I was really looking forward to spending a nice Christmas with the kids, but there is inevitably a downside and the downside is that we have created mini monsters. I feel not unlike the mad scientist after he’s made Frankenstein and his beloved creation turns on him.
Our Christmas Day has the hallmarks of a long car journey. Whenever we get in the car, the kids always kick off a refrain of ‘When are we going to get there?’
For Christmas, all you need to do is substitute that question for this one: ‘When can we open another present?’ This repeats itself more often than the chords of Jingle Bells.
I know they are little, so I cut them a bit of slack; but by that evening I’m not feeling like a jolly old elf. I realize at some point that they resemble drug addicts searching for their next high. Their drug of choice happens to be opening presents. But the high will never be as good as the first hit or that first drink – so it all goes downhill.
The Chatterbox loses it at around 8pm when her sister has finally opened her last gift: a Lalaloopsy doll. Despite the fact that Santa has brought the Chatterbox a Kindle Fire HD for her main gift, she is hysterical that she didn’t get a doll too. Perhaps the whole day was just a bit too much. A friend tells me that you always need to buy girls almost identical gifts or it often ends in tears.
I fall back on my remedy of choice in these situations: a good stiff gin and tonic. I reflect on the fact that Christmas hit its high about two weeks ago when I bought a homeless person a fruit juice. He was incredibly grateful and wished me a merry Christmas, a genuine smile lighting up his face. I felt good all day and I haven’t quite felt as good about giving since.