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Do Not Open Until 25 December

Christmas is 9 sleeps away, and the courier parcels are arriving at our house like crazy town. The other day I had two separate companies pull up at the same time. They raced each other up the path, it was awesome.

A large amount of what is coming is either (a) online shopping for the kids from “Santa”, (b) online shopping for me disguised as online shopping for the kids from “Santa”, and (c) my usual work stuff that really isn’t particularly interesting at all.

And, then there is the presents. The Actual Presents, sent from various friends, family, Grandparents, Secret Santas and the like.

Now bears the questions – do you open the presents as they arrive, or do you wait until Christmas??

For me and my presents, I wait. And the reason I wait is because I don’t get to open many presents on Christmas day, so it’s fun. Now, I use the term “wait” loosely because let’s be honest, I have zero will power and 9 days is a loooooooong time to wait. But I will try, gosh darnit I’ll try.

But, for the kids. Do I make them wait, or allow them a couple of sneaky early pressies?

Reasons to Wait

  • The are intended to be opened on Christmas Day, so they should be opened on Christmas Day
  • It makes it all the more special to wait
  • It teaches them that they can’t have what they want, when they want it. They must wait.
  • It serves as a valuable bribery tool

Reasons to Let Them Let Rip (the wrapping paper, that is) 

  • It makes Christmas last for aaaaaaaages
  • It allows us to treasure each present separately, rather than them getting lost amidst the chaos of Christmas Day
  • It shuts them the heck up. School holidays, yo.

Like I said, many of our presents come from Grandparents and friends who live far away from us. We aren’t going to see them on Christmas Day (*sad face*) and by letting the kids open the presents early, we are able to give those presents sole focus. This is particularly special when they are gifts that require concentration and loads of little parts. If the kids opened them with all their other Christmas Day loot, it won’t be the same.

At the end of the day, whether or not the kids should be opening their presents before Christmas Day is entirely up to the parent. I’m a read-the-end-of-the-book-before-im-halfway-through kinda person, so you can probably guess where my preference lies. But, that being said, there is still a healthy-ish pile of gifts under our tree, stubbornly waiting for Christmas Day.

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Even my Secret Santa gift. Sitting there. Taunting me.

“open meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee you know you waaaaannntttt toooooooooo”

 

 

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The Hardest Part of Xmas

Christmas comes with many challenges.

What the heck do you (slash Santa) buy the kids? And, how do you even make sure it’s balanced? One kid was easy. I’m pretty sure when Princess was a baby she got a random mix of practical things and annoying toys.

Three kids are hard to shop for. Especially when two are girls and one is a boy. What do you even buy for a boy? Does anybody even know?????? The challenge isn’t so much is what you buy, but rather in how to make sure you have the same amount across all three kids. Obviously it is never going to be an exactly equal stash, but you desperately don’t want to fall into the trap of buying one kid six hundred things, and buying the other kid a book. Lest they grow up feeling less equal to their sibling.

But, it’s a blimmen snowball effect. And I already can see the same pattern emerging this year that I went through last year and the year before. It goes something like this:

Buy for Princess. Buy for Princess. Buy for Princess. Buy for Princess. Oh-shit-I’ve-got-so-much-stuff-for-her-and-nothing-for-the-others. Buy for BabyGirl. Buy for BoyChild. Buy for BabyGirl. Buy for BoyChild. Buy for Princess. Buy for Princess. Buy for Prin—oh-shit-I’m-doing-it-again. Buy for BabyGirl/Boychild/BabyGirl/Boychild/BabyGirl/Boychild …. crap. Now they have more stuff. Next year we do it differently! Write lists for a start. And stick to them.

Aaaaaaaand repeat next year.

But no. That inevitable hole that I dig for myself is not the hardest part of Xmas.

The hardest part is WHERE THE HELL DO I EVEN PUT ALL THE PRESENTS??!?!?!?

I mean, when they are little, you can put them in the middle of the freakin table and they would be none the wiser come Xmas morning. But as they get older, they get smarter. And they know there are presents hidden. Little sneaks.

