We are failing our children. Do you realize that, with Easter's passing, my children will not receive a bucket of candy until the final day of October? Worse yet, unless one of them loses a tooth, a mythical creature will not enter my home until the arrival of Mother Goose, our Elf on the Shelf, in late November. How are my children supposed to have a childhood filled with magic and wonder if they are to go over a month without a holiday that is celebrated with a stranger breaking into our home and leaving them gifts and high fructose corn syrup? Our children deserve better, which is why I have devised this handy schedule of mythical creature visits around holidays that have been deprived of their untapped potential for far too long.
New Year's Day
We've all watched the ball drop in Times Square, but this New Year's, a jolly old soul who looks an awful lot like Dick Clark will be heading over to my place after the confetti has cleared in order to leave a package on the foot of my children's beds. It will be filled with sugary cereals and video games that they can use to feed and entertain themselves while my husband and I nurse our hangovers in bed.
Valentine cards might be suitable for some parents, but why allow school to have all of the fun? Come February 14th, Cupid will be visiting our home, leaving his mark on all that he touches by hiding conversation hearts in all corners of our house and turning everything, from our cereal milk to our bath water, his signature red. Sure, red dye might make your home look like a crime scene, but it's all in the name of creating lifelong memories for your little ones. What were you going to do you selfish twit, go out to dinner with your spouse?
Can someone explain to me how our children are supposed to appreciate the sacrifices men and women have made for our country if no one gives them a gift that rings in the summer? This Memorial Day morning, my children will scurry outside in their pajamas, open up our backyard grill, and discover that a Union soldier has filled it with Freeze Pops, bubbles, sidewalk chalk, new bathing suits and sunscreen!
This year, my children will start their day with a game of capture the flag that will make the Hunger Games look like a Maypole event. The winning team earns a chest full of Bomb Pops - eat them before they melt! The losing team...wins the same. Because what's better than a participation trophy? A participation gift that causes Type 2 diabetes, hyperactivity, and attention disorders.
Fourth of July
Parents, this is your day to wake up before dawn so that you can arrange for the ghost of Ben Franklin to visit your home before your children rise, leaving them Pop Rocks, sparklers, cherry bombs, and other explosive devices. Because nothing says the holidays like a visit to the ER.
Saying goodbye to summer isn't always easy, but it's definitely less painful when visited by Jimmy Hoffa. There's a reason his body hasn't been found yet - he's alive and well and leaving my children a trail of chocolate coins that leads to a glorious discovery. My kids will go crazy for the briefcase full of cash that Jimmy leaves for them to buy their back-to-school wardrobe.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton, or as my kids call her, Bazooka Betty, doesn't visit your house to supply your children with a canister full of rock hard bubble gum and freshly sharpened number 2 pencils? Oh, sorry, I didn't know you were raising your kids to have a complete lack of respect for our electoral process.
We have allowed this holiday to be a day about gathering with family for the sole purpose of expressing gratitude for far too long. From now on, the Thanksgiving Pilgrim will be leaving a cornucopia of small gifts (like bicycles and iPads) for my children before throwing a turkey in the oven for our family to enjoy come nightfall. And don't even get me started on Thanksgiving desserts. When a fruit and vegetable are the featured ingredients in your dessert, something is amiss. Move over apple and pumpkin pie, the Thanksgiving Pilgrim will also be bringing tasty treats made exclusively of corn syrup and red dye - all in the shape of feathers!
Do your children a favor and make their childhood magical by teaching them that a holiday is not a holiday at all unless they are receiving gifts and childhood obesity from someone other than their parents.
Teresa Carlton is a wife and mother of two who, with the help of sauvignon blanc and sarcasm, has nearly mastered the art of appearing to have her life together. Her blog www.mamatriesblog.com chronicles her life of doing it all with mediocrity. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.