Well, that was a fast year, wasn’t it? How is 2020 treating you? Pretty much the same as last year considering we are only four days in? I hear you. But we’re not quite done yet. Before we bid a final adieu to the festive season, we have the mother of all nights to plan. No really, it literally is. A night when women the land over say, ‘Good luck, I’m off’, without so much as a backwards glance at her family as she sashays out the door.
This is not just any night out; this is THE night out… this is Women’s Little Christmas (insert soothing voiceover and some hand pouring caramel sauce over some sort of pudding along with a side order of an unidentifiable and sticky cocktail).
Before the refrain of, ‘What about the men?’ gathers volume, let me stop you whilst you’re ahead. You lot already had your Men’s Little Christmas. It was called ‘Rugby World Cup 2019’. So, step off! But before you do, would you put away the washing please and have a look to see if you can find the 800 pieces of Lego that they’ve already lost which has rendered the Millennium Falcon to the scrapheap as a result? You’re a peach.
Nollaig na mBan or Women’s Little Christmas is celebrated on January 6. Which is also traditionally the day the Christmas tree et al are thrown back into their cardboard domains for another year. This year, it falls on a school night… sound.
So therefore, tonight will more than likely be the night that a liberally measured pre-drink will be poured at around 5pm to the strains of the entire back catalogue of Michael Bolton before we exit stage left to meet our favoured women folk.
As a tradition, I’m all in; as to its origins, things are a bit more grim. Traditionally, it is a day when the men are supposed to take over all of the household duties to give us women a break.
Ring, ring. “Hello? Oh ‘tis yourself… the 1950s. Nah, we’re good thanks.”
I married a good egg (verdict on my merits is still out to pasture); a fella who knows more about the washing machine than I do, who is fond of a hoover (It is one of my most popular enquiries via DM; what vacuum does he recommend?) and one who has raised our children alongside me.
We have shared loss, success, and lived to tell the tale. While I will not decline the opportunity for a night out, I am not confined to an annual, once a year shindig where I am relieved of my ‘apron’ for a short few hours. However, in the spirit of utter transparency, I can all but manage a once-a-year outing as I am generally just too exhausted for anything more.
For me, the night affords us the opportunity to raise a glass to our sisters. There is nothing more heartening than walking into a restaurant to see groups of women celebrating each other. Where tables of all ages sit alongside one another in solidarity at what we have achieved over the festive season; finally making a dent in that thesis, finally saying ‘Yes’, to a fresh start, successfully pulling off another Christmas with your sanity intact or simply just making it through; all reasons to celebrate and congratulate one another.
For the good men in our lives, we are grateful. But to the fellas who think that propping themselves up at the bar on that night amidst the lot of us is a good idea? Let us be clear; it ain’t cute and you are definitely not blessed amongst women.
We just want to clink our glasses, eat our goddamn set menu (no à la carte here please: we’re all still waiting for January pay date to drop!), and have an aul bop on the dancefloor to some guy who thinks he’s the second coming of Joe Dolan/Elvis.
In short, we just want to spend time with one another putting the world to rights because for some of us, it may well be 12 months before we get the opportunity to do so again. Because in a way, just like the women before us, we still have a lot of things to do and achieve.
To preserve our female alliances while forging ahead with advances for us all. So, for what it’s worth, round up your gals, grab yourselves a table and toast one another... repeatedly. We deserve it.
Nollaig na mBan faoi mhaise dhaoibh!