Well, we have made it. It is December and it’s full on in your face none stop Christmas. The relentless onslaught of Christmas adverts, festive songs wherever you go and your kids adding to their already ginormous present list daily, you might be starting to go a bit loopy; but you can’t. You need to be perfecting and honing your super sleuth skills, whilst weaning yourself off the festive booze as Christmas Eve is the one night you need to go teetotal (until the presents are safely under the tree at least) and you my friends need to be sober enough to transform into – Santa Stealth Mode.
A lot is riding on this night, dreams may be shattered and ruining your kids entire childhood pretty much hinges on this night. All the build up and careful preparation in the weeks before all come to a head on December 24th. So let’s recap. I am on year 7 of Christmas’s so I am going into semi-pro territory. For all your first time newby parents, here’s the low down and what you need to know to ensure that you’ve successfully completed stage one of your stealth training:
- Different wrapping paper. Come on people this is BASIC shizz here. Get down to the pound shop and get cheapo “touch and it rips” paper to ensure they don’t clock on that the present for Aunty Maureen is in the same Disney Frozen wrapping paper that Santa uses.
- Do not leave receipts lying around. My kid can now read. Fluently. And this now causes a LOT of problems. Hide/store/BURN it, just whatever you do don’t leave if lying to the biscuit tin because kids? They learn the Toys R Us symbol pretty bloody quickly – that and McDonalds (ten parenting points to me)
- Your wardrobes resemble Narnia with coats, shoes, scarves and blankets shoved over the overflowing sack of presents. Don’t try to be too stealthy and use the loft. Believe me, trying to ferret up there at 10.39pm on Christmas Eve and not waking a child is almost as impossible as Starbucks writing the correct name on your skinny decaf latte. Useless bastards.
Ok. You’ve made it. Hopefully. If not, you probably have sabotaged Christmas and shattered your kids dream. But tis the season to be jolly and all that jazz so in true British style – just bloody get on with it.
As you open the penultimate door on your advent calendar, the big moment is here. You absolutely pray they will drop off to sleep quickly. You probably dust off the old baby monitors and plant them in the room just to check the coast is clear. Try the cough test to see if anyone wakes – if no one stirs when you almost bring up a lung then you’re good to go.
Activate full on Santa Stealth (costume optional, ability exceptional)
- Find the perfect easy access storage. Loft hatches are NOT easy to open at 12.37am when you’re both tired after waiting for the little critters to finally drop off to sleep. Make sure you know where the creaky floorboards are too.
- Clear the pathway to the tree – no one wants to hear Santa swearing and limping because he’s tripped over last years Lego.
- Perfect the silent tip toe and drag manoeuvre – no one wants daggers and near divorce as a clumsy husband drags the presents across the floor. Less Ho Ho Ho and more NO NO NO.
- Santa likes prosecco, cake and LIE INS. You need to get this in their psyche early. No one wants a frickin glass of milk when they’ve been delivering 7.3 billion presents around the world. And cake is always needed.
- Make sure you remember to put all the presents out. I’ll never forget Christmas circa 1994 when a pair of Reebok trainers magically appeared amongst my presents that I could have sworn blind I’d never opened…
You’ve made it! Just remember to look shocked when you see them open that game you spent 3 weeks trying to track down after ringing every store in the area and drove over 45 miles to pick up.
If you have a baby this year and feel you can relax? no; just to let you know you have their first and probably second Christmas as a dummy run but once you hit Christmas number three and/or have older siblings – stealth mode must be activated around October time. BELIEVE ME. So get the prosecco on ice and toast the perfect Santa execution (not literally) But don’t bask in the glory too long. The little demons will probably be up in about 4 hours and trying to put together the Millennium Falcon in Lego on a hangover and four hours kip really isn’t pleasant.
Happy stealth-ing Santa Mummy and Daddy’s!