Christmas and has come and gone again. I’ve always loved it. I go into full elf mode from December 1st and don’t relent until we’re in the New Year. Now that I have a little boy it gives me even more yule tide fuel. In his first Christmas he was only 10 months old and had no clue what was going on apart from the fact he suddenly had empty boxes to play with while the gifts that contained them were resigned to the back of the room. Now that he is almost 2 and a little more cognizant of the world, I at least saw an appreciation of the toys I’d spent hours hunting or refurbishing.
The kids were sat in front of the tree as the adults towered around them like zombies surrounding a boarded-up house.
My wife was a little concerned that we’d gone overboard and my argument is and always will be that while I can spoil him, I will. When we arrived at my family’s house for the remainder of the day, her concerns rightfully went into overdrive.
We initially noticed the mountain of presents still under their tree and I clocked my son’s name on quite a few. Again, I’m not against him getting presents, we’re lucky enough to have the means to be able to give him these things. I was beginning to get concerned that he was about to be overwhelmed.
The day was a very Aussie Christmas; Sitting outside in the summer sun, oddly hot European dishes paired with prawns and chilled Sav Blanc, sunscreen slathered onto skin moments too late and the best part was seeing my boy running around with his cousins all day. From the corner of my eye I could tell that my parents were chomping at the bit to get the kids inside and unleash the hordes of presents they wanted to give. Then it all happened so fast that my wife was still stuck outside when the first ribbon was ripped off.
The kids were sat in front of the tree as the adults towered around them like zombies surrounding a boarded-up house. My first issue was that it was all in the corner of the house and 10 grown people made it unnecessarily smaller, but then the deluge began. Gifts rained on these kids and while it was a great moment of showing how much the family loved these babies, my nephew became the Tasmanian Devil and I could see my kid getting pretty confused about what was going on. It was too much too fast.
There was a point where he opened a gift of little dinosaurs and excitedly wanted to play with them, but they were snatched away and his hands were refilled with another wrapped gift, he put it aside and went looking for those dinosaurs, but even I had no idea where they had been spirited away to (I’m assuming alien abduction) So we fell back into the machine that was the revealing of gifts. It lasted about 10 minutes and at the end of it even I was exhausted.
Clark Griswold taught me the real spirit of Christmas is family and that Giving is the greatest gift of all (apart from the fact his world is made better by money at the end). We’d bought gifts for our son to give to his cousins and grandparents with nice little cards so he understood that it’s not all about getting shite that will not see the light of day come March, but they got lost in the cyclone and were spotted later in the day piled in the ‘big bag to take home’. I should have said something at the time but I also don’t want to be the guy that tries to run Christmas (I would do a hell of a job) so I hope they read this passive aggressive comment on the day.
The only piece of advice that I could provide is to slow down and savor the day. Take turns and let your kids hand out the presents. Wait for the person to show their gratitude and excitement so they see that the reaction is what makes everyone else happy. This is provided they aren’t jerks and just throw it aside. If you are one these jerks, FAKE IT, just for one day!
Try to enjoy everyone getting together and getting sunstroke for Christmas instead of jumping foot to foot to turn kids into roaring consumers.
Merry Christmas, Ya Filthy Animals.