If I blinked, I think I would have missed Christmas this year. All the planning, buying, cooking and shopping and then it seemed gone in an instant. I can’t help thinking we should be trying to do it differently, the meaning has got lost along the way.
Add to this the powder keg of sticking families together for prolonged periods and tensions are bound to arise. No wonder marital problems are rife at this time of year.
Mothers harassed, trying to juggle overexcited kids, getting impossible Aunt Flo a present whilst writing Christmas cards, making sure the fridge is full, on top of normal chores, are bound to be tetchy.
Children are excited about the prospect of Christmas gifts, Santa arriving and being off school, but suddenly find themselves aimless and bored with the adults in their lives acting out of character.
Husbands are often oblivious to the extra work demands on their wives and take little part in the Christmas frenzy, apart from a last minute dash to the shops on Christmas Eve to get their wives something which smells awful or doesn’t fit. And woe betide the man who buys his wife something practical like a food processor – I can still remember the frosty Christmas produced when my father did this one.
Family parties which throw together relatives who wouldn’t normally dream of spending more than half an hour together. I generalise of course but you get the picture.
I hasten to add that our household was peaceful at Christmas with no arguments. That didn’t stop me getting rather tense, especially when my pastry decided to resemble a brick on Christmas morning.
I awake on Boxing Day with tensions eased, no particular agenda and enjoy looking at my new books in my dressing gown. Blissful peace in the house and the sun shining. So why do we get so caught up in the Christmas machine, when our modern version of it has no link to the real meaning of Christmas? I vow to do it differently next year – but will I?