Monday, December 17, 2012


Santa has been a bit conflicted as of late, when it comes to the names of two little boys. You see, these boys are also conflicted... they say that they want to be on Santa's Nice list, but their actions put them firmly on the Naughty side of the margin.

I know that Santa would really like to stop at this house and bring a gift to each of the three little people that live here... but I'm not so sure that will actually happen. That's never not happened... but this year may be the first.

Santa doesn't want to hurt any feelings, but there is a reason for the list keeping. Santa is no different than anyone else... he knows the power of incentives. His incentives aren't complicated... there are no points or black-out dates. No coupons or card punches required. His plan is simple: Be honest, Follow the rules, Love one another.

I understand that sometimes those things can be more difficult to remember... and so, we parents can help to pass along reminders. Starting in late November, mine sound a little like: "Oh boy... it's so sad that Santa has to see (and hear) all of this fighting..." My volume level may fluctuate, but the message tends to remain pretty constant.

Even with all of those 'helpful' reminders... Benett and Gavin both have their work cut out for themselves, and will have to make a very concerted effort in the next several days. We've been talking a lot about compromise. But that's tough to grasp sometimes... and when competition is so fierce. I think for Gavin, compromise means "losing." Sometimes that's just what it is... and when you're nine, losing is never okay.

And then there is Ellie. She deserves a visit from Santa. She's been such a darling... helpful as can be (most of the time). Even if she tends to get noisy and bickers with Benett a bit, she's doing a great job for a two-year-old. (Even when not compared to her brothers.)

So, Santa is conflicted... will he bring a gift for only one child? Will the boys shape up and turn things around in time for a visit from the jolly elf? I'm not sure; there's only one person who knows for sure... and I hope he has an eraser on that magic pencil, because a week is a long time.

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