As a mom, you get some great gifts for Christmas: Crock-pots, Popsicle-stick Christmas tree ornaments, aloe-infused socks. But some of the most precious, meaningful presents are things that can’t be placed in a stocking or wrapped up with a bow. Family, if you are stumped by what to get me this year, I’ve got a few suggestions:
From my 2-year-old: Hey, buddy, you sure have had a good run breaking in our house this year, biting the walls, spilling ink on the carpet and drinking out of the toilet. For Christmas, I’d like you to unlearn you’re one and only phrase — “Sorry, Mom” — and replace it with something better: “I go night-night now?”
From my 3-year-old: Dear, sweet, Lily. This year you’ve taught me the true meaning of the phrase “fashion combination” as you’ve dumped and dumped and dumped your drawers, looking for that too-small, ratty swimsuit that I hid in the trash under loads of other garbage so you wouldn’t pull it back out. I’m cool with it. Destroy your room. Change your outfit 1,000 times a day. Wear that totally bizarre combination of leotard, fairy wings and spider-web tights. You’re so lovely you can totally pull it off. But for Christmas, just sit still long enough for me to style your bird-nest hair into something cute and polished. That way, I can pretend that your crazy combinations are Anthropolgie-chic intentional, and not me losing the battle and the war.
From my 7-year-old: If Lily has too many outfits, you have too few. It’s not OK to wear the same rec center basketball shirt every single day, even if it is reversible. It’s cold now, too, and I think your first-grade teacher has some serious concerns about your personal hygiene and my competence as a mother. For Christmas, let’s throw that shirt in the trash. We can stuff it under Lily’s ratty swimsuit that I’m hiding there. Also, you still have to hug me every single day, every time you see me, even if I (to use your words) “smell like fish” after a workout. We all make sacrifices in the name of love.
From my 9-year-old: I adore the card you wrote me this year. I especially love the line where you’ve promised to be less “notty.” For Christmas, I want to hold you to it. So when you are tempted to throw a football at the Christmas tree ornaments — again — to see how many you can break, remember your promise. And go outside to play.
From my husband: I have book club, and I understand that you and your buddies need some sort of club too. But forget about riding dirt bikes or playing video games. What you guys need to do is form a Babysitter’s Club! I mean, honestly, how great would it be for you and your friends to get together at night with all of the children and bond, bond, bond. Who needs Claudia, Stacey and Kristy when we ladies have you? I know you didn’t get that last reference, but it would make all my dreams come true if you guys would meet together once a week to practice your child-minding skills. Merry Christmas to me!
One more thing: I know gifts from the heart like these can be a challenge to give. I won’t be mad if it’s easier to get me a riding vacuum cleaner, or tickets to Dollywood, or a room where I can horde tubs of frosting. But know that my little brain tends to get stuck on things easily. And I’m pretty sure I’ll be asking for a Babysitter’s Club year after year after year … until I see one under the tree.