Then: Don your wee daughter in a short party dress. Force her to strike a pose on the lap of an old man that smells like cigga-weed and feet.
Now: Lovingly wrap a selection of turtlenecks and baggy sweatpants to place under the tree for your daughter to wear out clubbing.
Then: Take the kids tobogganing.
Now: Take out a second mortgage and take the kids heli-skiing.
Then: Use your landline to “call Santa” to report your child’s deviant behaviour.
Now: Swipe through landmines of your child’s deviant behaviour on Instagram.
Then: Sprinkle the littles with fairy dust to entice sleep on Christmas Eve. Build a new vocabulary of curse words assembling doll houses and race tracks.
Now: Open another bottle of wine hoping to entice the bigs to stay up with you a little longer.
Then: Carrots on the roof, ash footprints on the hearth, half eaten cookies on the plate. The bold face lies and elaborate ruses used to perpetuate the magic of Santa.
Now: Lock up the cookies, hide the booze, or the kids will scarf them down before Santa.
Then: Rally against corporate greed and commercialism. Model the spirit of Christmas through generous acts, and hand painting your own wrapping paper.
Now: Pray they get a post degree job with any corporation, ethical or not, as long as it successfully launches them into their own home.
Then: Take the M out of Merry and put it in Martyr. Spend all day creating a 17 dish turkey dinner just like your mother did.
Now: Buy tofu for your vegan child, shrimp and steak for the rest. Put your feet up and enjoy a cocktail.
Then: The kids wake you at 4:30 am Christmas morning because THEY can’t wait.
Now: Wake your kids at 11:00 am because YOU can’t wait.
Then: Cherish the look on your child’s face when THEY open the toy they really, really wanted.
Now: Cherish the look on your child’s face when YOU open the gift they bought you, by budgeting with a few less beers over the month.
MERRY CHRISTMAS to all you fabulous HO HO HO’s!