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Dear Santa: Getting Smiles Instead of Tears
Report to Moderator Old 06-02-2002 09:36 PM
MMC Editor
Views: 44,209
Replies: 0
By Kris Kringle

Dear Santa,

Last Christmas was miserable. It was supposed to be fun but my two-year-old was sick and irritable during the week of Christmas and I had a terrible time entertaining. I'm tempted this year to just let her spend Christmas with my parents. What do you think?

Alyssa H. -- Reno, Nevada

I think you ought to be ashamed of yourself.

Christmas togetherness means involving the little ones. In fact, Christmas is more about focusing on the little ones than entertaining the big ones. In fact, while I'm on my soap box, let's not forget the pets either at Christmas. The season, after all, is about sharing. And that means with everyone.

The problem with any two-year-old is that they cannot effectively communicate. In their little world getting it now means speaking loudly and doing whatever it takes to get your attention. Obviously, you were a bit distracted too much to pay her much attention. And if she was ill, this is especially grievious.

The strange feeling I have here is that those you likely want to spend your time with at Christmas likely understand the needs of a two-year-old and your obligations to her. I think most of them would understand your inability to completely focus on them.

Why don't you try involving your little one in your plans. At just two years it really doesn't take much.

First, make an effort to keep her well. Do not drag her around to the stores while you prepare for your festivities. Exposing her to the elements invites health issues. Perhaps this is a good time to enlist Mom's services in tending her.

Second, prepare a little of the party for her. My experience has been that toddlers don't need more than a few empty boxes to keep them occupied! Some well planned activities that will absorb her imagination while you visit may be all that is needed.

If this is an adults-only affair consider changing the rules and invite the other adults to bring their children. Arrange for a service-minded teen (easy to find at Christmas) to help keep charge of the little ones while you entertain. You can keep them close by -- perhaps just in another room -- so that you can check on her and involve her when the moment is right. Remember, there are likely other parents missing their kids during these events.

It is better to plan ways to involve and pacify rather than separate during these holiday celebrations. It can be done!
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