The Present Prison

As I sat on the cusp of what the schools like to call “Winter Break” and I looked to what the next two weeks without school could hold, all I wanted to do was curl up in a corner and cry.

Maybe that’s dramatic, but most parents know that Winter Break is nothing more than a cruel play on words. A Break for WHOM, exactly? Sure as shit not for us parents! My kids are going to fight non-stop for 14 fucking days, and there’s not a damn thing I can do about it. You can call them bad kids, you can say that I need to police them more, or “teach them to get along”-n and I will sit here making the stupidest face at the screen you can imagine. The kind you’d make when you were little and your mom would threaten would freeze that way if you kept that shit up. It just isn’t reality. I can’t teach my kids to get along. They are at an age where no matter WHAT, they’re going to fight. And I’m at an age where that is going to do nothing but drive me insane. That’s a cold hard fact right there.

So what the hell am I going to do? What the hell are YOU going to do? All the threats of Santa not coming and coal in their stockings and creepy ass elves only works but so well, and all the new Christmas gifts in the world are only going to keep them busy for 5 minutes- so what about all the maddening downtime?

Tossing their asses outside is short-lived, because it’s too damn cold and there’s that whole love thing that prevents you from letting their whiny asses freeze. You can’t sell them on Craigslist, because no one wants a mouthy little shit under the tree (and also, it’s illegal). Day drinking is just frowned upon (although a very attractive option at times).

It wasn’t until we were walking in the front door right after school and before I could even unlock the damn thing they started fighting and I threatened to call Santa for the bajillionth time that it dawned on me. The perfect punishment. The last and final way I had to get them to STOP FUCKING FIGHTING AND GET ALONG! IT’S CHRISTMAS, DAMNIT! LOVE ONE ANOTHER AND SHIT!

Drastic measures obviously needed to be taken. The kids knew I meant business when I pulled out the craft supplies. I do NOT craft. I hate to craft. If I am crafting, you had better get the hell away from me, or fear for your safety.

I took all of the presents marked for the boys already under the tree, and I put them in prison. THAT’S RIGHT! I PUT THEIR ASSES IN PRESENT PRISON!



PRISON!!!!!! It’s no masterpiece, but you get the point.

For those who can’t see it well enough to read it (mobile and what not) it says the following:

You’ve been naughty instead of nice,
and lost your gifts because of silly fights.
To earn them back do something WARM,
or get nothing but COAL on Christmas morn”


To some it may seem silly, and to others it may seem extreme- but once the kids realized their presents were all gone and found the bag with the sign, it sparked a conversation.

But why?

You don’t only get presents on Christmas morning because I love you and want to give you things, but because you have been good and deserve to be given something. Same goes for Santa.

But what does warm mean?

Oh, how I’d have loved to respond with “IT MEANS DON’T BE AN ASSHOLE!” but I knew even getting THEM to ask was a step in the right direction, so I had to treat my answers carefully. I won’t go into long obnoxious detail about our “love each other, have respect, listen, share” conversation, but what I WILL tell you is that they have not fought since. They have gone out of their way to be nice to one another.

Now, I might be on the brink of insanity, but I’m not crazy. I’m very well aware that this is probably a very short-lived thing- BUT- Present Prison gave me one afternoon of total peace, and that’s a pretty awesome gift on its own!

Posted on December 19, 2014 by Holdin' Holden 5 Comments
Holdin' Holden

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  • When it stops working maybe you need to introduce Krampus to your holiday traditions.

  • Brilliant!
    Day 1, 16 days to go…

  • Fucking.. love it! So going to be using this idea! Way to go mama!!!

  • You know, I’m just going to leave you a *hug* for this. My kids don’t exactly fight now but they bicker…and if you’ve heard a 16 year old bickering with a 7 year old you’ll understand just how frazzled my brain is by now…and if the 20 year old joins in, I just want to scream. Because there is NO NEED FOR IT.

    We just took our youngest out for ice cream and fizzy drinks because it’s the kind of thing we’d have loved to have done with our parents. What started as a fun treat turned into…we wish we hadn’t bothered. How can one child on their own do this?! And before anyone says “It’s your parenting!”, stop, don’t bother…we try so damn hard and we’re tired.

    *hugs for present prison*

  • It made me laugh when you pulled out the craft box, I am not crafty either and have to be pretty desperate when it comes out, my kids LOVE craft, me? Well let’s just say it kind of tips me over the edge. I just don’t cope well with mess, but I’m learning, you are kind of forced to when you have 3 children, mess comes with the package of parenthood.