I must caution new parents not to take on this tradition as these gifts ultimately became one more thing to remember in a season that is too busy already, and the number of small gifts needed grew exponentially with each child. We could have saved enough to put at least one of our girls through college with what was spent on their twenty-four little meaningful gifts before Christmas. As with raising any child, you don’t see the damage until it is done and the Advent Elf, like Santa lives in their hearts, never to be forgotten!!
This year, my eldest daughter, sensing a diminishing Christmas spirit in her too-quickly-aged and worn-out mother, alias Mrs. Claus, and the past few years, alias Mrs. Grinch instead, announced that she would take on the “fun” role of being Miss Santa for 2012. This was an offer I couldn't refuse. It would likely save me from tumbling down the slippery “over-the-hill” slope even faster and perhaps avert us going over our own personal fiscal cliff as well.
This daughter knew that I really meant what I said about sticking to a budget, and it seems that she had a wind-fall job that would afford a lavish Christmas for us all! I became like a child and started creating a Christmas wish list! Meanwhile I would indeed be spiritual and thank God for such a wonderful adult child!
For anyone with Alien Adult Children (AACs), these signs of assuming adult roles are so welcome, that it is easy to experience a temporary euphoria. Be cautious however in giving up your role as parent, Advent Elf, Santa, Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy lest the following happen to you!!
Before I expound on this role-reversal experiment, I must first tell you that as a wife and mother, I have not been perfect! It seems that my body wasn't cut out for the rigors of maintaining these roles and working too, and so much has been compromised when it comes to keeping a well-organized, clean house and disciplined children. I am not sure what broke down, BUT I did find that through much experience I did perfect my ability to plan ahead by hours, days, weeks and even months and it isn't easy to train a replacement for Mrs. Claus, though I am noting that replacing Mrs. Grinch isn't so difficult!
Christmas Preparation Suggestions for Aspiring Santas
1) Overseas packages need to be light-weight, inexpensive to ship ($46 to mail bargain-priced, but coffee table books is entirely too much!). These gifts need to be purchased or made first and mailed a month before Christmas.
2) Christmas trees must be well-secured to car roof tops lest they blow off and get run over by a truck following close behind you, and down-sizing the tree at both ends! Yes, this really happened, but was not allowed to be written into my yearly Christmas letter—and so I will merely blog about it instead! Taking the long way home and driving slowly versus speeding down the highway is definitely a suggestion to be heeded! Decorating “middle of trees” might become a new trend if this suggestion is not followed but would eliminate the need for tree-top angels.
5) No room shall include more than one tree, no matter how pretty they are, unless, of course, you are decorating your own mansion and not your parent's tiny home.
6) Aging parents (APs) need more room to turn around and function in their homes without clumsily knocking off decorations that are too close to their elbows. You don’t want them to takes cruises every Christmas for the rest of their lives to avoid the holiday season, do you, or send you, their AACs off on a cruise so that they can enjoy a simple holiday season without you?
7) When AACs are buying gifts for their parents, it is important to consider what room is left in their house. Consumables for those that hate to cook are always a safe bet. Hide-a-keys are also invaluable and take but a small space attached to bumpers of their cars and outside of their houses, especially nice for the busy holiday season when forgetting seems to be on the rise among seniors and others with half a brain!
I am sure that I am forgetting other “suggestions” for aspiring Santas and will be eager to hear from my readers as to what they might add.
Last, but not least, I want to bless my eldest daughter who had the courage to take on being Santa of 2012. It is a role that is second only to being God and only done well with small children who can “be programmed” to make their list for Santa to match what has already been purchased at bargain prices and even then some kids will have a great Christmas and some will be disappointed as fantasies often exceed realities.
Whatever happened to Laura Ingalls Wilder’s sort of Christmas where a candy stick, a tiny gift and delicious mashed potatoes NOT made from instant flakes created a wonderful Christmas Day? Did such Christmases really exist, or were they merely a figment of the author’s imagination?