To My Children's Grandparents,
I know you have the best of intentions. You want nothing more than to give my kids the most magical Christmas possible. To accomplish this, you've mailed them holiday pajamas and reindeer ear-topped headbands and cute sequined sweaters and fancy taffeta dresses perfect for Christmas concerts. I appreciate that you bought them all that crap because, since Dec. 1, we literally haven't had time to eat anything besides the spiced pecans and Christmas cookies you included in the package (hey, at least one has protein, right?).
When you steal that moment by buying a bigger, better, or (heaven forbid) the exact same gift, we kind of want to tell you where you can shove that box of weirdly flavored candy canes.
I'm guessing you only vaguely remember how insane the holidays were when we were young enough to believe in Santa, yet old enough to have very specific expectations of him. Perhaps you've forgotten how you spent hours in a crappy corner of your basement wrapping gifts from the man in red using special paper and gift tags, solely to throw us kids off the truth: that the North Pole's most famous resident is actually made up of millions of exhausted parents. Maybe you no longer recall just how busy the month of December is with young kids; how it's filled with holiday parties, Christmas parades and concerts, light shows, and so much shopping, decorating, and elf-hiding that you wonder what kind of lunatic decided all of this was necessary anyway. (Remember when we used to be amped to get oranges in our stockings?! Let's bring those days back!)
But here's the thing: we're in the thick of it, and the silver lining of all this holiday madness is the moment we get to see the excitement and joy on our children's faces when they open the gifts we, in Santa's name, have spent an entire season choosing, buying, hiding, and wrapping. And when you steal that moment from my husband and I because you buy a bigger, better, or (heaven forbid) the exact same gift, we kind of want to tell you where you can shove that box of weirdly flavored candy canes you bought.
So please, dear grandparents, follow the four rules when it comes to Christmas shopping for my kids. One, ask us for a specific list of things to buy them. We promise to consult them directly, then weed out all the obvious crap and items we've already decided to add to Santa's list. Two, stick to that list that we've spent time we didn't have creating just for you. Do not go rogue. Three, if for some reason, you decide to deviate from that list, do not do so without consulting us first. Finally, if we say no to your add-on gift(s), respect that there's a thought-out reason behind that decision, accept it, and don't ask again or try to sneak it under the tree.
You see, when Santa brings my kid a scooter and you, grandma, show up with an electric one, you're stealing my thunder. When he leaves an L.O.L. Surprise! Bigger Surprise under the tree and you give my daughter the freaking L.O.L. Surprise! House, my efforts are instantly forgotten. And I've worked my Christmas-loving *ss off for that little moment of payoff. You had your time to be the hero of the holiday, and now it's mine. But please, feel free to send more cookies.
Santa's Helpers (aka Me and My Husband)