They’ll drive you to it.
Many men start adulthood – and dating, and married life, and pregnancy, and fatherhood – with a drink, or two. There’s a connection in there, somewhere. Anyway, as time goes on, the responsible male head of the family recognizes, there is a time for having a beer, or bottle of vodka, and a time for staying relatively sober.
Especially now, when children’s thoughts turn to sugar plums and expensive electronics, it’s important to spare them the lifelong embarrassment, shame and terror that can come from being a careless, tipsy pop. This Holiday Season, as you’re getting your drink on, I hope you’ll join me and take a moment to see things from your kids’ perspective, with this Top Ten signs they wish we wouldn’t Drink and Dad.
1. Holiday music is a special treat for youngsters. Everyone likes to sing along. But if you’re doing the third replay of ‘Grandma Got Runover By a Reindeer’ and still laughing, why don’t we check the breathalyzer.
2. ‘Invisible elves’ is probably not going to convince anybody why Daddy is stumbling a lot over things nobody else can see.
3. Yeah, they’re cute as can be. But really: trying for that once-in-a-lifetime shot of the kids hanging like ornaments on the Christmas tree is just not going to fly. No matter how much the guys at work will really love it.
4. If you can’t dance, there was absolutely nothing in that last drink that fixed ‘can’t’.
5. No matter how many pretty colors and shapes it has in it, that giant mixed bowl of cereal is just not going to pass for Christmas dinner.
6. The following are signs you’re doing online gift shopping after a bit too much Holiday Cheer. You (a) buy something your son will grow into and be able to use five or six years from now; (b) order that drum kit you always wished you’d got for Christmas when you were a kid; (c) decide it won’t really matter the gift for your wife isn’t going to arrive til January 4.
7. Hearing the kids and their sleepover friends play ‘guess why Daddy won’t stop laughing / crying by himself in the kitchen’ is probably not the kind of Holiday game you want to encourage.
8. Yes, it really does save time and trouble to just let the little ones run around free for the Holidays without their drawers or diapers on. For about, oh, two hours.
9. Yes, it’s four am, and you really did leave that three page note finally getting everything off your chest on the desk in the bedroom your mother in law is using.
10. It may be a good idea to check first, and see from the kids faces whether they are really as excited as you think to see you in the living room wearing all the Christmas lights.
This Holiday, raise a glass, make a toast, but give the family a time they’ll treasure forever. Not a viral YouTube video.
(By the way, if you’re an alcoholic, pick up the phone. Now. And get help. Seriously. )