A Broke Dad’s Guide to Christmas, Part Two

Oh shit! Is it December again already? Another year has flown by, and you’ve been so busy exploding into apoplectic rage on a daily basis over the president’s poorly-worded tweets and questionable dietary habits that, once again, you completely forgot to put aside any money to buy overpriced electronic junk for your filthy children. Last year, we helped you appease those ungrateful little vermin with some clever gift ideas that didn’t cost you a dime, but you promised them that this year would be different. So if you want to keep your family from completely falling apart, you’re really gonna have to get creative this time.

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1. Stage a kidnapping. As educated adults, you and I understand that happiness is all about expectations. Your kids currently need Christmas presents to make them happy, but there are plenty of things they take for granted that they could already be happy about, like the fact that their mom is still alive. If forced to confront the possibility of losing their beloved mother, their criteria for happiness suddenly changes. So let’s say mom disappears for a few days. A mysterious note arrives, demanding money. You tearfully deliver the news to the kids that you can only afford to either pay the ransom or buy them Christmas presents, not both, and it’s up to them to decide. “To heck with presents,” they’ll say. “We want our mommy back!” Et voila! (Legal note: We strongly recommend that you only execute this plan with the full cooperation of your children’s mother. Otherwise, it can get a little tricky.)

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2. Exploit the generosity of strangers online. They say it takes a village to raise a child, so why the hell should you have to pay for your kids’ stupid presents all by yourself? Thanks to the rise of online fundraising platforms like GoFundMe, we now know that there are scores of benevolent strangers out there on the Internet just dying to throw their hard-earned money at other people’s personal tragedies. And what better time than the Season of Giving to hit those suckers right in the heartstrings? Obviously, in troubling economic times like these, you’re going to have a lot of competition in the online panhandling circuit, so you might want to embellish some details to make sure you’re sob story stands out amongst the crowd. Maybe your youngest son has an incurable illness, or your teen daughter is pregnant and scared. Don’t be afraid to spice it up a little!

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3. Fake your own death and eventual resurrection in the form of a magical snowman. As we learned in the beloved holiday classic Jack Frost (1998), there’s nothing more tragic than a child losing a father on Christmas, and there’s nothing a grieving child dreams of more than their dead dad magically returning to life as a terrifying sentient snow-creature. Recreating this timeless premise in real life is going to require some DIY costume-making on your part, but it should be well worth the effort to see those smiles on your gullible kids’ faces, as soon as they’re done screaming in horror. Kids are naïve and still foolishly believe in magic, so they won’t question the logic of it, they’ll just be happy to see you alive. And don’t worry, they’re too young to remember that movie, so they’ll have no idea you’re ripping it off.

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4. Blame the government. Have you heard about this horrible new tax bill?? The details may be hard to understand, but you know that it’s bad, and since you’re clearly very poor, it’s probably going to end up making your life even more miserable. In other words, it’s the perfect scapegoat for your complete failure to provide for your family! Start complaining loudly about President Drumpf’s tax bill as loudly as you can whenever those little brats are around. Make it abundantly clear to them that your inability to provide for them is 100% the government’s fault and not yours. They know even less about politics and the economy than you do, so they’ll just have to take your word for it.

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5. Same as #3, but skip the snowman part. You may notice that some of these suggestions are very labor-intensive. It’s no easy task to bail on Christmas for the second year in a row and still keep your family satisfied. Sure, option #4 is relatively easy, but it’s also the least likely to succeed. So if you’re really looking for a lazy way out, you could always just fake your death, and instead of doing that whole magic snowman bit, just get the hell out of there and don’t look back. This way, you can avoid responsibility not just for this Christmas, but all future Christmases as well, for the small price of a lifetime of guilt. Not the most glamorous way to go, but hey, a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do.

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6. Convince your kids that Santa is in trouble and take them on a family adventure to “save Christmas.” Picture this: Your kids awake on Christmas morning to find no presents under the tree, but instead a note from some sinister madman (maybe Donald Trump??) who’s kidnapped Santa Claus, and it’s up to your and your family to save the day!! In a way, this is actually better than buying them toys, because what kids want more than anything is to go on a bona fide Christmas adventure. All their friends, whose boring parents just got them a bunch of lame toys like usual, will be so jealous that they didn’t get to save Christmas too. Of course, due to budget restraints, you’re going to have to figure out how to create a satisfying family adventure that takes place entirely in your own town, involving obstacles that won’t cost you anything. Maybe get one of your friends to pretend to be Santa, and another to play the bad guy?  Just use your imagination, you’ll figure it out.

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There you have it, readers: another year’s worth of rock-solid advice to hopefully make your pathetic family life a little more bearable this holiday season, completely free of charge. Hell, we’re all struggling over here just like you are. We’ve never made a single penny off of any of the fine content we provide for you. I could barely afford to pay the photographer for these glamour shots of my own worthless family. So if you really want to do something nice this Christmas, maybe consider being the first to make a pledge to our Patreon! Please help me. My shitty kids need to eat too! Don’t be fooled by their forced smiles in the pictures, they’re actually sad, and starving, and deeply disappointed by their failure of a dad. I’m sure you can relate. Anyway, Merry Christmas!

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