And so Christmas is upon us once more like some kind of sweaty, corporate wrestler, “El Capitalismo”, trying to squeeze the last of our monetary funds out of us by applying some kind of festive choke hold around our bank accounts and squeezing. Well I, for one, am ready to tap out.
For most people Christmas is a time of joy. Forced joy but joy nonetheless. Its a time for caring for others, or at least pretending to so you can get better presents. Its a time of running mindlessly around town in an attempt to grab the last of the One Direction Dolls your sister asked you to get for your nephews but you forgot so you settle for the JLS dolls instead and hope they won’t notice.
So Christmas is passed off as great craic but for most of us it can be a very stressful time. But Christmas isn’t as stressful for most as it is for one group in particular. So this year please spare a thought for the poor first time Father.
For you, the first time father, Christmas is a time for bewilderment and fear. This is now “your thing”. You are now in charge of all festivities which before consisted of figuring out your festive pub crawl but now has taken a sick twisted turn and the enjoyment of everyone around you rests solely on your shoulders. Suddenly you are the Santa not the Santa-ed. You are The Santa-er not the Santa-ee. You suddenly change from the “Father” to the “Father Christmas”.
There is no training for this.
Everybody just expects that you instinctively know what you’re doing.
“Quick First-Time-Dad” they’ll say,
“Do something christmassy that your child will remember for the rest of their lives!”
“How?” you’ll reply in despair.
“Easy” they’ll retort derisively, “create an ambiance, go festive but above all create traditions”
Oh great so as well as all the shopping for undoubtedly highly flammable plastic toys now you’re expected to pull traditions out of your arse like stuffing a turkey in reverse! No pressure then!
Its your job to go get the tree. God forbid you pick the wrong size and get one too big as you compete with the adjacent first time dad who not only looks younger than you but also more successful.
The tiny lights you bought, thinking 50 would cover it, just accentuates the girth of the tattered Sequoia you’ve managed to squeeze through the front window and plonk in the middle of the sitting room making it inevitable that your wife will be revisiting the age old debate of moving to a bigger place. However, a tree too big not only reminds your wife that she needs an upgrade in abode but possibly in life partner as well.
New dads are also the ones expected to wait in the queue to visit a half-assed Santy Claus and a weird elf who would literally prefer to be doing anything else. You’re the one forced to change the nappy of a kicking, contorting little terror mid queue on your knees for fear of losing your place. If santa really could tell which children were naughty or nice you’d have been handed a bag of coal when you joined the queue and told not to bother. Meanwhile the wife is off meeting the girls for the annual Gobble and Gossip in the Michelin star restaurant who charge Ireland’s deficit for afternoon tea. How hard do women think it is to make tea in the afternoon that they are willing to pay such prices?
And there’s so many things to think about that, as a non-dad you ever thought you had to think about before.
Like, should I skip dinner if I have to get up later in the night and eat cookies and milk that I left out for myself to trick any suspecting children into thinking Santa was actually there.
Or will my wife mind if I smear soot all over the carpet in the shape of footprints?
Or am I going a little overboard on the Santa stuff for a child that, at the age of 1 and a half, doesn’t even know what is going on??
I think we should all make a pact to secretly postpone Christmas. not by much, lets say forward by three days. Lets have it on the 28th. And before you all cry “Blasfimous! That’s heracy! You cant just move Christmas!” read this extensive list of extraordinary benefits:
1) You’d have another couple of days to do your Christmas shopping.
2) You could buy all your presents in the sales if you wished, meaning better, less expensive gifts for nearest and dearest
3) You get to stick it to the capitalist fat cats that are sitting in their swinging leather chairs rubbing their hands together as they increase the price of everything just enough for you not to notice or care. (Well I noticed, my friends, I noticed big time!!)
4) [insert clever, well thought out benefit here]