As if the week before Christmas isn’t busy enough for parents of young children, I have signed up for a ‘bonus’ training course at work which is assigning HOMEWORK due the week before Christmas! KILL ME…oh wait, maybe the list below will, sorry homework, I think you are coming in second place here (or maybe 22nd!).
This list was all prompted by my laughter this morning when I looked at our little one as he bundled up for daycare. It was Ugly Sweater day at school for Holiday Week (I had him dressed in what I thought was a cute ugly sweater, then I served him oatmeal, daddy took over and this is what he came out wearing…and I just didn’t have the energy to change him (or frankly the time!).
In case you aren’t sure what the week before Christmas is all about in a house with young children (and I am not trying to take anything away from families with adult children or no children…this is just where I am right now), I tried to document the few days leading up to Christmas with my version of a Parent’s (Exhausting) Christmas To Do List. Just a small sample from the Daddy Makes Four home:
Sunday, December 18th
- Try to get them into bed at a reasonable hour (bedtime has officially gone out the window)
- Don’t forget to move the Elf on the shelf (two nights in a row would be really bad, he didn’t go to the North Pole last night because Mommy and Daddy were up too late for him to leave and return after we went to bed, yep, they seemed to buy it!)
- Catalog what you have bought, suppress the rising feelings of guilt and unworthiness as a parent (because you are not giving the number one gift that your child wanted and is SURE he will get because Santa got it on his list), try and ensure each child has equal number of gifts to unwrap on Christmas morning. Make a last minute list of things you should probably get…decide gifts from grandparents might make everything better.
Monday, December 19th
- Remember the Holiday Week schedule for your children at daycare. Some of these include Ugly Sweater Day, Christmas PJ day, Red and Green day. You get the themes!
- Figure out what is from Mom and Dad and what is from Santa! Try and remember what you bought together with your kids for their siblings and what was bought secretly…because what they saw you buy together can’t be from Santa!!! That would be an epic Christmas hiccup (worse than #2 above).
- Try to stay awake late enough to wrap presents when everyone is asleep.
- Get the contribution to Daddy’s work pot luck Christmas lunch prepared (oops didn’t do this one).
Tuesday, December 20th
- Gifts for the bus driver, teachers (x5), co-workers, delivered BEFORE there is no school
- Argue over who is taking a vacation day to cover the half days and no school days that creep up before Christmas!
Wednesday, December 21st
- Make gingerbread houses and cookies
- Celebrate grandparents birthdays, try and find birthday wrapping paper…NOT Christmas paper!
Thursday, December 22nd
- Don’t argue with your son when he tries to go to school in his pajamas…it is officially PJ Day!
- Plan for and host Children’s Christmas PJ Movie Party
Friday, December 23rd
- Attend extended family Christmas Party starting at 5:00pm, referencing item #1, bedtime…
- Grocery shop and meal plan for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day (unfortunately your children will want more than candy canes and stocking candy to eat on the 25th). Well, they probably won’t, but you will feel like a better parent if you at least HAD a meal planned.
Saturday, December 24th
- Control your children on Christmas Eve…and take them to church! GULP.
- Make sure to place the milk and cookies out…where IS that special cookie plate?
- Is it bedtime yet???
- Send the Elf on the Shelf back to the North Pole
- Put all the gifts under the tree…hopefully before the automatic timer on the tree turns all the lights off and you are stuck in the dark!
- PASS OUT (hopefully with enough time to get a few minutes of shut eye before your children are begging you to get up to see what Santa has brought them…)
Does your list look much different?