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Mommy Musings Keeping Up With
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For those of you not yet hit by the recession and still running the race of keeping up with the Jones’ — well, good for you. Personally, I find myself busy these days trying to keep up with the fat man in the red suit — that’s right, Santa.

The down side of being an older mom, is that this year I have realized I need to start documenting all the facts that pertain to Santa. Much like with children, there is no handbook given at your baby shower to help you navigate your way through and, well … I am learning after a few years it becomes complicated.

How hard is it to share the story of Santa? I can hear you all now … especially those of you who have this phase of life long behind you.

The thing about Santa is that the questions start on Black Friday and do not come to a close until December 25. For my aging brain, this has a tendency to feel like a lifetime. Let’s just say handfuls of blueberries are being added to my diet as I type these words.

The challenge I have been faced with this year is in the way of how gifts arrive and how many to expect.

I should also share that I have decided that Black Friday 2010 will take on new meaning in the home of the home of the Hammond Family. Black Friday will now have significant meaning to our children, as our television will be scheduled to go black of all kid-based television channels.

That’s right, you know the ones. They started promoting all the ‘must have’ toys three weeks prior to Thanksgiving. We have plenty of Holiday DVD’s in our home, as well as Tivo to help limit this unnecessary marketing consumption.

This plan, I am just about sure will help curtail the favorite holiday carol constantly sung by my two children that goes something like this: “I want that … I want that … I want that. You think Santa will bring me that. I hope Santa knows I want that. You think Santa will bring me that.” And on and on and on it goes … exhausting for this 40 something mommy.

This was also the year that I had to share with my son that he needed to pick his top five favorite things for Santa to bring. As a child raised by a single mom, with a family who over compensated for the missing father at Christmas — this number seemed reasonable.

Well, that is until I shared it with some co-workers. “My son gets one gift from Santa,” a tenured mom of a teen shared. “Five is a lot.”

Hmmmmm … now what? I thought to my untrained self. I must add that on his list of five things, he is only allowed to list one big gift (‘big’ of course being determined by price — not size).

This year, his hope is that Santa will bring him a telescope with a case, so he can see the planets.

But what about the other four presents on his list? How do they arrive? Does Santa wrap presents? I just couldn’t remember. So, I asked my son.

He of course informed me that of course he did, that is half the fun, after all, unwrapping the goodies. Not to mention, what better way to give the gifts extra protection while in the oversized sack on his sleigh as he travels the planet.

Thank goodness someone remembers all this.

And then there is the ‘list’ to Santa. A list, my son shared I needed to do as well, sharing that he thought I should ask for a big truck that can drive through the snow.

As I pondered this dilemma, another co-worker and experienced parent shared that Santa only brings presents for children. Another fact I somehow missed in all the overwhelming details of the fat man in the red suit.

I swear if I would have remained a stay at home mom, I just don’t know how I would navigate through all these details. As tired as my co-workers may get of hearing about my children, I am so grateful for each of them.

As I’ve said before, I know I am not the first to navigate through this unknown territory and I am so grateful, not to mention indebted to every resident parenting expert I cross.

So … as we track Santa and anticipate his arrival I have one wish for all parents and children.

May your memories be many, your love in abundance and your new year full of nothing but goodness.

(Note: The views of this writer do not represent the paper. It is not intended or meant to offend any plus size individual or persons partial to red suits.)


Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at or by calling 847-3021.