The crumpled, tatty lists of endless names delivered to unsuspecting parents around December 1st. Usually transported to us via book-bags or lunch-boxes,for the less fortunate among us the lists are usually found along with snotty tissues inside a trouser pocket after its been through the wash.
Our children thrust the list upon us with the same urgency as we have when heading for the wine aisle on a
So during our next lunch hour we make our way to Poundland and purchase one thousand 'high quality' Christmas cards - the size of teabags - for 99p. We feel very pleased with ourselves, we can cross off a 'to do' from our Christmas 'to do' list, but at the same time wonder how our childrens handwriting, that's on the same scale as the Hollywood sign, is ever going to fit in the small cards.
We should never have worried about our children's handwriting, after getting half way through writing 'To Alfie' they develop the need to: eat/play/sleep/poo/draw a picture of next doors cat/seek medical attention/other (delete as appropriate). So as parents we step up and spend the next ten hours writing cards for a thousand three-year-olds that can barely read their own name. The Christmas card list gets lost, we panic, we can barely remember the names on the list never mind how to spell them, so we spend the rest of the night stalking facebook profiles to retrieve correct spellings only to accidentally like Henriettes christenining photos from 2013.
Eventually they're completed, a stack of Christmas cards waiting to be distributed by our little ones. We're very proud of ourselves for being organised and imagine this is how the perfect, smug parent brigade always feels. That is until our children bring home their first batch of Christmas greetings; a Harrods card from little Tommy that is decorated with the actual Gold from the stable and a home made masterpiece from Lucy whose mum is obviously a blue peter presenter.
The 99p cards are scrapped and quickly replaced by the more luxurious Tesco's finest (the ones we were saving for emergencies) and a batch of santa stickers to add a bit more originality. They eventually get sent into school with our very excited children who are eager to spread Christmas cheer to their thousand best friends and we breathe a sigh of relief.
Over the next couple of weeks our children receive hundreds of teabag size cards that we store in the glove box of the car, behind the toaster or on top of the fridge; we promise that we will get a card holder (piece of string) and display them all in pride of place above the fireplace (radiator in our case) Christmas gets closer and the pile of cards, some unopened (the shame), gets bigger. Eventually the start of January arrives and they all get chucked out with the dead tree!!
The January blues are well and truly growing roots and we think things cant get any worse...
We open our Children's bags the night before school starts and as well as discovering a homework assignment that looks like it was influenced by Lucy's Mum; we also find one thousand of Tesco's finest Christmas cards!!!
|As pretty as a Christmas card|