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.
Things not to bother doing at Christmas:
1. Don't visit Father Christmas. He's freaky, they're right. They will protest, squirm and cry and you will feel increasingly irritated that your irrational need to have them enjoy this bizarre Christmas ritual is not being met. Let. It. Go. (insert own reference to Disney film here). Unless of course you want a picture of them crying next to him, in which case crack on. Just make sure you choose a budget santa with an easily accessible exit. Don't make the mistake I made last year - the four year old and the two year old had a simultaneous panic attack and the exit was nowhere to be seen. After practically ripping our way through some camouflage netting and taking a few elves out on the way, we then had to endure the embarrassment of having to queue up again for a refund. Awkward.
2. Don't buy anyone under the age of 6 months a present. I appreciate this makes me sound super tight but I promise that no teenager has ever been in therapy because their parents didn't deck the halls with plastic Fisher Price shite. Plus have you ever seen the eyes of a 5 month old light up with joy over yet another squeaky toy? nope, they put it in their mouth, chuck it on the floor, you pick it up and repeat. Stick with a wooden spoon for the baby and buy the parents something. Did I mention I have a 5 month old? #justsaying (Pinot Grigio).
3. Don't go ice skating with anyone under the age of 2. DO NOT believe your own hype that you are a semi pro ice skater. Children who have just mastered the art of walking should not be trusted on ice. Over excited, ambitious adults should not be trusted on ice. Children who have just mastered the art of walking holding hands with over excited, ambitious adults on ice are illegal in a few countries. If they're not then they bloody well should be (just ask Tunbridge Wells A&E circa 2010).
4. Don't forget that Christmas Day is just another day for anyone under the age of 2. No kids last year? I hear ya, out on Christmas Eve, hungover and excited Christmas morning, ceremonious present giving to the other half, Buck's Fizz brunch with smoked salmon, late lunch, lots more booze and a snooze on the sofa watching crap TV. This year? Kids didn't get the memo. Up during the night (someone will have a cough/stomach bug) and business as usual starts at 5am. Hungover as refused to let the Christmas Eve tradition die although couldn't get a babysitter so just drank all of Father Christmas' whisky in pyjamas. Kids hate salmon so groundbreaking Weetabix for breakfast (just like the other 364 days of the year) lunch has to be at 11.30am or else the toddler will do his 'Hangry' tantrum thing (just like the other 364 days of the year) and arguments over whether the four year old will watch the Disney channel or the toddler will watch Cbeebies (just like the other 364 days of the year). So you miss the Eastenders Christmas special, draw the short straw and have to do the bedtime stories (just like the other 364 days of the year) and as a result rather unsportingly lose your shit at coming last in charades (because Aunt Gladys quite clearly cheated).
5. Don't listen to any lists of things to do/not to do at Christmas. Like this one. Do your own thing over the festive period, enjoy your big family get together or your little family do. Embrace the tiredness, chaos and inevitable bickering. Watch all the TV that you want or none at all, play charades (without Gladys obv) or avoid all games like the plague. Just make sure that you dictate your own Christmas celebrations, and don't listen to whatever the internet is telling you to do (see: this post). I, for one, will be doing all the above - most probably with disasterous consequences. And then I will enjoy devouring all the kids' leftovers - washed down with a nice cold glass of Pinot (just like the other 364 days of the year).
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