So, good Christmas was it? How were the kids? Grateful, delightful little angels? Thankless, grasping little devils? If I'm honest I'm hoping for the latter. This would provide me with free rein to raise my nose in a smug and supercilious manner and inform you of my daughter's perfect behaviour over the festive period.
Here begineth lesson one:
1) Never underestimate The Child
She is generally a good girl but brightly wrapped gifts from Father Christmas can bring out The Prince of Darkness in any child can they not?
Images of kids discarding half opened presents in order to move immediately on the the next, haunted my thoughts. I knew, even at the time of goodwill to all men, I wouldn't be able to tolerate that level of ingratitude. Father Christmas's gifts are returnable!
Finje however, spent so long cherishing each present that I was worried she might hear my inner-voice screaming "OPEN THE NEXT ONE, IT'S A UNICORN!" As is our family tradition, we didn't go in for big, expensive gifts, but Finje demonstrated genuine delight over every single one. Her favourite? A second hand, slightly dog-eared book from Amazon that had cost me 60 cents.
And there endeth lesson one.
2) Don't linger too long over Rudolph
Delighted to hear that Finje had learned an English song in kindergarten, I was slightly perplexed as to her reluctance to sing it for me when she got home. In an attempt to gee her up I started her off. Here begineth lesson two:
"Come on Finje, Rudolph the red nosed reindeer, had a very shiny nose, and if you ever saw him you would ever say it glows. All of...."
"Nooooooooo! Stop mama. Stop NOW!"
Finje had begun to snivel and sob. Blimey, just how bad was my singing? Further investigation revealed she was grief-stricken about persistent reindeer bullying in Lapland. Any mention of Rudolph being relocated from Lapland to Coventry sent her into a pit of devastation.
So, just because something is supposedly aimed at kids doesn't necessarily mean it takes into account those with a curious appreciation of Reindeer Psychology.
And there endeth lesson two.
3) The date is irrelevant
Though I am convinced I will never be satisfied by the German tradition of opening presents on the evening of 24th, I have to concede it really is of no matter. The children are thrilled regardless.
And that's what it all about.
And here endeth lesson three.