It’s that time of year again.
I know, for many, it’s not. In the words of my own mother, Christmas day is tantamount to getting a root canal without anesthetic. So, she’s not a fan.
I have for so long been bewildered by how people could find a holiday intended to be filled with such joy, love and celebration, a burden.
My naive, little Christmas self hasn’t been able to quite understand how Christmas was something to dread rather than literally count down the days for.
But, I’ve started to realise why my mum and I’m sure many other people out there, have leaned towards the “root canal without anesthetic” option over Christmas.
I’ve realised that we’re obsessed with constructing The Perfect Christmas.
The Perfect Christmas that includes cooking the most extravagant lunch, spending the day with relatives we only really know from last Christmas, just trying to satisfy these fantastical and traditional means of enjoying Christmas.
My mum, over the years, has become hooked on building our family this fantasy Christmas. A Christmas that we’ve never asked for, but she thought was mandatory.
LISTEN: Jody Allen shares her tips for feeding a family on a $50 budget at Christmas, on our podcast for imperfect parents. Post continues after audio.
I remember in 2011, Christmas was at our place.
I remember that for the month of December her stress levels hit such extreme heights I hadn’t seen before. And, trust me, that meant bad things. She stood in the kitchen sweating for days in the summer heat making fruit mince pies and fruit mince shortbread, Christmas pudding, and Christmas cake.
She still bought a ham and cooked a roast turkey, even though she doesn’t understand why someone would eat a hot roast in summer.
She cooked a banquet of food she didn’t like but somewhere along the lines she was brainwashed to believe one must serve these types of food because… Christmas?
I remember how thoroughly she cleaned the house days before the entourage of family members arrived, and stressed about whether the rest of the family would like all the wonderful gifts she had so carefully bought them.
I remember how she decorated the house in beautiful Christmas spirit and on the Big Day really tried to placate all the family members who still hadn’t gotten over their fights from last year’s Christmas.