Father Christmas: What Happens When Dad Is in Charge of the Holidays?

(Photo illustration by Doug Mindell and David Ziarnowski)

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By Steve Hendrix
Thursday, November 27, 2008

The first thing I did when I ran Christmas was cancel the cookie-baking party.

Some fathers may decide otherwise, based on their individual home holiday needs, but I think most will find my logic unassailable: There are high-quality store-bought cookies to be had at reasonable prices throughout the holiday season. Their forms, unlike certain homemade efforts, are die-cast perfect, with bell-shaped bells and ideal triangular trees. They all taste exactly the same. They are never burned.

Why, then, add to the stress of the holidays by filling the kitchen with messy mixing bowls and messier neighbor children, just to create tray after tray of vaguely Santa-shaped blobs of smoking sugar?

No reason at all, as I pointed out to the children, explaining how our new streamlined Christmas would feature, among other improvements, more cookies with less effort.

Oh, they howled a bit. "Mommy always has the cookie party; Mommy always lets us add twice the chocolate chips; Mommy always laughs when we cover the dog in flour handprints."

Mommy, Mommy, Mommy.

Well kids, Mommy is not in charge of Christmas this year.

Daddy is.

It was only October, but those two magazine editors were just full of holiday mirth when they told me their hilarious idea. They were both women, both mothers, and both thought it would just be a stitch to have a father in charge of Christmas!

The Two Magazine Editors just laughed and laughed.

Imagine! they said. A father! Have you ever?

Well, yes, I have. As a matter fact, I pretty much run Christmas in my house. Oh, my wife, Ann, is a help, of course. Christmas would be much more difficult without her. But I do all the really crucial parts, many of which require the use of hand tools.

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