All I want for Christmas is …. (and it’s not two front teeth)

Christmas card to SantaI almost dare not write the word, but it has somehow started to become part of my daily vocabulary against my will. I’m talking about Christmas, of course. Here we go again with another big helping of seasonal songs, rich food and gifts.

If you’re a parent you will know that the gifts part of the equation will essentially take over your life for the next 6 weeks, tipping you precariously close to bankruptcy and wreaking havoc on your festive goodwill.

Nothing makes me think violent thoughts more than trying to negotiate a Christmas crush of frantic people in a toy store. It might even beat taking the tube during rush hour, which occasionally makes me fantasize about wielding a deadly weapon.

With a slight shudder I learn that the Chatterbox, now seven years old and still (miraculously) believing in Santa Claus, has finally composed her Christmas wish-list, all 14 items of it.

She shows me her cute card to Santa, adorned with a mini replica of the jolly old man, while I’m frantically trying to decide what I could possibly make for dinner with half a packet of green beans, two carrots, hummus and some eggs. They’re the kind of ingredients likely to stump even the most accomplished chef, which clearly I’m not.

Later that evening – with the trauma of dinner mercifully behind me – I look closely at the card and discover that top of the list is an ‘Apple phone’.

It has me thinking nostalgically about what I wanted for Christmas when I was seven. I’m pretty sure it would have been a Barbie sports car and some new Ken, Skipper and Barbie dolls with all the accessories.Chaterbox wish-list

How have humans evolved to the stage where a seven-year-old wants an iPhone? I’m not entirely sure this is what I would call progress.

What has happened to the innocence of childhood and playing with an assortment of cheap Chinese plastic?

I say to the Chatterbox, with my serious mother face, ‘Honey, I don’t even have an iPhone.’ I lie to the kids a lot, but this happens to be true. My phone is the kind of archaic thing that still does nothing more than text or make phone calls. For some reason I’m reluctant to part with it. It could be because getting an iPhone, or one of its rival equivalents, will then mean that I spend even more time with an electronic device in my life. I just don’t need it.

So the Chatterbox turns to me, her tone just a tad sulky: ‘But Kate has an iPhone.’

Kate happens to be eight, and I’ve not seen her take the iPhone out yet. Still, it’s quite possible she has one, especially because she lives in the United States, the land of plenty.

‘Well,’ I say, trying to sound firm, ‘I don’t think that means you should have one.’

Since I’m dealing with a seven-year-old, I think I might have outwitted her. I give myself three more years before I find that I need to come up with a better argument for why my daughter shouldn’t get a smartphone.

On a parting note, the Chatterbox has actually been missing her two front teeth since last winter – so, yes, she could really do with getting them for Christmas.

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5 Comments

Filed under holidays, motherhood

5 responses to “All I want for Christmas is …. (and it’s not two front teeth)

  1. Cousin

    That picture of Santa is the cutest thing I’ve ever seen! What do you mean she hasn’t gotten her front teeth yet?!

  2. I hate the Christmas crowd/rush too. That’s why I order everything, well almost, everything online. My daughter’s best-friend is also 3 and is a whiz with his Dad’s iPad. We don’t have one. Both my husband and I don’t find the need for it, especially since we love/use our laptops A LOT. Admittedly though I’m a bit envious/jealous of the way F (my daughter’s best-friend) expertly manoeuvres his way around his Dad’s iPad. My daughter doesn’t even know how it works! But she’s too young for gadgets… so NO. Btw, love your daughter’s drawing of Santa 🙂

    • All my friends’ kids in the United States are also mini experts with iPads, iPods, iPhones, basically anything electronic. I do wonder, slightly nervously, if I should be making more of an effort to keep up with this stuff so that I can help my kids. But I would rather encourage her to draw and use her imagination. It takes you places a computer can’t. > Date: Fri, 8 Nov 2013 10:37:57 +0000 > To: parkscarla@hotmail.com >

  3. Vivian

    Wish I had seen this before! Sent small gifts to the girls…don’t know if they’ll arrive before Xmas. Love the Santa by the way. What an artist!

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