Monday, December 20, 2010

it's the most miserable time of the year

winter fair in Princes Street Gardens
full steam ahead for the jolly old festive merry-go-round

Christmas - fueled entirely by female blood, sweat and tears (now that artificial trees are widely available).

Picture the typical home Christmas scenario.
  • Decorations - boughs of holly, swag, tree either groaning under tinsel and baubles or chic and modern sleekly themed, cards artfully arranged, front door wreath or similar, strange glass jar of lights on a string, outdoor lighting plus inflatable snowman/santa and his reindeer galloping over the roof
  • Calories - turkey, stuffed; mincemeat tarts; candies and chocolates; liquer-sozzled pud; all the trimmings; iced fruit cake
  • Gifts, plentiful under the tree, either neatly and festively wrapped or bound in some eco-concious disguise method, including gifts for teacher, classmates and so on ...
  • Legal pharmacologicals - cigars, alcohol, paracetomol, chocolate, sleeping tablets .... all available
  • Christmas stockings - one for each child or child substitute or whimsy, stuffed to the brim, overflowing and full of novelties
  • Entertainments - visits to the ballet, christmas panto, carol singing, craft camps, visits to Santa and so on
  • Cards and gifts to keep in touch with friends and family, presents for the family vet, mailman, handyman, garbage guys, school chums and so on
Now, I'm ready to concede the outdoor lighting heroics and I'm big enough to admit that the list above encompasses my idea of Christmas but they are all also what contitutes the festive season in the eyes of a child. As an adult you can tailor yuletide to your own whims right up to cancelling the whole shebang to hibernate under the duvet, but for children the whole magical event needs to be there on a plate in order to pick and choose in the future. Starting a childhood off with a bah humbug! christmas is sad IMO. Every single item (apart from the outdoor lighting and inflatable santa sleigh) is catered for by womanpower in my experience. Along with running the household, ovaries and a uterus now seem to qualify women to run christmas, to give the family the sit-down feast at minimal effort to themselves ... but at a cost. I've read blog posts and tweets (and even whinged a little myself) about being overwhelmed with the whole jolly playlist required. There's a huge pressure on mothers to deliver The Perfect Christmas - The handmade gifts, The eco-concious festive package, The coca-cola snowscene for the family .... all by themselves. I suspect that I'm not the only mum feeling more than a little burnt out and anticipating the season with anything other than dread.

After all this performance anxiety will you be hoping to sleep through christmas, or have you developed a strategic plan which retains some of the magic of christmas?
ebb and flo by pomo mama design click to shop pomo mama design online!