Christmas used to fill my heart with joy. Now, I panic every December trying to put on a spectacle for Cinda. Yeah, I know, she’s a kid and I tend to go overboard but I don’t spend 6 hours a day being tortured by other people’s kids for a living to NOT use my earnings to treat my baby to a Christmas extravaganza. Coupled with the fact that she was born on Christmas Day, my December spending reaches crippling numbers. I’m not complaining about how much I spend to make my baby’s holiday a happy one, nor do I wish to receive advice about it. You spend your way, and I’ll spend mine. Being broke in January doesn’t give me the blues, because it’s a good broke that makes me smile every time I see Cinda playing with her new spoils. What gives me the Holiday Single Mother Blues are a few revelations that come with each and every December 25th.
Where’s my gift? I don’t get presents for Christmas. I’d love to lie and say I’m not slightly saddened by that, but alas, I’d be lying. My very first Christmas as someone’s wife was filled with all kinds of extravagant gifts. My second was filled with an epidural. My third consisted of baby toys and self-purchased items I wrapped just to get the feeling of joy. Whoever said “’tis better to give than to receive” forgot to add “but that doesn’t mean receiving doesn’t feel pretty damn good, too”. My family and friends shower Cinda with gifts and honestly, the smile on her face when she opens her presents actually does give me a warm tingly feeling. So does opening my own gifts…ones I didn’t buy for myself.
Santa Claus gets all the credit My baby still believes in Santa and I have beef with people who tell their five year olds otherwise. (That’s an entirely different debate that can be addressed another time) The sucky thing about her belief in Santa is that while other people buy her gifts, Mommy doesn’t. She opens presents from Grandma and Grandpa, aunts, uncles, friends…even her father tried to get in on the outdo Santa kick. Being anonymous Santa is good enough for me, but I hate when gift givers need to make it known that they purchased exactly what Cinda wanted while Mommy didn’t do anything. I don’t need any accolades, I’m not in this whole motherhood thing for some special award for buying out the Barbie section at Toys R Us (make sure you spell out my middle name on the plaque). What I don’t want is for other people to try to steal the spotlight from Santa (me) by insisting that Cinda knows exactly who to thank and why. Around these parts, Santa is in charge and when I’m ready to take over his duties, I’ll happily share the stage. Until then, drop the gift off and leave.
This thing needs how many AAA batteries?!?! Ah, the electronic toys…as she’s gotten older, fewer and fewer of Cinda’s toys require as many batteries of sizes I’ve never heard of. But her new DS needed a case, games, extra styluses, and a travel charger. That Easy-Bake oven won’t work without a 100 watt bulb (not the ecofriendly joints I already have) and this fucking dollhouse has how many pieces?!?!?! Christmas Day is a day filled with frantic assembly, lost instructions, and the realization that these new toys are loud (Go Go the walking puppy), messy (Moon Dough AND Sand), or requires my involvement (Hell no I don’t want my nails painted with your new Shrek OPI polish! I was up until 2am wrapping gifts and back up at 6am watching my three hours of work being trashed in the span of 11 minutes and 36 seconds – I timed it). Christmas Day is a team sport, going at it alone – even with just one child – is dangerous, suicidal even.
I try to remain festive around the holidays. I buy myself cool gifts (my 40″ TV is still in the box), shop on Black Friday for the adrenaline rush, and buy a big ass tree every year. This year, me and my best friend even went out on Christmas Eve to be Merry and shit (get drunk). December 25, 2005 was the happiest day of my life and every Christmas since then has been just as merry. But that doesn’t stop me from getting the Single Mother Blues, Holiday style.