You spend all of
September and October November and December preparing your toddler for Christmas. You cherry picked the Christmas Tree decorations to give your daughter the creme de la crème of all Frozen Christmas trees. Your husband even starts to get jealous of all the time you spend in the evenings messing around with the Elf on the Shelf. You walk around broke as fudge from October because you’re a Christmas badass and can’t live within your means. Christmas becomes the oxygen that you live and breathe.
It is now January 8th, it’s 8 o clock and as I say goodnight to my 2.5 year old daughter I hear those dreaded words “Merry Christmas Mummy”…
At first it was endearing. It’s cute that your child doesn’t realise Christmas has ended right? It was… The first time round. I explained that Santa had gone home now and that we would see him next year. Great, I thought. It had registered. Until the next night.
“Merry Christmas Mummy”. Again.
I calmly explained, “Santa’s gone home now”. She’ll get it now, I naively thought.
It’s the next morning.
“Mummy when is Santa coming?”
My blood pressure dropped. Again I tried to explain that Santa had gone home now, but her efforts stepped up rather than tapering off. I find myself interrogated by the Christmas police. Questions such as’ where has Santa gone? When is Santa coming to deliver my presents? Where are my presents? suddenly burst the zen bubble. But no amount of CBT would make these intrusive ruminations go away. No amount of explaining would help. In fact, it seemed to make it worse.
By now, the Christmas tree had been gone for well over a week. The only remnant of Christmas was the landfill of toys and fat hanging around our waist lines. But It happened again.
“Merry Christmas Mummy. Where has Elf gone?”
As part of the Post- Christmas purge, the eBay knock-off Elf on the Shelf had been the first to be banished into the Christmas cupboard in an act of shame. I thought she knew. We had been through this.
“Mummy where has Elf gone?
I explain that Elf has gone away in the cupboard for next year. I get a look, and j might as well have said that I’ve killed Elf and hidden his body in the boiler closet because the quivering of the bottom lip starts and suddenly the place for most evil person in the world has been reserved for me. I explain again that Christmas is over, Elf and Santa have gone away and that next time she will see them.
It is now January 13th. It has been exactly three days since the last “merry Xmas” attack. The episode which resulted in a huuuuuuge bedtime tantrum when I yet again had to explain Christmas was now finished. This time felt different. This time, the tantrum meant that something had sunk in. This needed to happen. I take Arielle to bed. I see something is on her mind.
“what’s the matter?” I say.
“Happy Hanukkah Mummy”.