I want one of those! MINE!
It is the typical refrain on Christmas day as the little ones decide that Santa has been better to one child than the other.
That's why in our house we always have a little card from Santa that we read out on Christmas morning.
It says how proud he is of everyone sharing their toys and that he has made sure everyone got equal amounts. It also usually lists whatever gifts were unavailable and says that next year he will make up for it. It sets down the rules that Santa is always right and that if anyone thinks they got hard-done by they can take it up with the big man.
Here are a few tips to manage those expectations tomorrow morning:
1. Make fun top the agenda. No time for arguments when everyone is having such a great time! Fa la la la laaaa.
2. Understand their grievances. Maybe a Barbie is no alternative to a hoverboard. You can, however, set a good example and validate their feelings while also explaining that the drone they also got is way cooler (this is whispered).
3. Remember this is a day like no other - emotions are running high. There is a sense of hysteria omnipresent for the entire day. This includes at the dinner table so just keep it in mind to remain positive as you ignore the cries over not winning the Christmas crackers.
4. Remember that you are creating valuable memories for your children. Do your part to make them happy - even if that means biting your tongue as they crib over the selection boxes. They will appreciate it in the long run.
5. A trick we always use to stop sibling fall-outs is the 'second gets longer' rule. Whoever goes first at the boardgame or picking a cracker gets the glory of being first, the second one gets rewarded for their patience by having a longer turn (on the Ipad or hoverboard etc) Then everyone is happy. By the way, third gets even longer and fourth...well, good luck.
6. Buy two of each. In the same colour. This isn't always possible, but make your life easier by buying the same colour. Life is too short to see them fighting over purple or blue.
7. Remind them that there are less fortunate children than them. This isn't just a free-for-all with mountains of toys (although it looks exactly like that) This is a time to remind them that they should be really grateful for all they have. We usually bring the children to donate new toys to our local children's charity on Christmas eve. They are much less likely to fight over a board game if they feel grateful.
8. Manners do not need to go out the window just because it is Christmas day. Thank you letters to Granny still applies, thank you very much.
Christmas day is, without doubt, one of the greatest days of the year. Help those little ones manage their expectations and set a great example by being patient and firm but fair with a dollop of fun.
Just focus on that glass of mulled wine at the end of the day tomorrow with your feet up eating cheese board. Happy Christmas, mamas!