Christmas is here.  It’s such a magical time of year with the long dark nights, cold temperatures, and quiet reflective thoughts.  I’ve always kind of hated it.  I’m one of those people who doesn’t do well without sunlight.  I need green things like grass and trees in my life in order to feel good.  I also definitely feel the lack of vitamin D.  For years the days surrounding Christmas were such a struggle for me that I could hardly function.  Then I had kids and I was forced to function.  As a parent you have to do a whole lot of functioning around Christmas time.

It may not exactly be fun.

If you don’t have children, let me create a metaphor that will help you understand what it is like for parents at Christmas time.  If your kids are all grown up, let me remind you of the brave and difficult journey you have traveled.  If you are right in the middle of raising school age children, let me just offer up a moment of silence to acknowledge your daily struggle.  Probably the only moment of silence you will experience for a while.

Okay, moment over.  Let’s dig into this thing called Christmas.

Imagine first of all that you have five lovely, intelligent, polite children.  Then, the day after Thanksgiving, you wake up to discover that the lovely, intelligent, polite children were actually some pleasant dream you were having.  You don’t actually have children at all.  You have baboons.  You have a troop of what seems like a million baboons.

Do you know anything about baboons?  No?  Well, let’s just say that in some parts of the world, it is very healthy to have a strongly developed fear of baboons.  Those places of the world would be any place where baboons actually live.  Fearing and avoiding baboons helps you to live.  Except you can’t avoid these baboons.  These are YOUR baboons.

Your baboons aren’t normal baboons, however.  Your baboons are special.  Your baboons have rabies.  This is due to a serious lack of sleep.  These baboons won’t sleep much at all for the next month or so which will make their rabies worse.

Oh, but then there is the sugar.  Most people claim that sugar doesn’t really affect children.  I have proof that it does affect those baboons, though.  It makes them pyromaniacs.  It seems that the entire world wants to see your baboons in full pyromaniac mode because everywhere you turn, someone is trying to slip them some more sugar.

So there you are with your rabid pyromaniac baboons.  Oh, did I forget to mention the tourette syndrome?   Your baboons don’t have it, you do.  Your tourettes manifests itself by causing you to randomly scream “Stay out of my room!” or “No more candy!” in your shrillest most panicky voice.

Finally, you are not allowed to protect yourself against the baboons.  As a matter of fact, you have to decipher what they want for Christmas.  When you ask them what they want, they start jumping up and down frantically shouting the words “Shopkins! Num Noms! Sum Sums! Squishies!”

None of that makes any sense to you, but it is crucial to your survival that you figure it out.  You scour the stores searching for these items.  Are they foods? Clothes?  Tools?  Finally you settle for something that you are pretty sure will disappoint them, but at least you’ll know what it is.  Also, you really can’t be gone from your house too long looking for the items they demanded because your rabid pyromaniac baboons are at home trying to kill each other and set the house on fire.

All of this you do to a soundtrack of bells and manic people insisting that you need to make this the most wonderful time of the year.

And then it’s suddenly over.

You take a deep breath.

You think it’s over.

And then, two minutes after it’s done, someone asks you


“Are you all ready for Christmas?”