As Christmas fast approaches the threats for good behaviour are gathering speed in our household. Bellowing "Lose a Christmas present!" at a recalcitrant child can work wonders in moderating fights over who's been on the computer the longest and who needs to clean their room. It's not the best form of parenting I know, (and you can peak too early, as in don't start yelling this threat in October, it's unsustainable) but it can produce the desired effect - and in that vein new book The Christmas Peg fits quite nicely.
Wal, it seems, is having issues. He doesn't respect nature, up-ending pot plants (quelle horreur!) and has even, possibly, tortured his cat.
Santa is watching.
Wal's name is on the naughty list and Wal is about to find out some serious consequences for his actions. Dr Phil would be proud. NO Christmas gift!! Correction, a wooden peg replacing his Christmas gift. How could Santa be so cruel?! (If the peg is an allegory for something else I don't get it.)
Things don't improve as Wal, try as he might, and then by not trying at all - fails to produce the 'nice' behaviour that would make himself a better person and Santa fulfil his role as a decent gift-giver.
It's best not to overthink this book - obviously we'd like our kids to behave without material gain being the main motivator, right?! And then there's the fact, as the book points out, and as we all know, that it is impossible to be nice (or good) all of the time. (Here's a great chance to explain the gospel of being saved by grace! Just saying..) So treat this book as a light read and a humourous form of coercion. The pictures are cute - though Wal's age seems to vary, but then again it did take him three years to work out that nice = presents. And for that his cat is extremely thankful.
The Christmas Peg by Cameron Williams and Matthew Martin (illustrator)
Thank you to PenguinRandomHouse for providing me with a review copy of this book.
Random Christmassy shots as we strive to be merry and bright. Christmas tees and coffee and snacks have helped.