I've made mince pies, iced and decorated the Christmas cake, made a yule log, a trifle, homemade stuffing and cranberry sauce, stuffed a turkey, prepared the Christmas veg, cooked the lunch, assisted Father Christmas in all duties needed prior to midnight on Christmas Eve, cleaned the house, and entertained. Went to bed sufficiently long after last child in order to be able to assist said Father Christmas, got up at the crack of dawn with first child who woke up, cooked the lunch, cleared up and took dog for a walk........
And then I sat down.
And now I can't move.
I try to remember what it is that makes us put ourselves through this each year, and at this moment it is, it has to be said, a hazy memory. Fortunately by next December 1st, when the whole event starts again it will be, like childbirth, such a dim and distant memory that I will only remember all the good bits of Christmas.
I won't remember for instance that the family watched the recorded Nigella program on how to make Christmas, while I, in a different room, got on with doing Christmas. They enjoyed it anyway. And they have saved it for me to watch. So that I can get it right next year. They were generous with their tips from the programme too.
Nor will I remember that hubby appealed, begged, implored all children to give us all washing prior to Christmas Eve, so that we could go away on Boxing Day without having to wash on Christmas Day, but STILL the latter part of Christmas Day was spent with hubby doing THE WASHING, as well as all the remaining bits of the clearing up because my limbs went completely on strike. Thank you hubby. I am grateful really, and I do love you really, and please do carry on. Especially when you are not watching Nigella.
And I won't remember any of the bickering caused by overtired children and overtired parents.
I also won't remember that I did NOT want to go visiting relatives on the other side of England on Boxing Day, and will gaily plan for another visit. On Boxing Day. Or maybe I'll invite the entire extended family here. To sleep of course, as we live nowhere near anyone who is remotely related to us. Because, when I get there I will have a great time, because I will remember that I do actually love socialising at Christmas. Once I am socialising that is.
Nor will I remember that no-one wanted to come with me to the Christingle Service, until after the event, when having given up on the idea, because going to a Christingle Service when you have five children without any of them does just seem a little sad. And that later, both Eldest Daughter and Youngest child then expressed regret at not having attended.....
So, next year at Christmas, we will invite in all neighbours again, either on Christmas Eve, or the day before, or on Christmas Day itself. I will insist on making all the homemade fayre again. Because I like it. It tastes better and I never actually worry that a small feast will be left to eat long after Christmas day.
Probably so that we can put off all talk of diets for just a little bit longer.
Big advantage of Christmas.
In the meantime I shall have a quiet giggle to myself, as, on phoning around friends and relatives this year to wish them a Happy Christmas, we discovered that the most exciting presents to be had amongst them were a paper shredder and a blood pressure monitor. Thank goodness money was tight this year. Had it not been I too might have been endowed with an exciting present, or even been tempted to give an exciting present. Like a new lavatory brush or something.
Personally, my books, jumpers and earrings from the children were just perfect. As was the book and the very lovely card from hubby. I now have plenty of reading material from ex bloggers and blogger type journalists to inspire me for another year and maybe to start writing my book.
I am also content because our children, who had had roughly half of the amount spent on them compared to last year were very happy indeed with all that was given. What's more, we gained probably an hour of what would have been present opening time, meaning that we ate lunch at a reasonably sensible time and were able to watch Doctor Who, having cleared up, walked the dog etc etc...
Of course there was one casualty of the day when one child, who shall remain nameless, but is the one who is six, managed to return the entire contents of her selection box with little or no remorse for having overindulged on its contents. She then asked if we were having dinner this evening, having just realised that her last "meal" was lunch!
So I shall leave you all, quite probably until much later in the week now, with the enclosed photo and wishes for a very very Happy Christmas. Just remember though, if anyone did give you a paper shredder this Christmas this year, do remember to shred their address soon, so that next year you only have left the people on your list who will give you something really useful for Christmas, like a bottle of wine. Or even a case.
Sally's writing is about being a mother of five, now all too grown up, children, (four girls, one boy) a husband, a dog, and a serious ambition to be a mortgage free and famous actress, voice over artist, broadcaster, writer and teacher.
The "Cast" List for the blog includes:
Hubby - Her husband,
ED - Eldest Daughter,
ESOS - Eldest son only son,
Sensible - Second daughter,
Gymnast - Third daughter,
Tinkerbell Mushroom - Youngest daughter and youngest child,
Mad Dog - AKA Lucy - the border collie.
Guest appearances by MIL (mother in law), parents, two brothers, inlaws, nephews, nieces and great nephew.