An open letter to the boys who inhabit my house as Christmas draws near.
Christmas Day brings with it a lot of excitement. This excitement can make boys forget themselves and step outside of the bounds of acceptable decorum. When this happens, it creates a situation known as Too Much Christmas or TMC. TMC can result in a boy having to spend valuable Christmas minutes alone in his room, composing himself so he can resume his place in a civilized family before the Holiday gets away from him.
In order to minimize the risks of TMC, allow me to reiterate some general guidelines of behavior for boys of various ages.
It is expected that you will wait until the entire family has opened all of their presents before you start tearing into the boxes containing your new toys and dumping the contents onto the floor. It would be wise for you to attempt to assemble only one new play set at a time, but if you insist on indiscriminately mixing sets, you should refrain from pouting when a crucial piece gets lost in the chaos.
In fact, you should refrain from pouting for any reason. This is your favorite day of the year. Don’t ruin it with a self-induced case of TMC.
Santa brought you some very nice toys. Play with them. We understand that you want to help Big Brother build his kit, or tear it apart, as the case may be, but he doesn’t need your help. Yes, it’s sweet that you love playing with him, but today he has enough trouble keeping his parts organized, without your little hands moving things around.
Let him lose the first few pieces on his own so we don’t have to hear about how you ruined all his toys.
Don’t put that in your mouth! There are all kinds of little treasures scattered on the carpet today. Most of them are not food. If we don’t give it to you, it probably wasn’t meant to be swallowed. We don’t look forward to spending Christmas digging stuff out of your mouth, but we will if we have to. That’s not going to be fun for any of us, remember that.
Also, that’s probably Big Brother’s missing, crucial piece, so now I’ll have to hear about how you ruined his toys.
Take a deep breath. You are the only one who would happily go up to your room and sit by yourself, but you are the only one not allowed to do it. It will be a madhouse, but you’ll get through it. You already had Too Much Christmas at about 7 a.m., but you’ve gotten your second wind. Yes, there will be whining and complaining – they will forget how happy they are at various points, but they will remember these moments fondly. That’s the important thing.
Or maybe the important thing is when they’ve gone to bed and you can sit down with a tumbler of scotch. See? There’s always something to look forward to on Christmas.