Why do we do it? I've spent the last 6 weeks making gifts, scraping money together and buying more 'stuff' yet again -admittedly less than last year, which has required some invention, but 'stuff' nonetheless.
We've argued, burnt the candle at both ends(well I have) gotten horribly stressed and for what? To get that slightly underwhelmed feeling and the sense of despair that only parents know when faced with the ineffable mystery of toy packaging , how to get the damn things out of it, and what to do with the cardboard and twiddly wire mountain afterwards when the bin men don't come for a week and don't take more than one bag on the side.
don't get me wrong, I enjoy christmas, especially (as this year) when theres a noob in the family, you can't beat the look on the face of a littlie who's just old enough to understand that this is a special, different kind of day, I also enjoy all the rituals of christmas dinner, the peeling of brussel sprouts, the miles of tinfoil, the multiple 'accompaniments' that threaten to take over, and the traditions that every family forms for themselves. For us it's home made cranberry sauce, bacon and chestnuts in the sprouts, the clearing of every surface in the kitchen to make pork pies, mix stuffing, chop veggies and the way the table miraculously reappears from under the projects it's used for for the rest of the year (our standard dining routine is a folding camping table in the lounge for the kids, laps for us) and is transformed by cloths and crackers, flowers and napkins and dishes full of the additions that are so necessary to Christmas Dinner.
I shall probably end today with a toast to all the other harassed mums out there who will finally be able to put their feet up, examine their own gifts in peace and quiet and watchy trashy TV in the knowledge that the children are asleep, there is no need to cook tomorrow, because there is ample grazing in the fridge and it's 365 days until the next one!
Merry Christmas One and All!
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