Out of 365 (or occasionally 366) days there is 1 which strikes fear into the heart of every woman and man that does walk the planet; its Christmas. Not content with having one day to worry about the holiday is extended with Christmas Eve and Boxing Day, in effect tripping the stress!
Being of the Jewish faith I can see and ‘pass judgment’ on the level of stress people acquire with a fairly neutral approach. This is not to say that I dont enjoy Christmas, quite to the contrary; I enjoy the festive food of mince pies, the snow (to a certain extent) but most importantly family and friends being off work and able to spend much needed time together.
Christmas is divided into two roles. The man role and the woman role. Women like to very much take control of the situation, only assigning men the most basic of tasks – get a tree & put lights up. The minute the woman of the house announced that her husband is tasked with getting the tree, sleepless nights will be endured as he tries to think, not only wheres best to purchase this focal Christmas piece, but based on the arguments last year do we get a real one or faux one?
Women like to plan years in advance for Christmas, and for most women the planning for the next Christmas begins Boxing Day. Collecting all those xmas cards that are now 90% off (no woman will admit do doing this, however the rational behind it is usually ‘ohh it will allow more money to be spent on the gift, the real essence of what people look forward to’) Presents are usually bought throughout the year when ever an opportunity presents itself (no pun intended) and put under the bed, where they will of course be forgotten.
Food due to its nature can of course not be bought too far in advance, as a result as soon as October 25th descends upon us panic buying across all supermarkets can be observed. Shopping trolleys groaning under the strain of the 3 turkeys (two for experimentation purposes, one for serving), sprouts and the infamous Christmas pudding. This is not to mention the battle zone that is the high street shops. Any sane man or woman dare not go shopping on the high street during the run up to Christmas, they take their lives in their hands as with one wrong move then can be crushed by a stampede of eager shoppers as they lurch towards the last shipment of this seasons must have toy.
When December arrives the true Christmas spirit falls in the country. Man will get up onto the roof and inspect where a suitable place for lights will be, the woman then of course corrects him and marks out the ‘correct’ place where lights my be placed so that they do not ‘disturb anything’. The woman steps up a gear, clearing all the non festive food from the freezer, wrapping all the gifts and sets out plans of who to invite and when the best time will be to clean the house; so that it doesn’t have time to get dirty before guests arrive. Oh and of course she reminds Man of his duty, tree and lights.
Wanting to please the love of his life, man will of course now drop everything and run to the nearest tree selling shop, and buy the biggest, most handsome looking tree he has ever laid eyes on, having carefully debated which will make his wife the happiest, real or faux. He will hoist it onto the car, drive incredibly slowly taking all the care in the world not to damage it, take it down from the car ever so carefully, open the door to his house to be greeted with ‘what took you so long, put it in the corner oh and get some lights on it now!’
December the 18th, one week to go and stress it at its highest! There is of course a list of ‘last minute things to get’ that is longer than the original list, but the house is almost ready, food is almost prepared, man has done his duty by correcting the mistakes he originally made both by buying the wrong sort of tree (after it was announced after it had taken residence in the front room for 3 days), and putting up the lights.
December 24th, Christmas Eve! The night where guests come, is the house clean? Is there enough food? Is there enough drink? Will the mother-in-law behave herself? All questions which run through the mind, and while you can accurately assess the cleanliness and food/drink situation, you can never say with certainty if family will behave.
There is of course a simple way to eliminate this worry, and to avoid all family during Christmas, however what is the point in that? The whole point of the holidays is to spend time with as much family as possible. In today’s hectic lives we rarely have the opportunity to spend time with loved ones. Saying something inappropriate, and having a disagreement with a long lost relative is bound to happen and would you have it any way? When Boxing Day arrives all will be forgotten so there is very little point getting worked up and stressed over something that you have no control over.
Ensure that all physical elements of Christmas that you can control, such as the food, gifts and of course tree and lights are seen to in a timely fashion, and go with the flow of the rest; and have a Merry Christmas.