Decorations, presents, Santa and my inner Grinch!

Decorations, presents, Santa and my inner Grinch!

by Emma Hargan
article from Tuesday 10, December, 2019

The Mummy Diaries: One baby, one threenager – Week 19

I LOVE CHRISTMAS! It’s a time for family, friends, presents, good food, good drink, Santa Claus, reindeer, the kid’s faces and all the magic that goes with it. The run up to Christmas I can’t say I love quite so much. The endless lists, the crowds, the stress of the crazy shopping sprees and trying to keep our 18-month-old from climbing up the Christmas tree!

Every year I say I’m going to spend from July to December stockpiling on the Sellotape and batteries and what happens last year? I run out of tape half way through wrapping and discover I bought the wrong size batteries so James has to make the obligatory trip to the nearest petrol station (as that’s all that is open at 10pm on Christmas Eve) and has to spend £15 on a pack of batteries. Mm, I can’t say James will be on Santa’s ‘good’ list after he’s shouted, ‘For fox ache!’ all the way to the petrol station and back.

So where are we this year? Well, with only a fortnight left to go and for once I think (dare I say it) I’m all organised. This is the first year that Jamie will have a half-idea what Christmas is all about so I wanted to make sure we were all going to relax and enjoy the build-up to the big day.

But… there are a few crappy things about Christmas. I know I could risk being a bit of a Grinch here but let me explain.

My Inner Grinch’s top 10 crappy things about Christmas.

  1. You are an adult and a parent. It’s no longer about you, it’s about the kids. I’m not sure the kids would understand that you were on your way to the Disney Store when you suddenly came across a sale on boots in Schuh. I would have been happy with an orange in my stocking. Hmm, maybe not. Killer boots though!
  2. The glitter. That shit gets everywhere.
  3. The Christmas card list. The one list that gets buried at the back of my new diary every year and hacked and drawn all over but manages to survive year upon year. Every year I buy a new pack of cards and every year I run out of envelopes? WTF, how’s that possible? Every year I’m left with two cards and one envelope and every year James asks, ‘Did the Fletcher’s in number 42 get us a card last year?’ ‘No.’ I replied, ‘And their dog crapped in our front garden in June.’ Struck off the Christmas card list.
  4. Someone in the family is going to attempt to buy you clothes. This is where the shit really goes down. They will either buy a size 8. So ridiculously small I couldn’t fit my arm into one of the trouser legs never mind my legs! Or the worst one, they buy an extra-large. This is where I lose all hope and drink myself into oblivion while literally inhaling a whole selection box. Within a week of Christmas gorging it magically fits!
  5. One of your family members has a new boyfriend/girlfriend and thinks it’s a good idea to introduce them at a family gathering over Christmas. It goes well at first until we reach that point in the evening where someone decides it’ll be fun to play truth or dare after we all enjoy a few Christmas spirits! Need I say anymore? (I remember this, Ed!)
  6. There’s that one thing you forgot to buy at the supermarket. You won’t realise you need it until you are already half way through the recipe. A bleedin’ lemon! “James! I need a lemon!” At which point James rushes out the door and endures three hours of supermarket car park hell, queues, aggressive shoppers to return and find I’ve carried on with the recipe without the lemon anyway. Lemon tea anyone?
  7. The turkey. Now don’t get me wrong, I love the turkey dinner. That was until last Christmas when we had family over to stay and I left the turkey in the utility room overnight with the window slightly open as there was no more room left in the fridge. Next morning the Turkey is half eaten. I’m still searching for that frigging cat!
  8. Someone in the family gets smashed and thinks it’s funny to tell a mother-in-law joke. Fine. Not so fine when the mother-in-law is sitting opposite him at the table!
  9. We guilt eat. The entire year is spent counting calories and starving one’s self to enjoy a treat on a Friday night. At Christmas time for some reason it’s perfectly acceptable to devour a whole tub of Cadbury’s Celebrations while watching a single episode of Only Fools and Horses while your husband says, "A moment on the lips is a lifetime on the hips you know.” I calmly reply while stuffing a bounty into my mouth, “Piss off it’s Christmas.”
  10. Last but not least, the family event of putting up the Christmas decorations. Aw, it’s magical. We all take our turns putting the bobbles on the tree while listening to our favourite Christmas songs.

Yeah! We do that, in between, “Jamie don’t suck on the bobbles please!”

"Lily, we don’t swing on the tree!”

And then just as we switch the tree lights on...

Darkness. “Bloody lights!"

Let’s face it, Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a few stresses to endure before we can all finally relax and enjoy the day itself.

I’m not sure if you remember last year’s Christmas blog and the trip to visit Santa at the shopping centre? You know, the one where we all got our photo taken? No? It was Lily’s first Christmas? The one where Jamie socked Santa in the mouth as he didn’t want to sit on Santa’s knee! Ring any bells now? Oh my God, the mortification of it all. My cheeks are going red even as I type. So, this year, I’ve kind of copped out a bit as I didn’t want a repeat performance and even worse than that, I didn’t want Jamie to get freaked out either. This year we have nursery! What a saving grace and to be honest, I think I’m more excited about the nursery’s Christmas plans than Jamie is!

Friday 13th – Christmas jumper day.

Monday 16th – The Postman will be bringing a letter from Santa to the class.

Wednesday 18th – Santa is coming for a visit.

Friday 20th – Christmas sing along

I can’t wait to see Jamie’s face for it all. The Christmas sing along is the one I’m most looking forward to. Jamie has been practising Jingle Bells and We Wish You A Merry Christmas for the last week for the big performance and all the mums and dads are invited to attend. Lily is going to love it as well.

So, Inner Grinch? Yes, Christmas can be stressful but all the things I have listed in my top 10 are all part of what makes Christmas Day so special. Bring it on! I can’t wait!

What’s the most stressful thing in your house at Christmas?

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