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5 things this mom really wants for Christmas

Gemma Hartley is a freelance writer with a BA in writing from The University of Nevada, Reno. She lives in Reno with her husband, three young kids, an awesome dog and a terrible cat.

All I want for Christmas is silence and a few other key gifts

I know the holidays are supposed to be a time for gratitude and counting our blessings. As parents, the gifting is supposed to be focused on our precious children. Oh, nothing for me. I'm happy just to bask in the joy of my children who are already fighting over one toy despite the cornucopia of gifts they have received from parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles. Bless them.

Here’s the thing: That’s not quite my jam. I mean, I love watching my kids open up their presents as much as the next parent, but let’s be real here: Their happiness and satisfaction are not the only things I want for Christmas. In fact, there are quite a few things I would love for Santa to drop under the tree for me this year. So if Santa happens to be perusing the internet looking for gift ideas, don’t worry, dude. I’ve got you covered.

  1. Noise-canceling headphones. Do you have any idea how loud children are? No, Santa, no you do not. You come shimmying down the chimney when those screeching banshees are silent, sleeping angels. They look so cherubic I sometimes cry at the side of their cribs at night. But let me tell you, when they are awake and cranky from a day of too many presents and too much fun, this mom would really like to drown out their indignant screams over who got more whipped cream in their hot cocoa.

  2. A personal chef. Here's the thing, Santa: I don't need a five Michelin-star chef. I'm using the term "chef" loosely here. What I really need is someone who will heat up frozen chicken nuggets, be unfazed when said chicken nuggets are regarded with disdain and quickly whip up a bowl of cereal with milk. I need someone who will cater to the constant snacking needs of my 3-year-old, who is consistently dissatisfied with every single snack option we have in the house. And if this chef happens to know how to make a good filet mignon and pair it with a nice glass of wine when I don't feel like cooking (which is most of the time), I'm not going to complain about that either.

  3. House cleaning. You know what goes great with tons of extra toys that I have to put away and the joy of hosting family in my home? A gift certificate for some house cleaning. I mean, yeah, the full daily service would be great, but I have heard from some trusty fellow moms that bathrooms and floor service twice a month is worth every last penny. Basically, any help I can get with the never-ending mess produced by my darling children would be much appreciated.

  4. Spa time. Dear Santa, you know how you get to spend 364 days a year at the North Pole in sweet, sweet seclusion eating cookies? That’s pretty much what I dream about every night. I’m not asking to switch lives or anything; I simply want to get away for a little while to bask in silence, and hey, a massage thrown in there for good measure isn’t a bad idea. You can come too, Santa. Couples massage. I’m generous like that.

  5. A treat lockbox. Now, I know what you're thinking: There's no way I need such an item. I look fantastic and clearly need no newfangled dieting tools. I understand that this lockbox is supposed to help you overcome your weak willpower so you can lose weight, but that's not my intention for having a special hidey-box full of chocolate. I need this thing because my toddler is very good at climbing, knows her way around child-locked cabinets and has on more than one occasion helped herself to my treat stash in the wee small hours of the morning. Mama needs to protect her treats.

With your extensive magical powers and all, I feel like this isn't an outrageous Christmas list. I've been extra good all year by not indulging the urge to whine back at my children while they are having a public meltdown in the middle of the grocery store. That shit takes willpower. Plus, I'm going to make you some pretty amazing cookies, so let's take that into account as well. If you're feeling extra generous in light of these things, a vacation to the Bahamas at a child-free resort wouldn't hurt either. I'm just saying.

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