originally published December 2011
my mom always waited a lot longer to decorate for christmas then any of my friends' moms. i thought she was just, like, so weird. when lucy was a toddler i never listened when she said, "you should wait to decorate till just a week before". what? crazy talk i tell you.
and so, every year we bust out the full on decor the day after thanksgiving. tree! stockings! decor! music! and it's absolutely fantastic.
and then...oh and then. 4 weeks later the kids are absolutely bonkers. and to add to the bonkers i have so many things to get done on top of the normal pile that i get paralyzed (remember diy paralysis? i also suffer from holiday paralysis). wrapping, cards, baking, dinner, cleaning, laundry, playing, organizing, sweeping, wiping, diapers, diapers, diapers and more diapers to change.
ah. exhaustion! i just can't take it any more!!!!! and to top it off, my kids are getting more and more disobedient the closer it gets to christmas. they just can't handle the pressure. i finally put out a few, and i mean a few, kids christmas presents yesterday as i thought, "they won't be tempted to open them in just 2 days". wrongo. a child who will not be named just snapped. and walking out the door to grandma's i notice an opened package ever so gently placed back on the pile.
" who opened the present? i asked. no, i demanded.
and then someone said it was phoebe.
and then it was the cat (the CAT!),
and then it was an accident ,
and then it was nobody again.
"well unless i hear the truth no one is getting that present" i stated. the best part is, it is "prancer's" present. so not knowing to whom it belongs everyone is having seizures at this point. ( i used reindeer code names for their names to discourage gift opening. yeah, that worked awesome)
fast forward 3 hours later. there has been crying. and pleading. and "i did its!" and "i didn't do its!" and a sister who is cajoled into confession. and then, I snapped (I'm noticing a pattern). i had had enough. i didn't care that the present was opened but the fibbing and fibbing and fibbing! ENOUGH! i said.
I opened the door, walked onto the sidewalk and threw the present up on top of the roof.
I threw the present on the roof.
that was my only option. i was exhausted trying to find the right the answer of what to do. there was no solution in sight for my tired, frazzled brain and i just wanted it to stop. i threw a present onto our roof. that sounds so crazy now that i write it down.
i called ty and said, "i just threw a present on top of the roof."
"well, as long as it works." he replied. (i love that guy)
and guess what, i don't think any kid in our household will open a present before christmas again. but i'm also not going to put presents out under the tree until christmas eve, at like, 10:30pm.
the avarice. the greed. i hate how it so easily smothers out peace, good will and joy at this time of year.
**update**to this day I have not found any opened presents. the present came down a few days later and was unharmed. if you are looking for an amazing object lesson to motivate your kids to keep their paws of the presents, here ya go.
**another update** I like to report that our holidays are much more manageable and peaceful now that the kids are older and I'm not insane. getting solid sleep every night and not having 2 kids in diapers sure does a lot for your mental health.