Carrie Maldonado – Writer

Freelance writer, wordsmith, and novelist

Our Christmas season is in full bloom now, with the annual advent of the advent calendar starting today. It is a much different scene thanks to the kids all being old enough to somewhat understand (or at least notice there is a seven foot tree in the living room) and start to get excited. As always, with twins and a big sister, there are amazing highs, crushing lows and just plain weirdness (usually before 6:30 am as a matter of fact). There are a lot of little hiccups and landmines this year, but overall, I will go on record as saying this has been THE BEST Christmas ever…so far.

Now, this is not to say we have been challenge-free by any means. Consider:

  • Sadly, this is the first year in which I am not able to simply wrap up their existing stuff and give it to them, as they possess sufficient awareness now to call BS (this is so sad), and on a similar note…
  • Not being able to afford to buy them everything they want. Sure, they’re still little and yes, I know it would corrupt their little spirits anyway, but who wouldn’t like to buy their kids the Dream House AND the Elsa and Anna (shudder) toddler and grown up dolls AND flying roller skates…we don’t even have cable and they already have pretty big lists and bigger expectations.
  • Ah yes, expectations. This will be Bisky’s fifth Christmas and apart from the first one, I think she’s been sent to her room before breakfast for unacceptable behavior every time, like full on melt-downs because we won’t let her open OUR presents upon waking.
  • YouTube…Not sure whether this is merely bad, or actually evil. Maybe it’s bevil, but what the BLUE BLAZES is up with YouTube? Why is my child obsessively watching other kids play with toys…or blind bags, or blind eggs or any other such nonsense? The biggest problem I have is the little demons…errrr girls…playing Elsiea and Anya. Their whiny falsettos and disrespectful ways have resulted in modeling behavior that is disrupting our household serenity to say the least.

And the tantrums; OH the tantrums!

There WILL be tears! The first reason is just a twin thing. We have two VERY different little boys who have different interests. #NoBen loves building, and baking and basically making things and then destroying them. #AidenStopThat, on the other hand, loves reading, singing and generally being the most joyful little guy on the planet. In essence, we should be able to buy them completely different toys and they’ll be happy…except they won’t be. If one twin is deliriously happy with something, this makes it the most attractive thing to the other twin, even if otherwise they wouldn’t give two hoots about it. So the conundrum is do you buy two things knowing one will be discarded (ummm hello, maybe after the powerball thing pans out) or do you just accept that all the care and thought put into the gift will result in sobbing and tantrums no matter what? (spoiler alert…b)

There will also be the tearful breakdown when our resident control freak is not able to direct each and every activity and/or notices that something is not EXACTLY the same as last year. And no, I don’t mean myself.  I mean yeah, I’ve got those inclinations sure, but I am somewhat able, with much effort, to repress them. Not so my daughter. We have already had multiple blow outs, breakdowns, time outs, and loss of favorite things based on changes such as stocking placement, adding lights, or the re-arranging of the village people (the people in the village, not the group).

The Good

As I mentioned, this is absolutely shaping up to be the BEST Christmas I’ve had since I was little. All the magic, joy and wonder is just starting to happen and It’s. Freaking. Awesome!! Some examples:

  • For the first time in years, we have not had to enclose the tree in a cage to protect people, animals and precious ornaments from imminent destruction.
  • Having a behavioral ally in Santa…even though I tried to use Santa and Jesus to explain the concept of grace and mercy, at the end of the day, Bisky is 4 and still responds well to the threat of no presents. So yes, she gets off the naughty list by trying and asking Jesus for help, but MOMMY KNOWS when she’s not really trying and is more than willing to rat her out to the fat man.
  • The pure joy as Bisky informed her little brothers that it’s DECEMBER and the ADVENT CALENDAR starts, and they get CANDY!
  • The (major) miracle of Bisky sharing the advent candy.
  • Knowing that they will actually register the fact that they are getting gifts and anticipating their joy in opening the gifts.
  • Baking cookies, decorating and doing all the Christmas stuff with willing, and usually cheerful little allies for whom this is not old hat, but new, fresh and completely magical.

That is what is making this undoubtedly THE best Christmas I’ve ever had, despite all the minor irritations. Someday, after our businesses take off, we’ll have a lot more money, and the ability to buy new things, and not just recycle the same old stuff year after year. But I’m pretty sure that couldn’t make us one bit happier than we are now!

Caveat…yes, I’m aware it’s only December 1st and they may all be setting me up only to kill my spirit. It wouldn’t be the first time, but today I’m very much enjoying the pink cloud!

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