Welcome to The Christmas Challenge
I don’t know why the Christmas holidays are called that. Perhaps for some they’re a holiday but for me, and for every other mother I can imagine, the so-called “holidays” should be called The Christmas Challenge.
Getting everything done that needs to be done in late December, with the extra bonus of small children underfoot, must surely be the ultimate challenge of the academic year. In fact, I’m beginning to think that the whole autumn term, with its breakneck schedule of inter-house netball matches, Christmas parties, school concerts, after-school activities, school photos, parents’ meetings and dance classes the other side of town is just a warm-up for the craziness of the December school holidays.
You need to be a bionic woman to get through it.
Take the other night. Within a 15-minute time slot, I was simultaneously cooking the dinner, helping DS make Play Doh ice creams, helping DD sort out her computer issues, supervising the washing-machine delivery man (because, oh yes, this week my three-year-old washing machine chose to die with a blood-curdling scream), briefing the gardener and fielding a work phone call from the UK.
That’s before you get me onto the cloak-and-dagger business of buying and wrapping gifts for eagle-eyed children in their presence, not to mention bribing them not to tell their father what you bought for him (“Daddy! I promise we haven’t – I said we HAVE NOT – bought you cuff links and a Pink shirt!” Giggle, giggle. Facepalm).
And I don’t even have house guests. Merry Christmas!