This time of year inevitably sees a surge in Facebook posts from demented mothers frustrated about family snubs, inequalities and logistical nightmares.
I avoid these problems by imposing my very own set of rules. These rules aren’t for everyone, but may help some. My family have learned that if they want to spend Christmas with us, then my rules apply. This has really reduced the seasonal stress levels. Here are my rules:
1. Following the birth of my first child, I reversed the ‘kids go home for Christmas’ rule. The new rule is that I have kids. I will not spend 10 hours on the motorway shovelling junk food into the kids, mopping up vomit and supervising potty visits on the hard shoulder. If you want to see us for Christmas, you come to us. Stand firm with this rule, and you will soon find you don’t have to make the dreaded Christmas journey.
2. Rule 1 brings an added benefit – your house, your rules. I hate bloody Turkey, so Turkey is banned. I cook Christmas dinner. It will be festive and have stuffing, sausage, bacon and poultry, but it won’t be Turkey. The relatives aren’t cooking it so the choice is yours. They do the childcare while you cook (and probably sample the wine!)
3. You have kids, you have a house to keep, possibly a job, a husband, partner, responsibilities, life etc. No, I haven’t pre-ordered my goose or whatever. Get your own back on Waitrose and visit at around 3.30 pm on Xmas eve. Basically, it seems that there are a number of spoiled grow ups who order their Waitrose Christmas dinner, pay for it, then fail to collect it. Waitrose then sell these delights at cut prices last minute. (This constitutes my annual Waitrose visit!)
4. It is faintly possible that you may fail in your Xmas eve mission, so have something in the freezer in case. Simple recipe for a fab meal is streaky bacon laid in a horizontal row along silver foil. Bash some chicken breast and lay it on the bacon. Put some cranberry stuffing in the middle and roll the foil to make a roll. Double wrap with foil, and oven at 180 degrees C. When it is nearly done (around 1 hour 30 minutes) smother in honey and open the foil for 30 minutes. You can prepare these rolls and freeze for use any time. If you don’t get a reduced bird, take out of the freezer (freeze raw) on Xmas eve, and it will be defrosted to cook as a Christmas delight.
5. Don’t bother with dessert. Everyone will be too stuffed to eat it.
6. Do not get over emotional about Xmas. There is a lot of pressure on parents, families and pretty much everyone to achieve. Xmas is a day to celebrate Jesus birth with your family. Even if you don’t believe, that is the purpose of the holiday. If it causes stress, distance yourself from the stressful elements. It’s just a day. We will all survive it, it happens every year, and no-one will remember a culinary mishap. Don’t allow yourself to be stressed. My position is that it’s my kids Xmas, I will welcome all, we will do it as I want, but if anyone wants to contribute and add or change anything, that’s fine. They are more than welcome.
7. Remind your kids of the real meaning of Xmas. It’s a powerful message about respecting humanity, whether you believe or not. It’s not about whether your kid got the best presents. It’s time at home, with family. Go for a walk, share interests and learn more about each other. Go ice skating, go for a walk, learn a skill from a parent, look up recipes on the internet even if you don’t normally cook. Just be together.
8. The most successful parents this year are the ones who appreciate that they aren’t on trial, sod the rest of the world, and just be a family.
Happy Christmas from the Un-Yummy Mummy!
#mummy #family Christmas #humour #