We have been lied to. It is not supposed to go down like this. In the commercials mom and dad are laughing in slow motion as they wrap presents. Their angelic children are snuggled beneath their Pottery Barn quilt while visions of sugarplums dance in their heads. Has anyone ever dreamt about sugarplums? I think I would wake up annoyed that I didn’t dream about a better candy.
My Christmas Eve went less like the commercial and more like an Alfred Hitchcock movie. After dinner and a trip to see Christmas lights I tucked my little ones in bed. My children envy people with inflatable, lighted decorations on their lawn. It doesn’t matter if the decorations surround a mobile home they say the same thing, “That guy must be really rich!” I don’t know when the gigantic snow globe became a status symbol. Initially, the kids were thrilled to go to sleep. They ran to bed in their new Christmas pajamas. This never happens. Ever. They usually turn into an attorney at bedtime, arguing why they should be free to do as they choose, but not tonight. I would be done wrapping gifts in no time. Five minutes later my daughter woke up and knocked on my door. I scrambled like a contestant on Supermarket Sweep throwing everything into a bag, shoving it under the bed, etc. I unlocked the door and escorted her back to her bedroom. Ten minutes later my 7-year-old started crying because he couldn’t fall asleep. If he didn’t fall asleep Santa wouldn’t come, but he is so excited for Santa to arrive that he cannot fall asleep. It’s a vicious cycle. By 10 p.m. I was ready to start a new tradition and read them the book “Go the F*ck to Sleep.” I am eager for the sun to rise, too. They giggle as they run down the stairs. I am beyond excited to see their reaction when they look under the tree in the morning and see nothing, but coal. I’m kidding. There is no greater joy than watching a child on Christmas morning. However, Santa Claus has PMS and is very tired.
On an average day Facebook is full of people lying about their perfect lives. It’s a world where everyone is happy, their children never do anything wrong and “hubby” is always the greatest! It’s enough to drive a normal person with a normal life and normal problems to drink. However, this Christmas Eve something unusual happened on the social media site. I logged on to find that other parents were complaining, too. Their children were excited, but whining and crying. They were wishing they hadn’t procrastinated and wrapped days earlier or purchased gift bags. They stopped caring about the presentation, waded up paper and slapped tape on the box. They, too just wanted to crawl into bed. People were being honest on Facebook. It was a Christmas miracle. God Bless us everyone.