It’s the most wonderful time of the year, where the negotiations begin, the parental bribing digs in and everyone telling you be of good cheer!
So the festive time is upon us. The Christmas markets are decked (literally), the lights are all on in town (same ones for a decade), the department stores are rubbing their hands and so are the slightly rounder gentlemen with white beards and red velvet suits in the cupboard.
Now don’t confuse this post as one full of bah humbug! It couldn’t be further from the truth, I love the feeling of Christmas. However as a Dad and parent there are some very intricate negations that will need deft diplomacy.
- What do buy the kids. This is dependant on
- How well they’ve behaved across the whole year, when the only remember a few hours ago.
- Is the present big enough to keep them in line for the whole year to come
- They’re budget against yours
- Just how practical a Furby really is?
- What will they learn from it?
- Does it influence them negatively?
- Can Santa make this realistically in his workshop?
- Will the wrapping paper be good enough to entertain after they lose interest and complain of boredom
- Most importantly can Dad play with it…
Mostly for me it’s about steering my Daughter to understand there are no “boys” only toys. If her heart is set on a Princess Castle and accompanying Hero Prince to rescue her then (with gritted teeth) okay no problem. So long as she understands there is NO toy off limits, including a Star Wars Lego set featuring Ray a bad-ass female Jedi who needs no Prince.
As our son is not old enough just yet I don’t have to worry about also respecting his choices and in the spirit of equality do not discourage him from “girls” only toys, including the Princess Castle and accompanying Hero Prince.
- What do we buy the family. This is dependant on
- The budget post kids
- The multitude of extended children and their Christmas lists
- Are they immediate or in-laws?
- The uniqueness of gift for them
- Do I forgive them for the socks last year? (in my Brothers case a glittery thong)
Ah yes families, who would have them…
- What do we buy each other (My Wife I mean not you)
- Do we know what they want?
- Do we give away what we want – knowing it’s impractical and expensive
- Will they tell us what we want?
- If I am in his/her shoes would I be happy with this?
- Do they need another iPhone?
Oh yes after negotiating the gifting there is one major negotiation left, as if the above wasn’t enough to spark a family fallout often seen in Albert Square
- Do we spend Christmas with your parents or mine? – testy very testy
- What did we do last year?
- What do we cook for Christmas Lunch and every day in-between?
- What shall we do in the day’s in-between?
- What about New Years?
- Do we really all need Christmas Jumpers?
Oh yes people the struggle is real and it’s time to leap in and get the negotiations done sooner rather than later. Before you know it Santa will be coming to take your credit as parents for the gifts he’s bestowed on your off-spring. All you gain from this holiday (aside from diplomacy skills) is a chance to play with their toys.
After your negotiations and all is settled it’s time to eat, drink, smile at your pressies and surround yourself with those you love!
I wish you happy negotiating before a very good Christmas!