The stockings were hidden with the gifts from Santa behind the couch, in hopes that the littles would not escape their room, see the loot, and make mom a grouch.
Poor rhyming….I know I know, but it’s after 11pm (which is late for this granny) & Christmas hustle & bustle with 3 kids, ages 4 and under, who by-the-way are all strong-willed, hyper, excited, not a calm bone in their body, type kids is Not for the faint of heart. And as our 2nd (maybe 3rd…honestly, I can’t remember) year playing Santa…this parenting at the holiday thing is tiresome! Not to mention the mommy guilt that comes along, free of charge.
First, you may be wondering why I wouldn’t know exactly how long we’ve been playing Santa. “It should be easy, how old is your firstborn…” Except, I learned this great trick from a very wise woman, that when they are that young they have no clue who the gifts are from, so let the grandparents spoil them, they are going to anyway. So, over the last two years is when we started buying major gifts for them. (Don’t be judging…you’re just jealous you didn’t save up those first few years too…j/k).
Anyway, now that it’s getting real because our 4 year old understands, it’s so fun! But with that fun, I’m slowly learning, comes a whole pile of WORK! No one told me about trying to hide gifts in your closet for 2 months. Or baking special cookies for Santa. (My Santa was perfectly fine with oreos…j/k, I do think my mother had special cookies for ours…) Or putting together toys, trying to be quiet and avoid the stirring of one to walk down the hall to go potty and find their Santa gifts being put together by the elves known as “mom and dad.” Shew! Makes me tired just writing that!
And tonight, about 5 minutes after all 3 were put to bed and threatened….I mean highly encouraged…not to stick their head outside the doorframe of their rooms until mom and dad are awake, I sat to take a small break before toy building ensued and it suddenly dawned on me…we didn’t let them put out the cookies they cut, baked, and decorated!! And the milk! Ahhhhh (insert Kevin McCallister’s well-known scream when he realizes he’s “Home Alone.”) ” What kind of parents are we? How could we forget part of the typical Santa tradition? How do people with those elves keep up …Everday? (I forgot 1 task, on 1 day). Do we go get them up and all roused back up, just to set out cookies?” (I believe when I asked this question, my husband secretly thought, ‘She’s lost her mind’). So, we let them be. We poured some milk in a glass, and the Cookie Monster of my home, ate a bite from each cookie, and we continued on with toy construction.
And while you might be thinking, oh that’s not bad, just some toy instructions, there’s also stickers for the toys, and batteries, and screws, and boxes. Those darn cardboard boxes that are cumbersome and bulky but still have to be hidden because our Santa doesn’t leave his trash, he picks up after himself…
With all said and done, I’m totally excited to video them running down the hallway, for us to experience the joy of the season, through their tiny souls. So while I have now ranted about the difficulty of keeping up with “playing Santa”…I’m actually grateful. Grateful for all my parents did. Grateful for grace, and to give myself that same grace because, cookies are minor details. Grateful, for a husband that doesn’t add to the mommy guilt and yet checks me back into reality over cookies and hustle & bustle, and reminds me…”it’s okay” or to just go drink a Coke 😉