My five festive fails

A man wearing a Santa hat performing a facepalm gesture indicative of festive fails.

I’ve been a parent for over seven years. I’ve also been blogging about it for the same amount of time. You’d think that writing about my experience of parenting would focus my thoughts and improve my approach as a result. Well if recent events are anything to go by, I’ve learned nothing.

In my defence – as I seem to be attacking myself here – these all relate to the countdown to Christmas. So maybe I only have seven months’ experience as opposed to seven years’ worth to draw upon. Even so, it’s embarrassing that these are lessons I still have to learn.

Here, then, are my five festive fails…

Putting the tree up too early

I was opposed to putting up the decorations too early. There were several reasons including cat and toddler related carnage but, most of all, I didn’t want the kids to get too excited. Then Xander missed the last two days of November due to a stomach bug. He didn’t fancy going back to school and, in a moment of weakness, I promised that it could go up if he went in. It’s been up since 1 December and all my concerns have become reality.

Not hiding the elf costume

Amelie loves the hand-me-down elf costume my sister gave us. I knew she would and intended to hold it back until closer to the big day. Then, about a week ago, I absentmindedly threw it to her while going through the dressing up box. She won’t wear anything else now. She has slept in it, worn it out shopping and even to Rhymetime at the library. I think this makes her a real-life elf on the shelf.

A toddler dressed as an elf in a library.

Only buying one advent calendar

We thought it would be a nice idea to get Dylan and Xander a LEGO advent calendar each. When we saw how much they cost, we decided that they could share one. It would be a good way of teaching them to be big, grown-up boys. The arguments over who owns which of the models have been something else. Next year I’m tempted to get them two each. It’d be a small price to pay!

Taking the kids shopping

Going on a weekday when there are fewer people, while the boys are at school and with Amelie asleep in her pushchair was a truly brilliant idea. Unfortunately, it only occurred to me just now. We actually did the bulk of it on Saturday with everyone in tow. As a result, the fancy wine I was planning on leaving out for Santa now needs replacing.

Activating the ‘Santa Clause’ too soon

We’ve all threatened to call the big man when all else fails. The prospect of ending up on the naughty list is usually enough to stop kids misbehaving immediately. I’ve even become quite convincing in my conversations with him – don’t worry; they always end up with him persuading me to give them one last chance. But the ‘Santa Clause’ as I like to call it can only be used once before losing its impact. Maybe it was a result of my other festive fails, but I used it in the first week of December. Sigh.

Tell me I’m not the only parent who has made these mistakes! Have you made any festive fails already?


  1. John Adams

    Getting a tree that is too big, and then spending an hour pruning the thing to get it in the house. Lukcily, I got my way this year and the tree – a sensible sized one – fitted right into place in the living room!

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