And I Want It Back!
I love Christmas. No, seriously, when I say ‘love’ I mean LOVE everything about Christmas… from the food, decorations and jingly music, to the cozy nights in and chilly days out and everything twinkly and shiny and ever so slightly manic in between. And then it was ruined for me, stolen from me, destroyed beyond all recognition… BY MY OWN KIDS!
This is the month that everywhere is flooded with messages about why ‘Christmas is so special when you have children’. Really? Well, if that’s the case then your Christmases must have been pretty shit to begin with, because my Christmases used to be AWESOME until I became a mum. Now they are just hard work, with not a lot to show for it.
And then I get a little Christmas angel whispering, ‘Yes, but it IS all about the children.’
That Christmas angel and I argue throughout the whole of December.
Here is how my Holiday Season looks…
Beginning of December
Pre-children this involved parties. Office drunkeness, pre-Christmas get-togethers with friends and lots of impromptu seasonal fancy dress. And now? Now all of that has been replaced by what can only be described School Nativity Play Hell. It’s spent making angel costumes out of old tinsel and pillow cases (note to teacher: I don’t have OLD pillow cases, I now only have ODD ones), shepherd headdresses out of tea towels or consoling my youngest as she only got to be a sheep in the play. Again. And no one wants to be a shitty sheep.
Christmas Angel: But she does look so cute!
The week before Christmas
This was when I would hit the shops to buy the latest dress to wear over the festive season, or go and indulge in fancy food to stuff into my huge fridge and bigger mouth. Not now. Now I’m in that purgatory that is Argos. Now I am queuing up with every other desperate parent for the latest must-have, hating myself for yet again leaving things until the last minute after having spent two nights online buying everything I can get my hands on like the lazy Santa I am. You’d think I’d hit the deadline by now, wouldn’t you?
Christmas Angel: But your family are going to be so happy with their gifts!
A couple of beers with your mates? Not anymore. Now it’s a frenzy of last minute secret DIYing trying to put the kids’ bikes together, remembering to ‘eat’ the carrot and cake left out for Santa and Rudolph and setting the timer for the turkey that you have spent all morning stuffing… all while trying to calm down crazily excited kids that won’t sleep and are preventing you from filling their stockings up incognito.
Christmas Angel: But filling up stockings is nearly as exciting as receiving them!
Christmas Day used to involve a lovely lie in, lazy festive movies on TV while tucking in to a Bucks Fizz and smoked salmon breakfast before making my way to the family get-together. Now my day starts in the pitch dark at 5am, with kids jumping on my head. It involves children crying, fighting, demanding batteries, the stress of the grandparents arriving (and they are more excited than the children), cooking, serving, refereeing, clearing up, washing up, filling bin bags with wrapping paper, stepping on new toys, hating the snoring men on the sofa with their flies undone and doing nothing, getting drunk on too much Baileys and wondering how – after all this – all I’ve received are three pairs of slippers and a bottle of bubble bath.
Christmas Angel: But it’s the most magical time of the year!
Boxing Day (or The Day After, for the non-Brits)
Usually a day for brisk country walks and picking at leftovers. Unless you are a parent like me – in which case it’s a day for shouting at the kids for having broken their new toys already, trying to rustle up something edible from all the remnants in the fridge and arguing with the other half about who is the most tired and who deserves to go and have a lie down while Elf is on.
Christmas Angel: But haven’t the kids had a blast!
New Years Eve
A drunken crazy night out on the town? Hahahahaha… no. Do you know how much babysitters cost on New Years Eve? Do you have the energy and budget for celebratory drinks in town when all you want to do is go to bed as soon as the clock strikes midnight? That’s what I thought. Last year involved a cheap glass of Prosecco, a half-hearted game of scrabble and some fireworks on the telly before passing out at 12.03am.
Christmas Angel: But your days of partying are over, it’s so much more fun being a parent!
New Years Day
Well at least having no life or energy means today is hangover free. Except, because I am now a penny-pinching mum, I’m elbowing my way through the first day of the January sales. As if I haven’t suffered enough already.
Christmas Angel: But hey, maybe you will find some great Christmas presents for next year!
Okay, well I guess my Christmas angel IS right. Although the Christmas season is much more effort now that I’m a mum, and the fuss goes on the ones that do the least and expect the most, it IS all worth it. Because bickering and stress aside, all that us mothers really see are the sparkling eyes of our excited children… and all that sodding washing up that no one else has bothered to do.
Christmas Angel, we need you!!!