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My Kids are Naughty, It Must Be Christmas!
by cybergal

What is it about the holidays that make children behave so badly? Every year right before Christmas, my kids go into hyper mode and bounce off the walls like rubber balls! And all in the name of Santa Claus and the gifts he brings. Call it anxiety, call it excitability, call it what you will. I call it "Mom's going to go insane any minute!".

I guess when I look back, I acted the same way when I was a kid. I would ask my Mother over and over, "How many more days until Christmas, Mom?". She'd tell me, but after I asked for the fiftieth time in one day, she'd just shake her head at me and tell me yet one more time. The whole anticipation of Christmas was wondrous to me, I would get presents to open! Would it be that special doll I asked for, or maybe the pretty red sweater that I saw 'so and so' wearing at school? What would Santa put in my stocking? Chocolate! Mmmm......I couldn't wait to eat all the yummy chocolate in my stocking! Just thinking about it all made me go crazy for some reason, probably because I knew I had to wait. Whether it's thirty days or three days until Christmas, it seems like forever when you're a kid.

So now I am experiencing the same thing all over again, this time with my own children. You'd think I'd be understanding since I've been there myself, easier said then done! It's a whole different ball game now that I am the Mom, and I'm running out of patience! I find myself telling my five-year-old at least ten times a day, "Santa Claus is watching, you'd better be on your best behavior!". Then I end up singing the entire song of "Santa Claus is coming to town" to her, emphasizing on the part that goes, "He sees you when you're sleeping, he knows when you're awake, he knows if you've been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake!". After that is said and done, she looks at me with an unconcerned look on her face, knowing good and well she'll still get a load of presents like she does every year, despite her behavior.

My oldest, well she's a different story. This will be her first Christmas that she doesn't believe in Santa Claus. Just this past year, she suddenly started to believe her friends when they told her, "There isn't any Santa Claus, your parents just sign his name on the tag!". She questioned this, and came to us one day, late last spring. My husband and I just looked at each other, not really knowing what to say to her. How do you tell your kid there isn't a Santa, never has been one, and never will be one? She took it better then I thought she would, and admitted that she had a 'feeling' there wasn't a Santa for quite some time. She promised not to tell her younger sister, and so far she hasn't. I'll still sign "Santa" on the gift tags to my oldest child, it's too hard to stop now. The magic of Santa Claus is just part of Christmas, even if he doesn't really exist. When you stop believing in Santa, it takes so much of the wonder out of Christmas. So now when my oldest is pushing my buttons at Christmas time, I continue to tell her that Santa won't give her anything if she's bad, she knows I am right, because "I" am Santa. Ho ho ho!

Maybe I'm just low on patience at the holidays. Trying to get all the shopping done, making out the cards and sending them, putting up the tree and decorations, baking the goodies, getting the gifts wrapped AND dealing with two anxious kids. Calgon, take me away! No wonder I am dead tired by the time Christmas Day finally arrives. Then I get to look forward to all the fun and excitement afterwards! Making room for all the new gifts, overflowing the garbage cans with endless piles of wrapping paper, boxes, ribbons and bows, vacuuming up dead tree needles all over the house (well into April), taking off the hundreds of ornaments on the tree, and then trying to make them fit in the box they came in, and of course, the fun of exchanging the gifts that don't work, don't fit, or just plain 'ol weren't liked. There's nothing more thrilling then standing in horrible long lines the day after Christmas, just to do an exchange. And for some strange reason, my husband insists on catching the "after Christmas" sales. Why? Didn't we spend enough BEFORE Christmas? We're dead broke by the time Christmas arrives, just what does he think we're going to buy those cheap markdowns with, monopoly money?

Yet, even though it's crazy and hectic in my house for the entire month of December, I wouldn't have it any other way. Somehow, through all the hustle and bustle of the season, I still manage to smile and thank God that I have my kids to celebrate the holidays with. Children make Christmas so much more special! To see Christmas through a child's eye is absolutely wonderful, and it's also priceless.

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