“Wow.” My son says as he tears into his first present. He’s dizzy with excitement. Everything has been leading to this point. We watch his face. We’re nearly crying.
We all do our best. We throw absolutely everything at creating a magical Christmas for our kids. We make enough Christmas food to build a second house, complete with gravy swimming pool. We endure countless renditions of the same old Christmas songs. They have the odd dual effect of at once making us want to hug each other, and chop our own ears off. We wear preposterous Christmas jumpers. We make our houses look like magical Santa’s grottos, dripping with tinsel and bunting and lights, twinkling and flashing and throbbing like an LED super-nova. All we need for magical memories to be made, is for the children to cooperate.
“It’s beautiful.” My son says about his second present. Literally those words. I swear we have not trained him to do this. His cheeks are rosy. His eyes are wide. He could be in a painting called “Family Happiness”. We don’t realise it, but the Christmas magic has peaked.
He doesn’t say anything about his next present. He quickly pushes it aside and goes to the next. The Christmas magic drops down a couple of notches.
We have an anxiety that our children may not have a complete set of magical childhood memories. We spend money, perhaps more money than we should, trying to bombard them with happy memories. All they have to do, is cooperate.
“Open another present, son.” We encourage.
“No.” He says. The whole Christmas magic experience over the last few days seems to have made him think that he’s the prince of the world. He gazes at us imperiously. We now have to plead with him to carry on opening his parents. Present after present. He is, literally, bored of opening presents. Bored to the point of anger.
“You think we’re made of money, son? Open the flippin’ presents and create the flippin’ magical memories!” You want say, but that might not be a very magical memory for him.
We have to threaten him with the naughty step several times to get him to finish opening his presents.
Hopefully, he wont remember.