It’s that time of year again and all the usual phrases come pouring out – ‘can’t believe Christmas is only a week away’, ‘where has the year gone?’ Every year we all play along to the same well-rehearsed tune.
The panic sets in for me around the 17th December as I realise I am horribly unprepared and hope somehow that ASDA or Sainsbury’s can solve my Xmas woes….I’m sure my mother in law would really enjoy a new peddle bin…..
The same thing happens every year and every year, like so many of us, I vow to be more organised as I watch my poor MIL find words of kindness about my horrendous present – she really does deserve better.
Yet here I am again, veering dangerously towards D day and not a present in sight. The White Company website has the ability to bring on a panic rash in me – luckily I have some cream for that…..
But what a shame not to enjoy the run up to Xmas. I used to. But now I always seem to focus on the negatives – haven’t made a Xmas wreath – ever – can’t find the children’s stockings in the attic, still can’t remember how many hours a turkey needs cooking for and soak it in brine, stock or carrot juice? What does Nigella say?
Last year my husband and I hosted Xmas for the FIRST time. You only truly feel you have reached adulthood when you host Xmas. Forget marriage and children, this has way more responsibility and ramifications.
On the day, amidst all the chaos of children demanding hopefully and unsuccessfully for Duracell batteries for their latest gadget (MUST buy batteries of every size this year) our oven door broke off and clattered to the floor.
I remember sitting on a stool and having a little cry. I literally cried sitting in my warm home surrounded by my loving family, huge amount of food, drink and presents – how ridiculous. But that’s how wound up Xmas makes us – the pressure is huge to produce the ‘perfect’ Xmas and now my oven door had ruined it.
My husband looked at me and then did something I have never seen him do before – he voluntarily reached for a screwdriver. He and my mother sat on the floor and worked it out; together they fixed the oven door.
That moment of camaraderie and triumph has stuck with me throughout the year – the laughter about the drama of it, the celebratory bottle that was opened up after, the photos of my husband holding a screw driver – all memories that surely capture the Xmas spirit so much better than beautifully rolled pigs in a blanket.
A superficially beautiful Xmas had nothing on what we all shared. I am trying to remember this as we approach the big day again hosted by us. Fortunately we do have a new oven though.