Most parents want nothing more than to make the holidays a magical time for their children—and possibly recreate memories of their own childhoods. But quite often, life happens, and stressful circumstances can throw a wrench in even the best-laid holiday plans. A dad of two took to the Parenting subreddit to vent about challenges he's facing this Christmas, admitting he almost cancelled the holiday.
Writing under the handle Disposable123321, the original poster (OP) titled the post, "I almost did a Lois today and cancelled Christmas," referring to an episode of Malcolm in the Middle where Lois almost cancels festivities due to her children's bad behavior.
"I'm so stressed out this Christmas," the dad of two wrote. "My wife has been in bed with a migraine for three days now. I've done all the shopping, cooking and decorating so far. Still haven't been able to wrap any presents. The kids don't want to watch any Christmas films or shows, they just want to play Minecraft and watch YouTube."
He said that if he takes his kids devices away, they start fighting. Making matters worse: "We're going to my parents tonight for dinner and my wife has just decided she isn't going," the OP noted. "Their presents didn't come in time so I've had to buy them gift cards for now."
Disposable123321 concluded, "I just need to rant. I had a mini breakdown today and almost cancelled the entire thing. I had to sit and have a little cry because I just want a family Christmas like I had as a kid. Rant over. Smile on and back to work."
It seems the upset father had come to the right place, as fellow Redditors quickly jumped to praise him for his efforts and encourage him to let the idea of a perfect Christmas go.
One named Jeane21112 wrote, "You are a good dad and partner. I've been sick for three days now with migraines and dizziness, but I'm still expected to clean and bake cookies. Then, I have to wrap gifts. My husband is sort of useless in this regard."
Lennvor pointed out, "The thing about Christmas when you're a kid, is that you have adults doing all the hard work of organizing it. You are extremely stressed and dispirited trying to pull it off on your own, but it sounds like you'll manage a Christmas with all of the basics, nice food, time spent with family... Maybe focus on that and pat yourself on the back for a job well done?"
And as many parents know, the OP is far from alone in being tempted to call off the celebration. Bphillips16 shared, "I’ve almost canceled Christmas at least five times between dinner last night and breakfast this morning. Holidays are stressful AF, so I empathize. My 4.5 year old has been a tiny psycho. Also had a meltdown at 3:45 am, because there were no more cupcakes, because we finished them a week ago and that I wouldn't give her a snack."
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The OP is clearly in good company when it comes to wanting to make Christmas next-level for his family. But there's only so much that's within a parent's control, and simply doing your best has to be enough.
Ultimately, PMMe_Your_Cat_Pics summed up the situation the OP—and plenty of other families—are facing: "You’re doing great. There’s presents and decorations and food in the house! I feel like you’re putting pressure on yourself for a memorable family Christmas. This might just have to be a 'good enough' Christmas. We’re all guilty of fantasizing about Christmas, but things are unpredictable... Just go with it this year, and take the pressure off. Solidarity!"