Christmas is cancelled!

There is no good way to begin this post.  It probably seems harsh, knowing that we have two young kids, but hear me out.  This mama is at her wit’s end!

Yes, as far as my kids (well, brixton) know we have cancelled Christmas. We have made many attempts at keeping our holiday season fun and tantrum free.  Totally unsuccessful.  We even caved into the dreaded Elf on the Shelf last November.  His name is Bert.  As much as I’d love to report that Bert’s presence has made an impact on my son’s horrific three-year old meltdowns, it has not.  He doesn’t care.  We call Bert from the store to report his “unkind” behavior,  which doesn’t do anything more than make him yell even more.  We make sure Bert is settled somewhere near where the kids spend the most time (after his return from the North Pole, of course).  Still makes no difference.

The breaking point finally came this morning shortly after waking.  Not only did Mr. Brixton hit Ingrid with a toy hammer, but after being told how mean his behavior was he proceeded to have a screaming fit and throw toys about his bedroom.  Yesterday I gave him one last warning that if his behavior didn’t improve that Santa would not be visiting us.  He seemed to understand at that point, but apparently through time he forgot.  I have told him too many times that hitting is not acceptable.  Being upset, or even mad, is okay, but it’s never okay to hit another person (i.e. his sister!).  I just don’t know how to get him to understand it.  So, no more warnings.  This time I’ve come to a breaking point.  Its time to cancel Christmas.

I took Brixton by the hand, walked him to the Christmas tree and had him watch me remove all gifts from underneath the tree.  Oh dear.  If I thought his meltdown was bad before I had no idea what I was in for.  He had the holiest of all tantrums.  Please know that my intention was not to make my child crazy or heartbroken.  It was clearly to teach him a lesson.. that unkind actions have consequences.
Well, I think he understood.  He cried, begged, threw himself on the couch (..and then bounced off on to the floor!), told Bert “mommy is being weird”, etc.  Eventually, I had to send him out of the room because his pleading turned into screaming, which was making the situation worse.

It was done.  All presents are gone.  There will be no visit from Santa Clause.  And Bert went back to the North Pole to tell Santa how our morning played out.

Once this was all done and John returned home to see that every gift had been removed, Brixton had to explain to his daddy why.

I’m unsure how to overcome this decision.  I will not destroy my son’s hope for a wonderful Christmas, yet he needs to learn, right?!  The Christmas gifts will magically reappear on Christmas Eve after the kids are asleep, as if Santa came to visit.  And I believe I heard Bert say that he’ll come back in a few days.

Honestly, I love Christmas just as much as everyone else, but doing the unthinkable and cancelling Christmas to prove to my son that bad behavior has consequences, had to be done.
Although our tree is still standing decorated I did threaten to take it away also.  Oh my.. I sound like a holiday villain!

We shall see how the next week continues.  I pray that all attitudes are lighter and we can go on to enjoy each other.  If only brixton knew what Santa is bringing him this year, he’d be delighted.
I’ll update you all in a later post to see if Santa came to visit.

Merry Christmas and God bless you all!!

1 Comment

  1. Your post really hit home in the sense of “Oh I have been there, done that”. I had to play the awful holiday villain/evil step mother and bag up Christmas gifts one year because of my step daughter (who at the time was around 4) was downright mean and difficult to manage (mega tantrums). I will admit she did straighten out over the week or so leading up to Christmas but soon returned to her old ways. Parenting is not a walk in the park sometimes its trial and error.

    I hope your decision (a wise one at that) helps open your little one’s eyes to be aware of consequences for his action. Discipline needs to start early so there is a firm foundation. We have to stand firm or our children will attempt to walk all over us. I really respect your decision.