The way I know I've become a curmudgeon is that my thoughts on Christmas, rather than focusing on peace on earth and goodwill to man, are along these lines:
- If children got fewer presents each Christmas, they might appreciate the ones they got more. My nephew, in particular, barely looked at each gift after tearing the wrapping off. Then he declared, "I want to open another one!"
- Children's toys should not make noise without the active participation of the child. A drum that makes noise when the kid hits it is one thing. An Elmo electric guitar that produces a different riff for each button pushed is quite another. It takes very little effort to keep pushing buttons.
- It is a grave tactical error to give a child under the age of five a recorder.
- Of the four types of cookies we make every year, the "Chocolate Delights" are always the first to disappear, yet for some reason everyone seems to think that they're the one kind we could get away with skipping.
- If you give a child a launcher that shoots foam darts, you should not be surprised at being asked to retrieve foam darts from behind the television set.
- A man (or a troll) who can get four children under the age of five to focus on any task (such as decorating gingerbread men) for half an hour at a time is obviously some sort of genius.