We have gone out and bought as much as we could find from their list of entitled toys. I may even throw in a couple of gift cards this year, to cover that toy that I find out about on Christmas Eve.

Some unknowing family member will undoubtedly ask "So what is Santa going to bring?"

A WHAT ? Really? No, it's OK, don't panic, Santa brought the gift card this year. That should cover it...

“Did you have that on your list honey?”

“Oh no, but Santa knows what I want”

Great, now I have to be a fucking mind reader too. I’ll be sure to add that to my skills on my resume. It may come in handy when I threaten to walk off the job someday. I bet someone, somewhere, would appreciate the skills I have.

I give my parents a lot of credit for doing all this work when I was growing up. I now feel "initiated" into the group of people that know Santa is not real, but wish like hell that he was, and who also know that 'Christmas Cheer' actually means having a good buzz.

Speaking of 'Christmas Cheer', since I can't seem to get any going for Christmas, I might as well let it build up until it explodes on New Years Eve. Now THAT is a day to look forward to. No stress involved in tying one on, plus it helps bring the stress level down from the debacle known as Christmas.

Bring on the booze...and lets begin a new year that gives me almost twelve months to ignore this stressful time of year!