Happy 1st December everyone! Do we all have our advent calendars? I don’t, because I never remember to open the windows and end up with a mammoth chocolate back log.
As many of you might be aware, I’m not a huge fan of the Christmas period, (but keep that to yourselves or I’ll be chased out of town with pitch folks!) Don’t get me wrong, Christmas Day is wonderful. I love being with my family, eating good food and drinking fizz at 10am! It’s the build-up and aftermath that I dread.. and all the stress that comes with it.
In late October the signs are already there; cards, a sneaky bit of tinsel… and from 1st November Christmas is crashed into reality with all the force of a torpedo. TV adverts, cookery shows, even the local Sainsburys is at it with their festive promotions. Everything is HAPPY and ENERGY!
Don’t even get me started on Christmas jumpers. Last year I was well up for doing this as;
A) I love knitwear
B) It felt spontaneous and silly.
But it’s turned into a monster this year! I’ve lost count of the amount of charities/events demanding that I take part and buy a jumper…. And if I don’t, I will be personally responsible for the deaths of hundreds of people AND ruining Christmas. (At least that’s my understanding.) It’s a lot of pressure!
I regularly give to charity because I think it’s important to do so, not because I’ve been cyber bullied into it.
Oh Christ and there’s always someone who wants to do Secret Santa… NOBODY FREAKING LIKES SECRET SANTA… it’s the most stressful thing EVER, particularly if you get your boss or someone that you barely know. There was a girl at my old work place who could always be relied on to screech; hey everyone let’s do a department secret Santa! And behind my smiling face was a pit of deep resentment. Oh and you’re completely trapped because you can’t exactly opt out can you? That would make you the biggest Grinch ever! Seriously though does anyone enjoy Secret Santa? Why can’t we just swap cards and have a natter over some mulled wine? When did everything become so intense and regimented?
Now in my defence, I never moan about Christmas (which is probably why it’s spewing out of control now.) I smile, take part and do my best to ‘get into the spirit of things’ – whatever the Hell that means. SLADE OH GOD I HATE SLADE, (sorry that’s my last one.)
I just don’t appreciate the competitive element of this holiday and the forced participation. E.g. Well at my house we do this that this and this – I didn’t ask but thanks.
As a perfectionist I have to be very careful before big events, mainly because I get obsessed with the planning and ironing out every flaw. For example, last year I attended a two day conference with work. This involved a formal dinner and staying overnight in a hotel. I spent weeks planning my hair, makeup and numerous outfits for that bloody conference. I even jotted down various conversation starters ‘just in case.’ I’m not kidding. I bought three dresses for the formal dinner because I couldn’t decide. I planned to look like Alexa Chung (which is totally do-able) and ended up sobbing on the bathroom floor when I couldn’t do the eyeliner correctly. All the fuss completely ruined the occasion for me and I’ve tried to learn from it since.
The problem with perfection is that it’s unattainable. Nothing is ever going to be 100% perfect and that’s OK, perfection doesn’t guarantee happiness. If anything I’ve found that desperately chasing perfection guarantees unhappiness.
What’s my point you ask? Well the same logic can be applied to Christmas. This year we have eight people at our house, which is more than our standard five or six. The temptation to go a bit crazy is tangible. My mum naturally wants everyone to have a good time and has been fretting about all the arrangements and food options. Delia Smith has a lot to answer for that’s all I can say! (Parmesan parsnips.. it sounds great but we all know it’ll go tits up.) The thing is, no matter how much planning that my mum does, the day will not be perfect and the disappointment could ruin her day. Not to mention raise my stress levels as I try desperately to help!
Women apologise too much (and I’m certainly no exception.) Sorry the turkey is dry – sorry the potatoes aren’t crispy enough – sorry these chairs aren’t very comfortable. We’re almost programmed to highlight our culinary failing. But why? Because our Turkey isn’t like Delia’s? Surely Christmas is about family rather than serving a picture-perfect meal? (For the record, my mum’s cooking is excellent – not that she’d believe me!) But mum if you are reading.. I’m introducing a new rule this year. Neither of us is allowed to say sorry on Christmas Day. Do you hear me? Not once (unless we accidently blow up the house.) There will be two jars in the kitchen and for every sorry uttered £1 must be placed in the jar. I get to keep the money in your jar and vice versa. Sorry = lost money! So get some pound coins ready.
Finally, just to prove that I’m not a completely miserable cow, here is a list of things that I genuinely love about Christmas:
- The decorations. All that extra light and colour makes the home feel cosy and safe.
- Hanging out with my family and watching endless TV.
- Board games
- Swapping presents with the people that I’m close to
- Watching my dad stress about the amount wrapping paper flying everywhere. (We always have a bin bag at the ready on Crimbo morning.)
- Wearing my pyjamas for three days straight
- The food.. especially Boxing Day sandwiches and cheese boards.
- The booze (self-explanatory.)
- Admiring my gran’s outfit choice. She always makes the effort on special occasions and dresses like Coco Chanel. It puts me to shame.
- Witnessing my grandma becoming more and more smashed on whiskey and talking complete shite. (I love her so much.)