I always had visions of providing the perfect holiday experience for my kids: perfect presents, perfect cookies (four kinds, including intricate sugar cookies decorated with icing and colored sugar), the perfect tree, the perfect background music, the perfect bordering-on-anal-hysteria touches to show that SANTA STILL EXISTS DESPITE YOUR ADMITTEDLY WELL-THOUGHT-OUT QUESTIONS, and, well, perfect perfection.
It was exhausting.
It was incredibly exhausting after tiptoeing downstairs carrying laden bags filled with pre-wrapped (in special Santa wrapping paper cleverly hidden away from prying eyes and changed every year) gifts to fill each kid’s stocking, and including—you’ll laugh at this—a few gifts to fill my OWN stocking, lest my kids wonder why Santa doesn’t bring Mommy anything. My older kid keeps getting older and therefore is going to bed later and later; to do the tiptoeing after he falls asleep, I have to stay up later and later. Does he “know” about Santa? (he’s 13 this year). C’mon, he’s got to…but after a horrible experience involving my oldest and the Tooth Fairy and tears and guilt over outing the Tooth Fairy (”She’s just like Santa…you knew that, right?”), I’m reluctant to say too much to this kid yet. I like my kids to believe in magic and all that. I look for him to knowingly wink at me and give me some sort of sign that he knows, but nothing. I get nothing. Inscrutability. And so the tiptoe is now happening after 2 am.
And I am exhausted and I have only myself to blame.
At least I don’t make reindeer prints out of powdered sugar. I have to draw the line somewhere. (But I have to eat that damn cookie the kids left out for Santa! At 2 am! But if I put it back in the cookie jar they will notice which one it was that they specially selected.)
So here’s my question. It’s my belief that everyone makes themself crazy about at least ONE thing during the holidays. And I want to know yours. Where do you go over the top? What will you not back down on? What means “holidays” to you, without which, well, it just isn’t the holidays? Where do you go crazy?