Thoughts all Parents Have the Day After Christmas

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The day after Christmas brings many feelings for parents, some positive, others negative. However long you prep for Christmas, it’s now all done, and you get to relax. At the same time, there are other emotions and feelings that most parents go through on the day after Christmas. Here are eight of them.

1) How Did That Escalate So Quickly?

This year, my husband and I purchased a ridiculous amount of toys for our three-year-old daughter. He was worried she wouldn’t have enough. I told him that we didn’t need to worry about it because each person in my family would buy her one, and that would be enough. As it turns out, we had more than we thought. As I sit here looking at her big box packed with gifts, I realize that we should have worried about giving her too many presents.

2) Where Will We Put All of These Toys?

Each and every year, Christmas comes around at the same time. We know it’s coming, and yet we never plan on where to put all of these new items. You don’t realize how much space they take up until you see the mound of toys staring at you, judging you because you haven’t yet found them a home.

3) How Will I Motivate My Children to Behave Without the Threat of Santa?

This year, my sister-in-law explained that she uses the Elf on a Shelf to encourage “nice” behavior from her boys. Each night, the elf reports to Santa and tells him if the boys were naughty or nice, then returns and lands in a different spot each night. I had seen the various pictures of the elf doing funny things but didn’t know that it had another purpose…to convince my daughter to behave. This year, I copied my sister-in-law’s idea and used the elf for good. The only issue is that Christmas is over and I can’t keep moving the elf each night for the next 364 days.

4) Do I Have a Hello Kitty Obsession?

Every time my daughter finds something she likes, I start seeing it EVERYWHERE. When her favorite show was Doc Mcstuffins, I filled my Amazon cart with Doc McStuffins themed toys, from books and Duplos to roller skating knee pads. When she received a Hello Kitty Build-A-Bear from her older cousin, I started seeing little white adorable kitties everywhere I looked. As I watched her open gifts, I realized that of the five presents themed with Hello Kitty, four of them were from me. Coincidence? No, I don’t think so. I am living out my childhood dreams through my kid. Would she care if her walkie-talkies were black, or if the pretend cooking apron she got was one solid color? No, she would not. The only person in this household who cares about Hello Kitty is me.

5) Where Did All of These Parts Come From?

Is it just me, or are all toys coming with small little parts that are specifically created to find the soft place on the bottom of my feet? It’s not only legos anymore. This morning I stepped on a Doc McStuffins percussion hammer. Was it in Doc’s hand? Of course not. It had flown directly in my path almost instantly. She’s out to get me because I haven’t found her a home, yet.

6) Seriously? Not One Single Toy Comes with Batteries?

This year, I made the mistake of not checking if the toys I bought included batteries. Naturally, almost none of my daughter’s gifts came with them. I ended up taking the batteries out of other toys around the house so that she could play with her new toys. My husband and I will spend the next week trying to find the best deal for rechargeable batteries so we can avoid this debacle next year.

7) Oh, Wait, The Most Loud, Annoying Toy Came with Batteries. Of Course, It Did.

Naturally, the noisy light-up toys my infant son received for Christmas has extra powerful batteries that will never die. I’ll be listening to the same two songs over and over and over again until it gets replaced with a louder toy next Christmas. Thanks, Grandma. Unfortunately, my son loves it, so I don’t have the heart to turn it off.

8) How Did We Get So Much Pie?

My extended family decided a few years ago that we could have a Make and Bake Christmas. Instead of buying gifts, we would make them. My brother usually creates something using wood, or my mom sews blankets or indoor forts for the kids. Other family members, without fail, make desserts. And then they leave. They use words like, “Oh, if I take it home, I’ll eat all of it.” They give an evil laugh as they take their beautiful figures and saunter out the door, leaving me with a pie in every flavor you could imagine, along with cheesecake bites, cookies, and chocolate covered caramels. I have to put the desserts out of site so that they are out of mind.

Regardless what your feelings are on the day after Christmas, remember the moments of watching your kids’ faces light up as they opened a new gift. Even if they don’t play with their new toys for very long and the newness fades, you still had that moment. Put the toys away and bring them out in a month so they can enjoy playing with them all over again.

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