As I look ahead to the holiday season and beyond, my eyes mist over, blurring a set of festive lights the neighbours somehow had the ambition to string up. That string of lights wraps around their home and out of sight, much like the endless string of family nights that are stretched out before us.
This will be a season bereft of theatre or ballet, of family gatherings and holiday concerts, but not bereft of the warm bodies of our darling children. Our dear children will be there squirming on the sofa beside us, strewing toys all through the house and crying out in a cacophonous chorus: Mom! Mom! Mom! No, never bereft of them, the fruit of our loins, the apples of our eyes, our wonderful children, home with us and with nobody else, all winter long. What joy.
Not only will we all be home for the remainder of the pandemic, but we’ve also now crammed a full-size tree into our living rooms to make it feel even “cozier.” Hey, here’s another idea! Let’s bake holiday cookies and let the kids help so it takes ten times as long and we’ll have flour dusted over every surface of the house. We’ll get the kids nicely jacked up on sugar just in time for stringing up delicate glass balls and tinsel, and then we’ll go out and KIDDING! We’ll stay home and bicker until someone winds up slamming a door and then the true Yuletide spirit will be upon us.
This winter is going to suck. Here’s the stuff that should actually be on your holiday wish list this year.
Just, like, a shit ton of chargers
You know when you go to charge your phone/tablet/headphones/e-reader with your one remaining charger and it’s gone? Imagine you didn’t have to live that way. Imagine you never have to hear anyone yelling, “Who took my charger?” It’s a pandemic and you are an entire family just trying to cope. Buy them now, buy them cheap, and buy them often.
Also piles of headphones
There is a parallel dimension somewhere that is filled with nothing but stray socks and headphones. But for now, you’re just going to need more.
Boxes of disposable masks
Because there are only so many $30 hand-sewn masks your kids can lose before you give up.
Padlocks for your bedroom door
Kind of kidding.
I wouldn’t judge. That’s all I’m saying.
More dry mittens so you can shove them back out the door
“Mom! My mittens are wet!”
Here you go!
“I lost my–”
“Please, let me in.”
Honestly, order some more doors too
Maybe some drywall while you’re at it. I KNEW we’d come to regret the scourge of open-concept home designs. Oh, to have a corner to hide around, a wall to muffle the sound, a door to close. My god, there’s got to be a way to carve up this space.
Timers for all!
“How long until–”
Set your timer!
TIMER. 90 minutes. Ask me when it beeps.
Even more tech
Seriously just buy more tablets for the kids. Multiple screens for all. Isn’t there some sort of new gaming system that totally sucks them in? Order what you want, kids! I don’t want to your faces without that LCD glow. Why are you talking to me? Go watch something. What? THIS IS AN EMERGENCY
Fine, get them some books too
And don’t forget to get yourself some CAFFEINE
Now lean in and listen close, guys. This is a waiting game. At some point, these people are going to drop off and go to sleep. YOU MUST NOT SLEEP WHEN THEY DO or you will never be alone. You must stay up at all costs if you are to have any uninterrupted time at all to work or think or just sit in blessed silence. You might be tempted to drink your way through this, god knows we all want to, but that would make you sleepy. Coffee and tea. Coffee. And tea.
And the last item on our pandemic holiday list is a deck of cards.
One each for everyone. Have I ever taught you guys how to play solitaire?
Come back when you win.