At the moment I have them hidden in some very creative places, if I do say so myself. I have to say, it’s hard work staying ahead of a savvy 7 year old!

At first, I had the presents at the top of the laundry linen cupboard. Until I got a towel out and was showered by Thomas trains and a (very heavy) doll. I swore, Princess came a-sniffing.

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And then, I had the GENIUS idea to use a suitcase. I know, right?! Pure genius. Until husband has to go away for work.

I’m just grabbing my suitcase from the ——-
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO DON’T OPEN THE SUITCASE THAT IS EMPTY AND NOTHING IS IN THERE BUT STILL JUST DON’T OPEN IT

Smooth. They didn’t suspect a damn thing.

I transferred the stuff to another suitcase. And when that was full, into another suitcase.

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And then I think, hey – I got this xmas thing sorted. Santa ain’t got nothin’ on me.

We got Princess a bike. And BabyGirl a giant stuffed Seahorse. I know. Sigh. I’m goin to be swearing at that on Boxing Day. For now, I was cursing because where on earth do you hide a damn bicycle??????

The answer? In plain view. Kids are smart, but they also can’t see things right under their noses. I mean, anyone who has ever tried to get a kid to find their shoes can attest to that.

In the corner of our house is a shelf. In front of that shelf, there is a mattress leaning against the wall. Behind that mattress, if you were to look closely, is a brand spanking new bike.

Genius.

See? I got this Xmas shit sorted.

Now to figure out how to wrap the lot.

Methinks there will be wine for that.

 

 

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Dear Santa

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Ah, letters to Santa.

Dear Sata

I wood like

Sume Now tis

a hyena costoom

hyena faspat

sume Hebas

a LeopRd gerey

Sume Now sHoes

a kid Kare

Sume wahzes

Sume Fapat

Sume t-tesers

Sume toos

I’m so glad that Santa has the amazing ability to decipher the Santa letter of a 6 year old.

We’ve had to remind Princess that Santa doesn’t get children exactly what is on the list. Because, sometimes Santa knows that children want things, when they don’t even know they might want them! Like socks! Oh, Santa. He’s so clever.

Not to mention the fact that sometimes, no matter how hard Santa tries, he just can’t find a hyena costoom (costume). Santa is very proud of herself  himself that she he was able to locate a LeopRd gerey (leopard jersey), on sale no less. And, even better, some Now sHoes (new shoes) at the Salvation Army store for 50c.

Sadly for Princess, there is no way in hell that she would be getting a Kid Kare (kid car) anytime soon. But, Santa has fulfilled a significant part of the list, including the now tis (new tights), t-tesers (t-shirts) and even some toos (toys).

All in all, I have to give it to Princess this year, her list was pretty good. No specific toys mentioned that can only be purchased online for hundreds of dollars, like last year.

BoyChild’s list? A little shorter.

New trains

Coming from a kid who has over 30 trains.

And, BabyGirl?

ELSA! SOFIA! ELSA! I LIKE ANNA! ELSA! TRAINS!

“YOU can’t have trains! I’m having trains!”

TRAINS TRAINS TRAINS TRAINS

Gotcha.

Just for shits and giggles, what do I want for Xmas? Well, since you asked …

Dear Santa

This year, I would like the following, in no particular order:

  1. An hour with no one talking to me/touching me/looking at me
  2. New fancy shoes. Or, superglue to fix my current ones.
  3. A day when I don’t have to parent or adult or cook or clean/  or launder or wash or change a nappy.
  4. A massage.
  5. Something pretty. I mean, really pretty. Not a drawing.
  6. Happy kids, with no bickering or squealing.
  7. A hefty addition to my bank account balance.
  8. Cider. On tap, preferably.
  9. The Chelsea Winter cookbook. Any one of them, I’m not fussy.
  10. Some nice food. That I don’t have to prepare. Or share.
  11. A surprise. A genuine surprise. Any of the above will do.

 

Look, I love Christmas, and what I truly want is everyone to be safe, happy, content and doing what they want to be doing, with whom they want to be sharing the day.

Anything more is just gravy.

Oh! 13. Gravy.