The comedown is real. I have not entered into such a state of mourning since the makers of Toblerone announced the ridiculous addition of ‘extra spacing’ between the pointed triangles of delicious nougat loaded chocolate.
I feel the passing of Christmas more keenly each year. Particularly since having children.
The closing of the festive season reminding us that they are one step closer to eventually spending Christmas elsewhere. With their own future families.
In some far-flung corner of the world. It is difficult to imagine that Santa will eventually cease to drop down our chimney and instead might visit the homes of our grown-up children and their families.
Each year, my husband has taken notice of my melancholy in relation to the aforementioned.
He will then go on to extoll the merits of Women’s Little Christmas: “You can order all those drinks at the bar that I hate ordering because they take so long to make”, along with how I love to moan about all of the work I had to do over Christmas with little to no help from any member of this family.
He’s right. I do love ordering ridiculous drinks. I also love moaning. But, this year, I am going to channel my love of both into a hormonally charged, cocktail-fuelled, one night only, admission free night out. Bow down, here come the girls.
The day is so called due to the men of the house traditionally taking on all of the household duties for the 24 hours where the women get to release all of those pent-up stresses and strains from the festive season. The present-day reality is somewhat different. My husband takes an equal part in the household tasks; in some instances, more than an equal part. The emphasis in most households is no longer on the menial labour, as opposed to the emotional labour.
He is unencumbered by such banalities as remembering to send a card; or for that matter, buying cards in the first instance (“I’ll just message them”). Whereas I place heavy emphasis on minute details, he literally does not sweat the small stuff. I, on the other hand, tend to wind myself tighter than a ball of twine.
So, the lure of closing out the festive season in the company of other women has grown on me considerably over the last few years. When younger, I did not truly comprehend the utter glee displayed by my own mother when January 6 dawned.
The evening was spent co-ordinating an ensemble of velvet and liberally dousing herself in whatever scent she had received that Christmas; normally Opium or Anais Anais. She made a swift exit as soon as the clock turned seven to quaff vodka and tonics with her friends.
Present day me spends the day willing the clock to turn seven on that same date. All bets are off in regards to what my family consume on that day. To be informed that I care not a jot if they eat an entire six-pack of toilet roll renders a noticeable look of incredulity upon my husband’s face. I apply this logic to the entire day; have all of the screens, eat whatever you want etc.
Why not go one further and choke back every morsel smack bang in front of the TV? Sit in your pyjamas from morn to night, eschew any form of bathing/hair brushing/general hygiene. I am decidedly unbothered.
My husband will enquire if I have been imbibing already, due to my devil-may-care attitude.
“YOU HAVE TO SPEAK UP. I CAN’T REALLY HEAR YOU OVER THE DESTINY’S CHILD/BRITNEY/DIXIE CHICKS MASHUP.”
“DID YOU REALLY TELL THEM THEY CAN EAT AN ENTIRE SELECTION BOX?”
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Since day one, they have shared a room. We hadn’t intended on it to last for such a length of time but they enjoyed it, took comfort from one another and it made things so much easier for us...particularly when they were under the weather. It was like having our own personal night nurse in the room, even if she was only five! Recently, one has started looking for his own space, independent of his sister. It is the first time he has ever requested such. I am sad that this Christmas marks the last one where they will sleep side by side in these little beds but also excited to see them carve out their own independence in their own spaces. Strange and bittersweet to think that this room marks the closing of another chapter but, it is time.
My children are far savvier than my husband. They have the wherewithal not to question my lax attitude in relation to their consumption of the remaining Christmas spoils. My husband, fearing retribution, needs clarification. This is not the night for it.
As my chariot arrives (a Toyota Corolla with a driver wishing he could be anywhere else than spending the night ferrying women to and from various establishments), my family will line up forlornly by the door.
My husband realising that he will have to deal with a sugar crash so extreme that he promises himself that they will not have a whiff of same at such levels until Easter. My children, with dilated pupils, wave me off still clutching a Freddo Frog.
As I hop into the car, I ask the driver to turn up the volume: “I love this song!”