I’m calling bullshit on this blog post even before I have written it. I sat down wanting to write a sickly sentimental piece all about finding Christmas in my heart and keeping it all the year through, it was to be laden with clichés and frankly (probably) rubbish, but highly apt for the time of year. But I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t be an outright liar.
The truth is I AM a better person at Christmas. Not in the lead up to Christmas, no; during the run-up I am a total stress head, frantically worrying about forgetting a vital present or person. A whirlwind of washing sheets, attending Nativities and Christmas shopping. But once the shopping in done, school and work completed for the year and Christmas Eve arrives, I relax. The shops are shut so anything that has been forgotten will remain forgotten. I sit down with my first mince pie of the season (I’m not allowed much sugar, so it will be the first) and all the worries disappear.
Christmas week continues with a rosy glow of nostalgia. We do Christmas at home and so the house is full of loved ones. The kids are happy because Mum and Dad are there, fully present, joining in with the board games, not rushing off for work, not having to pick up a work-related call, or just have to go and wash up/clean/cook. There are enough adults around to ensure they are constantly entertained. I am not fussing over what they are, or are not, eating, because frankly it’s Christmas and I don’t care. Likewise, so long as they have joined the lengthy morning country walks, I am not too bothered by the amount of TV they are watching either. In honesty, I’m probably watching with them. Each year, at some point, I will evaluate how wonderful the situation is, and wonder why it can’t be like this always.
Not wanting to sound entirely pessimistic, it can’t. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not generally a negative person, but in this case, I am being realistic. On the second of January Mr J will return to work and the rose-tinted specs will be removed, the kids will start fighting because they are ready to get back to routine and normality. I will not have the back up of a house full of adults, so will feel the pressure of cooking, cleaning, working AND entertaining the kids. I would like to say that I will keep the Christmas spirit all year around, I will do my best to even, but the stress-head Mummy is bound to return at some point and let’s face it, I can’t ignore the pile of bills forever.
I’m not big on New Years resolutions (so won’t be making any) but there are little snippets of Christmas that I might TRY to keep over the year. Playing board games with the kids more often will be up there. They are getting older and get the games now, with minimal tantrums. I am certain I need more bread sauce in my life (why do I only make it once a year?) and Stilton cheese needs to be on the menu at least once a month from now on. So, I can’t ever be the perfect Christmas Mum I am now (until next year at least) but perhaps there is some hope for a little Christmas this year, and at least we will always have the memories of this truly magical time…