Is anyone else sensing an element of xmas hysteria or are those just the voices in my head? I am telling myself that this too will pass- that before I know it I will be sitting pretty with a mince pie and a quiet mind: and then it strikes me that I am wishing my life away again.
I plan, with military precision, my approach to Christmas every year. I make lists, a daily countdown, plan shopping trips, dream up presents and cook myself silly. I worry about unlikely disasters (Mark will lose his job and we will have to have Christmas dinner in the Work-house) and ignore the highly possible (I will spend too much money and spend the next year regretting it.), all in the certain hope that this Christmas will be the one I will remember forever and ever.
Whether we like it or not, Christmas is a momentous occasion in our annual calender. We want it to be special. Often our expectations are unreasonable in the context of the rest of our lives, but still we push ahead, working ourselves into the ground, drinking too much and usually waking up on Christmas morning with the cold to end all colds, because as soon as we allow ourselves to rest, our bodies give out...
It just isn't on. No really it isn't. We can't go on doing this to ourselves.
Today I have recieved twenty eight emails from women on the brink of hysteria: women who want to know how I do it, how I stick to my xmas schedule, do the housework, keep a blog, look after Finn, do all the shopping, be a wife and a daughter and generally stay alive through the madness that is December?
Well the truth is I don't. Like everyone else, I hope that this year will be the Christmas of my dreams, and like everyone else, the Christmas of my dreams disappears up the chimney and I am left to muddle on towards the Christmas, life is going to throw at me.
Why do we think that in December we can put real life on hold till the party is over? Why are we surprised when life and bills and asian flu are sent to knock us for a six? Why, oh why, oh why, do we beat ourselves up about one day out of 365???
Let's get some perspective. Take me for example. First we will consider the so called disasters that have befallen me so far this year:
Mark threw my new (old) decorations away, so I couldn't have the tree I really wanted.
I got stranded at the shops for five hours when I should have been putting the tree up, and thus fell behind with my schedule (Tut tut.)
Mark has got to work Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
The maroony velvet suite covers I ordered for the living room will not be arriving until the week after Christmas.
Finley smashed my bronzer compact, then traipsed brown powder all around my bedroom, resulting in the necessity to re-order the carpet cleaner to steam clean the carpets all over again tomorrow.
I still can't find anything for my Mum.
Oh woe is me. I mean God forbid anything should get between me and my chocolate box life hey? So life's terribly hard and you've all got to feel ludicrously sorry for me, because the trials and tribulations of attaining my quite frankly ridiculous idea of a perfect Christmas are wearing me thin (I wish!!!). Or not. You see Christmas might not be coming in a snow dusted cinnamon scented bundle, but just making the treacherous journey towards this perfect day is offering me tiny joy's I am bizarrely refusing to acknowledge:
My darling little son asked Father Christmas (at toddler group yesterday), if he was wearing new wellies.
Mark came home dying for a hot mince pie the other day and couldn't believe his eyes when I pulled a tray of steaming mini (slightly bashed up looking) pies from the oven.
My Christmas presents are all wrapped and sitting, filled with promise, under the Christmas tree.
Losing the christmas lights meant we had to buy new better ones...
Mark working at Christmas means he can take the three days off we need to go to my cousins wedding on the 26th, which means his lovely company for 72 hours unadulterated by the constant ringing of the phone and the demands of being a manager...
Finley understands about Christmas this year and my heart nearly broke when I saw him run back to Santa and give his furry red knee a cuddle...
So my tree isn't pink and my suite will still be yellow. But who cares? I mean really, let's just give up caring. Life's just too wonderful to dwell on what isn't...
So stop and smell the mulled wine.
And yes, that is an order.