• Arden Anglican

Like most mums and dads you’ve probably spent (WAY) too much time making Christmas special for your family and moving that bloody elf all over the house as your creativity wanes! From early November, the Christmas queries and posts start in the Hills District Mums Facebook group and continue for weeks until the big day is here, so we know how much effort and love goes into it!

Then it hits us on Christmas Eve and there’s a chorus of F bombs going off around the Hills! A standard post on Hills District Mums, “I can hear a grown man crying from 2 kilometres away? Does anyone know if he’s OK?”. Then the response “It’s my poor husband, he went to put together our daughter’s bike just now and realised the wheel is missing”.

In previous years one poor family was primed to assemble their trampoline (and let’s not even discuss the assembly of these things!) and when they opened the box they found the wrong size mat. Yay, a 14ft mat and the frame was only a 10ft!

Then there are the mums who have been stashing presents for months (note to self: remember where you’re putting them!) only to realise that one child was obviously the easier child to buy for and has at least double the presents of the other child in the family. And yes, they WILL notice!

And for the entertainers in the group, there’s nothing worse than realising on Christmas Eve that you forgot to take the turkey out of the freezer to defrost.

These stories do make great (and funny, at some point) Christmas memories but seriously test the nerves of mums and dads at the end of a sometimes stressful lead-up to the day! So we’ve put together a bit of a Christmas checklist of things to remember as December 25 approaches.

  • Batteries. Remember batteries aren’t included in a lot of presents. And no one wants to see that tantrum when the new toy isn’t working on Christmas Day!
  • Pumps. Make sure you have a pump handy for any inflatable toys like balls and pool toys.
  • Before you wrap, put each child’s gifts in a pile. Are they even?
  • Take things out of boxes and check all parts are correct and none have pieces are missing – BEFORE Christmas Eve and the shops are shut!
  • Have Santa wrapping paper ready – this needs to be different to the wrapping paper you’re using for general presents. A suspicious child will look for this first.
  • Electronics. Charge the ones you want charged in advance so they can be used on Christmas Day.
  • Take any frozen meat out of the freezer. Turkeys sometimes take up to 72 hours to defrost!
  • And most importantly, make sure the wine and champers for Christmas Day is in the fridge!

And as you finally get the opportunity to crawl into bed exhausted, don’t forget to eat the treat left out for Santa and the reindeer!

But remember to enjoy the chaos of the next couple of weeks because, come Christmas day, it’s all worth it to see those smiles.