The 14 emotional stages every parent experiences during the holidays
I found this on Babble & thought it was hilarious.. so I'm sharing it...
Before you were a mom or dad you probably thought holiday shopping would be among the highlights of your parenting career. You envisioned yourself picking out gifts guaranteed to make your kids squeal with delight. This would affirm to them that you are, in fact, the best mom or dad in the world, right? You gleaned their deepest desire, researched its whereabouts, stood in line for hours and shelled out what could have been an early retirement for you. All for something that would hold their interest for exactly 2.5 days before being tossed aside with all other past, forgotten gifts — along with their gratitude for your effort and thoughtfulness.
This year will be different, though, you always tell yourself. Except, of course, it won’t. Here are the 14 emotional stages every parents experiences during the holidays:
1. BewildermentQuick — someone find a calendar. Are my eyes deceiving me or did the town put up the Christmas wreathes on the light poles downtown on September 15? It’s September, right, not December? Do kids really need visual prompts to remind us that we need to start shopping for them? (No. The answer is no.)
2. Reluctant AcceptanceOK, OK. I freely admit that it has long since been a surprise that the holidays (and, more specifically, the holiday shopping season) creep up earlier and earlier each year. I hereby vow to no longer get visibly annoyed when the Salvation Army bell ringers start guilting me to give outside of the supermarket a week after Columbus Day.
3. Joy and WarmthSee how everyone sat around the table at Thanksgiving and easily rattled off everything for which they’re grateful? The holidays bring out the best — the BEST! — in everyone! Joy! Love! Family! Togetherness! Turkey! Pie! Happiness!
4. Christmas Music Is the BestDid you know James Taylor recorded “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” following Sept. 11, 2001, as his gift to the people of New York? Did you know it is a proven unscientific fact that listening to Nat King Cole’s “The Christmas Song,” John Lennon’s “Happy Xmas (War is Over),” Sarah McLachlan’s “River,” and Vince Guaraldi’s “Christmas Time is Here” will literally make you a better person?
5. Cautious OptimismHey, my kids are older this year. Maybe this will be the year they’ll learn that the holiday season is equal parts giving and receiving. We’ll bake cookies for the homeless shelter! We’ll use some of their allowance to buy gifts to donate to Toys for Tots! They’ll volunteer to go through their closet and find warm coats for the clothing drive at school! They’ll sing carols at the retirement home and play checkers with the residents! My kids are good people! Yay! I’m an awesome parent!
6. Are You F%#&ing Kidding Me?My littlest kid can’t even read and yet she’s clutching the Target holiday catalog and studying each image as if one has hidden in it the first and only known cure for Ebola. Surely there are more productive things she could be doing with her time besides pouring through those thinner-than-newspaper cheap pages and memorizing the Doc McStuffins merchandise because she seems to think if she stares at it long and hard enough it will magically appear in front of her. Like breathing. She could breathe instead.
7. Are We There Yet?No. Today is not Christmas. No. Tomorrow is not Christmas. I’ll know Christmas is here by the 14 additional patches of grey hair on my head, my fingers full of paper cuts from wrapping gifts while falling down drunk on red wine and not remembering to take a bite out of the carrots I left for the reindeer (although I did manage to remember to shove the cookies in my mouth, thank you very much).
8. Christmas Music Is the WorstWas there something wrong with the 1984 version of Band Aid’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas” that it had to be re-done, this time without everyone who is good and instead with everyone who is bad? When is the Grinch movie showing? How about A Christmas Carol? Surely there’s a Kirk Cameron Christmas movie to make the seasonal entertainment even more miserable. Oh, yes. Of course there is.
9. No, Really. What Is Wrong with All Of Us?It’s is just a holiday. It’s supposed to be the most wonderful time of year. It’s not supposed to be a time when our children threaten us within an inch of our lives should the Frozen Castle & Ice Palace fail appear in the living room, like, now. Why does their list keep growing such that it requires a different letter to Santa each day of the month — and they refuse to let us proofread it before sealing and mailing it? Why do they hold fast to the belief of Santa’s existence and yet blame us ahead of time for everything he fails to produce?
10. Seriously with the Elf?Because we needed one more material way to remind us how much Christmas is not about Jesus. We need one more thing to remember to do each day in December. And now it requires clothes? And cutesy risqué poses? And the Mensch on a Bench? Oy. Just oy.
11. Existential CrisisWhy did I come into this store again? I mean, yes, I know it was just to buy two bags of Reese’s peanut butter bells. But how was I supposed to know they also sell snowman decorating kits? If I’d had one of those as a kid, maybe my life would have more meaning today. And those adorable s’mores kits? Sure, they’re seven times more expensive than if I just bought a box of graham crackers, a bag of marshmallows, and a few Hershey bars, but this will taste better, because packaging. So what if my budget for this outing was $9? So what if I went $81 over budget? ‘Tis the season to throw all goals, morals, good intentions, and feelings of peace and joy out the window. There are Christmas Cadbury Creme Eggs to be eaten. Thank you, Jesus.
12. I’m Almost Done Shopping. And Yet It Never Really Ends, Does It?I mean, the list is complete. But then the stores compel you to keep going. Stocking stuffers. A present to open on Christmas Eve. The token Hanukkah gift so the Christian kids don’t feel left out for eight whole nights. The token Christmas gift so the Jewish kids don’t feel like the cheese standing alone. Did we remember the mailman? Are they allowed to accept gifts? Or maybe I’m supposed to bake cookies. Does everyone need a handwritten note to go with gift cards, or is the dollar sign enough of a gesture?
13. All is Forgiven on Christmas DayUntil 7:04 a.m., that is. After all of the gifts have been opened, though, what have you done for them lately?
14. Only 65 Shopping Days Left ‘Til Valentine’s DayYour kids couldn’t pass the basic arithmetic exam administered before the start of their school’s winter break. But this figure they can rattle off without hesitation.
Merry christmas Ya'all!