As we cautiously crawl over the finish line in 2016, I’d like to take a minute — just one more minute, in one final column of this exhausting, irrational year — to emphasize my appreciation for parents who do social media well during the holiday season. I dedicated my entire previous column to parents who DON’T, so before we kick off 2017, allow me to emit a brief burst of warmth from my otherwise icy, coal-black heart. This is a tradition I like to keep up during the holiday season here on Mommyish, but it’s especially necessary this year, when I suddenly find myself caring less about yoonique baby names and more about the president-elect’s comments about an “arms race.” It’s been a trying seven weeks since the election, and all I really want to do right now is laugh about something — anything — to take my mind off Trump and his undisclosed taxes. So while I am prepared to continue my important quest of tracking the social media behaviors of sanctimommies, paranoid parents, and mommyjackers come January, it’s most fitting that my last column of the year be about parents who don’t make me want to throw my laptop into the river. (Anyone remember this charming retelling of ‘A Visit From St. Nicholas’? Festively revolting!) It’s also way more uplifting than another column about parents who brag about spoiling their kids, though Easter IS just around the corner, so everyone can still look forward to that.
In the meantime, let’s turn down — or god forbid, turn off — our HATE-O-METERS and show some love for parents who are raising good kids:
…and who tell it like it is, with no sugar-coating:
…and whose anecdotes about their kids actually make social media a greater source of entertainment, particularly during the holidays, when we need it the most:
Cheers to the parents who keep their friends laughing, ’cause we’re sure as hell gonna need it in 2017. I tip my spiked eggnog to you all.
1. The Only Acceptable ‘Christmas Poo’ Joke I’ve Seen
Normally I’m not a big fan of references to human waste on social media — especially from parents, who post about their kids’ poop more than marathon runners post about clocking daily miles — but this joke is acceptable on several levels. First, it’s a seasonal toilet koozie. I approve of this as a concept. Second, it’s crafty, but it doesn’t involve that goddamn Elf on the Shelf (in your face, Pinterest moms!). And third, it actually sends shit logs down the chimney by way of Santa, which is like a cliché come to life? I’m not mad at it. I’ve never met a decorated toilet that served as a poop punchline for small children, but as far as family traditions go, this one is genuinely funny.
2. Holiday Viewing
I’m not trying to tell anyone what to do here, but if any advertising executives out there are reading this, you’d be smart to work this concept into your 2017 holiday campaigns. Like I said, I’ve got a heart made of thousands of tiny shards of broken glass, but this picture is so whimsical and full of legit ‘childlike wonder,’ I’ll be disappointed if LEGO or Hot Wheels or Apple doesn’t make a heartwarming commercial out of the drive-in movie concept, “as seen through a father’s eyes on Christmas.” At the end, the dog in the background can run up and join the young boy as snow falls peacefully in the background. You can’t more Christmas magic than that! Someone pay for me for this idea, please. Allen, I like your drive-in vision. Clever.
3. Sweet Memories
If this were an SNL sketch, it would highlight just how frequently parents of newborns assume you’re talking about their baby when, in fact, you might be talking about an *actual* sack of potatoes, or giant bag of sugar, or a ticking time bomb. (In the sketch, the mother would be all, “OMG I know, he is SUCH a stinker after a diaper explosion!!” just before a genuine bomb blows up, killing everyone and effectively ruining Christmas Eve dinner.) That being said, Raquel’s status update is exactly what I hope to read when I check Facebook on the holidays, so kudos to her for not keeping this Christmas tale to herself. This one should get passed down through future generations.
4. Christmas Card Mockery
Is it rude to openly mock another family’s Christmas card on Facebook? Or rather: If a family chooses to spread “Christmas cheer” by way of a holiday card, and said holiday card happens to feature every family member, including a four-month-old baby, sitting in a bed with his/her shirt off, don’t the card’s recipients have an obligation to showcase it on Facebook for the rest of the world to see??
I’ve blacked out the faces, but in a way, that kind of makes the card more creepily familiar. With the faces blocked, I can easily imagine a number of young families I know who this could be, which really brings into perspective just how icky I’d feel if I got this card in the mail. Nothing says “Merry Christmas!” quite like a bundled up, naked foursome in bed wearing Santa hats. Maybe the Trump family can try out this idea next year? It’d be unpresidented, for sure, but it makes quite a statement! If you don’t believe me, try putting a card like this on the mantle or the refrigerator so you’re forced to see it several times a day. By the end of the week, you’ll be all set.
5. Preschool Holiday Party Traditions
These masochistic, haunting-yet-delicious lyrics come from the instant Top 40 classic ‘Oh, If I Were A Dreydl’, which is traditionally sung as:
“Oh, if I were a dreydl, I tell you what I’d do
I’d spin around a million times, so I could play with you
But, through the magic of verse substitution, the words can be altered to reference a candle (“I’d jump in your menorah so I’d be lit by you”); a latke (“I’d fry myself in lots of oil so I’d be food for you”); or gelt, aka chocolate (“I find my way to your house, so I’d be a gift for you”).
Every single one of these options is horrifying and worth teaching to a group of small children.
6. “Looks Like The Best Mom In The World”
If this picture doesn’t get used for Caitlin and Chad’s Christmas card next year, it’ll be disappointing. This is a true masterpiece, and Caitlin’s caption just adds to the awesomeness. I only wish Nora could stay in this manic-caricature artistic period forever — or at least long enough for me to commission her to draw portraits of me, my husband, and our cats. I have a feeling once you see yourself through Nora’s eyes, you never see yourself the same way again. It’s a transcendental experience, not unlike doing ayahuasca and being reintroduced to your ancient self. Nora gets it. She sees people for who they are at their core: big-headed monsters with the capacity for unconditional love. Merry Christmas, indeed. This looks just like the best mom in the world.