I was going to title this post “11 things every parent knows about Christmas” but then I realised that equal opportunities in the land of festive happiness are still a long way off and, actually, in the home of literally every single family I know Christmas admin still largely falls to the woman of the house. It seems, if you’re a mum, festive stress is real.
So here are 11 things I – and every other mum I know – knows about Christmas. Can you relate?
Every day of school is a test of Gok Wan proportions in clothing. Is it school uniform today or do we need a Christmas jumper? Should we be taking in a Christmas party outfit in today? A Christmas hat? etc etc.
The calendar is so crammed full of activities that it’s barely legible.
There is never enough wrapping paper.
There are never enough stamps.
Just as you think you’ve done all your Christmas shopping you’ll receive a present from an unexpected source, leading to a mad “Of COURSE we got you something too!” present scramble.
It is physically and emotionally impossible to keep up with every festive school and extra-curricular activity throughout December. Keeping track of each different day and what is needed for each day is a full time job in itself.
The pressure to savour the joy and capture every moment is increased a million, because this is only something that happens once a year and next year your kids might not believe / might not want to meet Santa / etc etc. So obviously at the exact moment you ask them to pose for a photo to capture the magic of the season they will refuse and run in another direction.
Wine consumption doubles due to the above. This doesn’t include mulled wine because everyone knows mulled wine doesn’t count. It’s basically tea.
There will always be someone else more organised than you. They will inevitably be the person wearing a festive jumper from mid-July, who puts their tree up on 1st November and accuses anyone who is not fully embracing the Christmas spirit by 15th November of being a “Grinch”. Remember, this does not make them a bad person, it just means they are better at Christmas than you. But then, considering this is their job for half the year, it’s not surprising. Don’t beat yourself up. We can’t all be Christmas Winners.
Despite all the festive overwhelm and stress, this is still hands down your favourite time of year because MAGIC.
You’d do it all again in a heartbeat (or, to be precise, 12 months) just to see the look on your kids’ faces on Christmas Eve when they hang up their stocking and shiver with the excitement of the big FC coming to visit.
Can you relate? Tell me I’m not alone?!
(P.S. I’m going to be controversial as a PTA mum who actually organised and ran the PTA Christmas School Fair this year and say that not all festive stress can be attributed to the PTA. Not unless you’re the one actually running the whole blooming thing. In which case it’s totally OK to attribute a large proportion of festive stress to that area.)