Why I’m being a festive yes man

A normally grumpy dad being a festive yes man.

One of the items on my 40 before 40 list is to be less of a Grinch. What’s more, as I turn 40 next November, this month provides my one and only chance to succeed in this particular challenge.

Admittedly, the wording of this particular test of character is fairly vague – albeit unintentionally. Success could be pretty difficult to quantify too.

For example, I could just buy a Christmas jumper, wear it solidly for the rest of the year while retaining my usual level of curmudgeonliness and claim that this made me less Grinchy than usual. But that’s not how I do things.

Instead, I’ve made a decision that will almost certainly backfire spectacularly but that should be nonetheless entertaining.

For the month of December, I’m going to be what I shall refer to as a festive yes man.

So, much like in the book by Danny Wallace and the semi-related film starring Jim Carrey, I’m going to say yes. Specifically to any Christmas-related requests from my kids.

There are three important clauses to this approach:

  1. I’m not going to do anything that breaks the bank
  2. I’m not actually¬†telling them that I’m saying yes to everything. That’s up to them to notice. Which I’m sure they will
  3. I’m not eating Pannetone which I think is fair enough

Writing this down early in the month also makes me accountable and this is important. Why? Well, because I’m a grumpy so and so at this time of year.

I love Christmas itself as well as the week before it and the one afterwards. But I have a pretty low tolerance of anything much earlier than that.

My kids, of course, are the opposite. On 1 December, both boys put on their Christmas jumpers and were writing cards before breakfast!

But Christmas is all about them, not me. So it’s high time I stopped being a watered-down Scrooge and joined in.

So I will be a festive¬†yes man and report back closer to Christmas. And, without spoiling things too much, I’ve got off to a good start.

The kids asked if we could put up the tree last weekend. I felt it was too early and we lived to regret it last year, but I said yes.

I also said yes to watching Elf a couple of weeks earlier than we ordinarily would.

I’ve even got a few ideas up my sleeve for festive things that I initiate myself.

Will I succeed or will I end up shouting at anything that sparkles? Time will tell!


  1. Pingback: 40 before 40: Be less of a Grinch - 40 before 40 - Diary of the Dad

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