Over the last couple of years, ie the time I have spent hanging around on social media, I have noticed a strange new phenomenon.
Christmas Eve boxes.
In case you’re not aware, these are essentially presents. On Christmas Eve. Y’know, the day before your kids get a sh*t load of presents. They include things like new pyjamas, DVDs, books and treats like hot chocolate and popcorn. I have seen some which contain more presents, in number if not in value, than I GIVE MY KIDS ON CHRISTMAS DAY.
Call me Scrooge, but it doesn’t seem to make any sense.
For one thing, most kids get a lot of Christmas presents on Christmas day. Fundamentally, why do they need more presents the day before? Could it not just possibly be spoiling them a bit? Should we be bringing kids up to expect presents on Christmas Eve? What’s next? New Year’s Day? The longest day of the year? The end of term? The third Thursday in November?
From a parent’s point of view (or maybe it’s just me being grumpy), Christmas shopping is flipping hard work. Why would you make yourself shop for even more presents?!
Oh, and then there’s a freaky doll thing that sits on a shelf or anywhere else to scare the kids into behaving all December. But not only that, said freaky doll thing makes a nuisance of himself – he unravels toilet roll around the house, he spills food, he pulls the decorations off the tree. He makes a different sort of mess every night for the WHOLE OF DECEMBER.
Again, call me Scrooge, but I don’t much like housework. So why the blinking flip would I trash my own house, so that I could clear it up again the next day?! While good humouredly tutting and laughing at the antics of a piece of plastic tat. Who actually didn’t make the mess, because it was actually me spilling food and unravelling toilet roll. Which will then become more unnecessary waste in landfill.
In addition, I don’t hand-make anything – decorations, cards or presents and I don’t do ‘Christmas crafts’ or ‘Christmas baking’. I’m not a baking or craft type of mum and I’m not going to magically transform into one just because the calendar tells me it’s the 12th month of the year.
What I am, though, is a good mum. I’m there for my kids, all day, every day. I stand in the cold while they play football and rugby and drive to dance lessons. I do everything a good mum does. I love my kids and they love me.
They have a lovely Christmas tree and the house looks festive (decorated with shop-bought decorations). They get to spend Christmas with not only their parents and siblings, but grandparents, uncles and aunties and their little cousin. They get to visit Santa on a steam train and go to the Christmas Eve carol service at the church. They have a good, but not excessive, amount of presents, which they love and appreciate. They enjoy Christmas and so do we.
I’m just really flipping grateful they’re not following a load of mums on Instagram though. Because otherwise they might be thoroughly disappointed with their distinctly ordinary Christmas.
Each to their own and all that. If you and your kids enjoy Christmas Eve boxes and the Elf on the flipping Shelf, of course that is up to you. We all make Christmas our own. Personally I like my whole family to give me a Christmas card, but nobody else agrees with that!