Now that I am parent, and especially as a stay at home dad, I am learning more and more about Christmas. Last year, while it was my first as a stay at home dad, our daughter had just been born that month, the Dashing Wife was home on maternity leave and it was kind of a blur. This year, as the fully entrenched father at home, the Dashing Wife is slammed at work, I have had to take on more of the Christmas duties. Also, with money being a little tighter than it usually is, my eyes have been opened a bit wider on some aspects.
Here is a list of things that I have realized about this “Most Wonderful Time of the Year”
1) I haven’t worked retail in over eight years, and I still cannot handle 98% of Christmas music.
2) Wrapping presents is a time consuming process that involves swearing, band-aids, scrounging for boxes, and about a football field length of scotch tape.
3) Scotch tape has nothing to do with a bottle of scotch.
4) Drinking scotch while wrapping presents makes the process more enjoyable, but does not improve the quality of the wrapping.
5) The person who decided to put the cutting grid on the back side of wrapping paper deserves the Nobel Peace Prize.
6) The Dashing Wife loves to buy the reversible two-sided wrapping paper (i.e. no grid).
7) I cannot cut along a straight line.
8) We have a bag of recycled bows from the last 3 years.
9) We buy a new bag of bows every year.
10) The cat pulls the bows off the presents.
11) So does the baby.
12) The cat likes to hide in the presents.
13) The dog likes to find the cat.
14) The presents and tree must be behind a baby gate this year.
15) The cat still brings bows to the baby.
16) We have no room to put any more toys in the play room or kids’ rooms.
17) The Dashing Wife and I agree that the kids have way too many toys and the outside family is going to get them a bunch of toys, so there is no need for us to buy them toys.
18) We both buy toys for the kids
19) The instant we take a toy the kids haven’t played with in two years, a crying fit ensues, followed by, “But it’s my f-f-f-favorite!”
20) Grandparents complain that kids have too many toys with motors and electronics, which limit the imagination of the kids.
21) Grandparents will buy toys with motors and electronics for the kids.
22) The grandparents will get the kids something huge and ostentatious, and is probably something you never wanted for your kids anyway.
23) This present will not fit in your car.
24) Once you have kids, you stop getting presents from anybody other than your spouse.
25) Once you stop getting presents, you don’t have to stand in line to return the “running” shoes from Foot Locker that are three sizes too small.
26) I have no idea what I want for Christmas.
27) Neither does my wife.
28) I will get the wrong present for my wife.
29) I usually end up buying my own presents, or I am with my wife when she buys them.
30) This marks the 5th year when I am wrapping my own presents.
31) Whatever I buy my wife, including jewelry, it can’t match the butcher paper card with one of the kid’s handprint on it that says, “Mery Krismassss momy! (ps I love you)”.
32) The card I made for her didn’t do anything.
33) The perfectly working strand of Christmas lights from last year, doesn’t work.
34) I have 300 extra bulbs for my Christmas lights.
35) Each brand of Christmas lights has it’s own style of bulb-to-strand connection.
36) Apparently, I no longer have the right bulbs for my strand of lights.
37) Make sure that the auto-timer for the lights is actually on before you go searching for the one burnt out bulb.
38) The “stay-lit” lights (the ones that stay on if one bulb doesn’t work) don’t look that great when half the lights are out.
39) I always end up putting up the one strand of lights that blinks.
40) The fake Christmas trees still drop needles, especially if they are more than 4 years old.
41) The cat likes to eat the fake tree needles.
42) The cat also likes to eat tinsel.
43) Changing the litter box is “festive” now.
44) Christmas cards come in packs of 50.
45) We always have more than 55 people to send Christmas cards to.
46) I cannot find a menorah tree topper (I was raised Jewish, and I want to expose my kids to both religions).
47) Even if I found a menorah tree topper, I doubt my wife would let me put it on the tree.
48) Stockings hung from the chimney with care are too tempting for the cat to ignore.
49) Stocking hangers – don’t.
50) Unemployment doesn’t give end-of-the-year bonuses.
51) Then again, neither did my last employer.
52) Gingerbread houses attract ants.
53) The candy cane candies on the gingerbread house will gradually disappear the closer to Christmas.
54) The Dashing Son’s breath constantly smells like peppermint.
55) The new baby toys freak the hell out of the dog.
56) The amount of time you spend setting up a big toy for your kids is inversely proportional to the amount of time they spend playing with it.
57) There is nothing worse about this season then the Christmas music.
58) Except when one Christmas song is sung off key by a small child, over, and over, and over again.
59) I am done by about the 6th day of Christmas.
60) Expensive ornaments break.
61) Forgetting that you set your purchases on the roof of your car can end very, very badly.
62) The Christmas wreath on the door blocks the peephole.
63) I have opened the door for more salesmen and religious folks in the last month thinking it was a UPS or FedEx delivery.
64) Most of the toys will be forgotten in about 2 weeks; and lastly,
63) It doesn’t matter how much you spend on toys, or how old they are, the kids will just end up playing with the boxes.