So today it is the 22nd December. Three days until Christmas or so I thought until my step-daughter sent me a message saying: “So excited! Can’t wait to see you on Friday!” Friday? Why Friday? I pose this question to my husband (who had been responsible for co-ordinating said visit with our eldest and her family plus my mother-in-law) says: “Because it’s Christmas Eve.” No, it’s not, I reply.
After him arguing that Friday IS Christmas Eve (DESPITE me waving the phone calendar in his face or rather aiming it to smack him very hard at the centre of his forehead), I take a deep breath and review the implications of Christmas arriving early.
This blog (originally intended as my Christmas message of good will) is dedicated to those of you who like me, are wishing that consuming gin mid-morning and doing unspeakable things with the mistletoe are permissable. Kissing your other half isn’t one of them.
So, to my dear husband, with 24 hours being taken away, my to-do list now looks like this and instead of having the lovely, calm and serene Justina, you get the harrassed and haranguing Mrs P, you spend most of the year trying to avoid.
Beds – there is plenty of room at the inn however, we don’t make our guests sleep on hay. The washing and drying of all the bed linen and the making up of beds to accommodate four extra guests had all been planned for tomorrow. The prospect of doing it today is making me hyper-ventilate.
Presents – luckily, so that I could avoid my usual panicky state, I have been more organised than usual and most are wrapped, however, as tomorrow was reserved for last-minute ‘elfing’ I am beginning to panic, wondering how I am going juggle the next 12 hours and hoping that Santa will give me that time-machine I wished for. Perhaps early. Like now. Because Mummy has been such a good girl this year.
Food – that is one whole extra day of sustenance. Lunch, dinner and breakfast. Oooooh, Mr P says. I like eggs Benedict. We can make them. Yes, of course, we can. On Christmas Eve, where I am already hosting a dozen people. Here’s an idea. How about you make them? Ah, I see. You’ll be busy? Cereal and toast it is then.
Grocery shopping. Don’t Even Get Me Started. I want to cry.
In amongst all of the above, like so many women, I have children to look after, work to finish and about a million of other things I haven’t even thought of yet. I try to plan my day and time like a military operation. Losing 24 hours makes a difference. Big time.
But despite all of this, I know that I will pull it off. With a flourish and not a bauble or brussel sprout out of place. So in advance, I am going to give myself a huge pat on the back and invite you to do the same.
We women and mothers are amazing. Juggling is what we do and we do it so well, even when it feels like we’re flying by the seat of our red Santa pants. Christmas is the busiest time of the year for many of us and the miracle happens on the day, when families come together to celebrate the birth of a tiny baby, born in a stable unto his amazing mother, Mary. So let’s take a collective deep breath in the meantime and when that busyness passes, I wish you peace, joy and bliss with your families and most importantly a great big and well-deserved glass of sherry.
Merry Christmas to one and all. And yes, Mr P, that includes you.