Tiny Holiday Heathens


Being a kid during the holiday season can be tough!  I mean just over Thanksgiving they had to sleep in a car for six hours on the drive to West Virginia to see their GG and Grandper and get completely spoiled rotten.  I mean they weren’t even allowed to bring all of their movies for the ride, only about 10 each for their personal DVD player.  They got stuck eating McDonalds (their first time eating in my new car ugh) on both legs of the trip with snacks of sweets and chips in between.  My son couldn’t even go to school for five whole days, the horror!  Don’t even get me started on how they were forced to stay up past their bedtimes and have sleepovers with their cousins, they must have been traumatized.

I’m obviously being facetious but the holidays can be tough on all parents, especially those with the tiniest of humans.  The long distances to travel, the preparation and then trying to keep order and some form of discipline with the messed up sleep schedules and the diets that are worse than normal.  I think that the hardest part is trying to reintegrate them back into the normal world and routines that they we all crave.  We need to relax sometimes and remember to enjoy these moments, these are the memories that the kids will cherish for the rest of their lives.  The sad reality is that there aren’t always opportunities to get all of the family together without work and just talk and laugh. pixabay

I am always in charge of cooking the bird and since my Big Green Egg doesn’t travel, I deep fry it.  This year I stepped up my game and did the garlic mashed potatoes and a cake so that GG didn’t have as much to take care of.  Of the entire wonderful spread, my son ate leftover pizza and my daughter had some mashed potatoes so I guess that’s a success.  We tried our hardest to choose our battles and let them enjoy themselves and be kids, play outside in the rain with their cousins that they only see once a year, be loud and skip the meal that we all worked so hard on and let them stay up to maximize the time they spend with family.  We even went to Brennan’s favorite restaurant, the race car themed Quaker Steak and Lube where we met my father-in-law’s cousin and family that we usually only see once a year at the other side of the family’s reunion.

Now this lull between Thanksgiving and Christmas takes way too long for the kids as all we hear while commercials are on is “OOOOO I want that, I’m going to ask Santa” and then going to secretly talk to the creepy elf that invades our home at this time of year.  This elf is a lot of work for a parent, I’ve forgotten him once and another time he fell over in front of the kids and was in the dog’s territory so I had to get tongs to move him without him losing the magic.  Parents are rushing around trying to remember everyone on their list and get their kids what they want without going into debt or spoiling them.  There has to be a balance that is very hard to achieve.    I don’t necessarily want credit for getting the presents so I don’t mind almost everything being from Santa, but then I think about how it could make other kids feel if Brennan goes and tells someone that Santa brought him an XBOX 360 and Lilly a Frozen Power Wheel when maybe their parents couldn’t afford that type of thing.  There is so much more stress on adults this time of year and it is supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year, but all too often it isn’t.  The stresses of money, being able to get a sitter to do the shopping (Lilly can be so clueless that Lauren has bought things with her there and she hasn’t noticed), where to hide the presents, some assembly required and then the credit card bills come in.

Overall it is important to remember that giving and love are the reason for the season.  I’ve been a bit of a Scrooge recently but my wife is trying to snap me out of it.  We put up the tree and decorated the inside of the house and out, I even broke out my Redskins Santa hat and went to the local parade and lighting of the Christmas tree.  The kids won’t remember if you spent $50 or $500, they’ll remember the time with you and the laughter and being in the holiday spirit.  Be safe at those Christmas parties, those tiny humans are depending on Santa to make it down the chimney in a few weeks!

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