... not in the festive / baking mince pies / hanging holly from the rafters / writing fond sentiments in Christmas cards by the fireside kind of way .... more like the .....' for goodness sake do I have to do everything round here ' kind of way.
I'd forgotten that when men get home from work they clock off . Whereas when women get home from work , their night shift is just beginning - cooking dinner, helping with homework, fitting rugby studs to football boots , washing sports kit ... you get the picture. Add Christmas into the picture and it all turns ugly.
My husband is downstairs fiddling around with some classic sports car website whilst I'm upstairs emailing my son's teacher about some crisis, writing up today's teaching assignment notes, arranging cover for eldest son who'll get home to an empty house tomorrow evening because I'll be on the M3 ( again) in the rain schlepping down to youngest son's carol concert, ordering groceries online as the fridge is empty and the fridge fairy hasn't visited in a long while, sorting out his Dad's Christmas present and making a list of what to hunt for in the lost property box at school , having just climbed down from the loft with armfuls of lights and decorations because it doesn't look like anyone else is going to bother. Usual stuff .
And don't even start me on the rest of Christmas . Husband's annual contribution to Christmas day amounts to ... well turning up basically , oh and accepting thanks for the myriad presents he hasn't had to choose / buy / wrap.
Something always happens between my early December mantra of ' Keep it Simple ' and my mid December panic of ' OMG - only x days until the children break up from school ' that catches me out every year. Just when I think I've got the minefield of what to get teachers sorted and offloaded the guilt of not sending any cards, someone bowls a curved ball that usually involves an impossible schedule , some kind of pre-Christmas virus and a parking ticket . Combine that with losing my credit card ( hasn't happened yet but it's only a matter of time ) , husband's endless list of Christmas drinks parties ( that invariably involve him having to get up to town by 6pm thereby rendering him permanently unavailable for school concert attendance ) and transforming the house from a tip into Santa's grotto overnight and is it any wonder that most of us are reduced to the odd Bah Humbug ?
No wonder my own Mother's favourite day of the year was Boxing Day . I never understood this as a child but as a parent it now makes perfect sense.