Each year I start the Advent season anew, moved by nostalgia, or more properly, amnesia. I can’t seem to stop myself. Come November, I’ll actually believe I’m going to make handmade gifts for friends and neighbors. I’ll actually believe that my spare evenings will be spent relaxing in front of a roaring fire, penning clever Christmas cards, while my children raptly lose themselves in the pages of a Children’s Literary Classic.
Here’s the fine print on my holiday fantasy. Children and relaxation rarely - if ever - go together. For me doing almost anything with my children requires a total abandonment of self in which I become a Gumby Doll with an escalating series of nervous tics.
During the holidays, FYI, a typical three year old greets the day lobbying for chocolate. The conversation will go something like this:
“No, Sweetie-pie, we don’t eat chocolate for breakfast.”
“But I said please.”
“The answer is still no.”
“Please, please, please!”
“You know the rule. No means No.”
In my case, this would be the cue for my daughter to begin to cry. “The answer is still no,” I say, but my tone isn’t firm, it’s every bit as wobbly as my daughter’s upper lip.
“Please-please-please!” This last liturgical wail is accompanied by a violent tug on my nightgown. "Please, please, please!”
This goes on for several more seconds until I am the one who is crying. Within minutes I am fixing my sweetie half a piece of toast so she can scarf down a grapefruit-sized Christmas ornament made entirely of chocolate....Click here for Crafting Christmas in its entirety.