But over the past few years, December 1st has marked the day when your social media feed (if you are friends with many parents) becomes full of images of an elf. In their home doing various activities each day to keep their kids entertained and well behaved until Christmas. Yes people, it's Elf on the Shelf day.
Then there are the death knell closing statements such as, 'I've seen that wrapping paper in the under stairs cupboard so is Father Christmas real or is it just you and daddy?' This is the final option for our guilty plea before the dread accusation - and we know it's coming - 'Why did you lie?'
So, if you are thinking of starting a family, it is a great incentive to lose weight. But you have to make sure you do it in a way that is good for you - not by fad dieting which will starve your body of essential nutrients just at the time when you and your unborn child need them most.
They are also pretty intimidating at first though; walking into a room of strangers, fears of cliques and the fact you are transported back to an irrational school child fear that no one will like you
For the first time, I noticed my father's vulnerability: we would walk down the street and he'd budge up really close to me like a child afraid of his surroundings. We'd go to the pub and I'd order for him because he wasn't quite sure how to navigate his way around a hipster East London brewery. It felt great. The balance of power had shifted slightly and I wasn't so afraid of him anymore.
I'd heard rumours of a magical Elf who visited children in the run up to Christmas and reported their behaviour to Santa every evening. I decided I needed to get me one of those Elves! I was going to get that little arsehole in check if it killed me.
When we were first given the diagnosis, I remember going through lots of outdated, clinical information we'd found online, but what I desperately wanted to know was how the day-to-day looked, raising a child with a learning disability.
Isn't it about time we dads learnt to talk about puberty? About unwanted erections, hormones and changes that happen to women? And to do it without embarrassment and code words, as if any of it were something to be ashamed of?
The Bank of Mum and Dad has never been busier. Housing charity Shelter suggests that as well as helping children to fund their lifestyles, parents are increasingly supporting their offspring with bigger ticket purchases such as house deposits. But what about helping their kids onto the career ladder
'You'd be a great Dad!' I get told this often. Yes, I can mess around and play the fool. I'm down with video games and I know what pop star is popping another. I'm guessing that there's a little bit more to actually being a great Dad.
Inboxes are bursting at the seams with hundreds of 'urgent' emails about nativity plays, charity days, Christmas jumper days, carol concerts, kids' class parties, adults' class parties and teachers' presents.
Christmas is approaching and so the lists of things to do with kids in your local area are arriving into your awareness - and inbox - thick and fast. Here is my helpful list of things *not* to do at Christmas with the little ones. That's right- here is your permission to sink back into the sofa, unwrap another Quality Street and pour yourself another glass of wine.
Christmas can be a stimulating but overwhelming time of the year for a child with speech, language and communication needs. Charities like I CAN offer tips and advice for supporting these children through the festive period.
Is money really that much of a dirty subject? I don't think it is and it's time to open up and face reality - children need to know about money because they will need it to survive when they are older and unless we give them the skills to do it properly, we are building generation skint.
It is logical that developing pathways of support for this young man and thousands like him could change the life chances for both father and child. In turn, that would bring cost benefits to service providers like local authorities, as well as creating a positive social value in breaking the negative cycles we have seen for so many years.
Here's some transparency. I have four children which means that my hair is falling out. However, people often tell me I seem calm. I'm not calm, I'm bored. Gravy adverts make me feel terrible, all those lovely Mums cooking delicious pies for tea, with children that will actually eat a pie and gravy.