Thursday, 24 December 2015

14 stages of a Christmas Eve Meltdown

1.  Wake up at 4.00 am.  Realise that its Christmas Eve.  Realise also that you still have the final bits of shopping to do.  Arse.

2.  5.30 am Write shopping list.  Dispatch husband to 24 hour Tesco with list.  Sit back and panic a bit relax.  He will get it all, won't he?  Hmm, maybe you should have gone yourself, but he offered (plus it's nice and warm in bed).

3.  6.30 am  Husband returns.  Noises in the kitchen.  Sounds like the house is being burgled.  Shit!  Maybe it is a burglar?  Creep downstairs and nervously look into kitchen.  Nope.  It's the husband attempting a game of fridge Jenga.

4.  Husband announces that he's bought a few extra things including a selection of dips in a tray (why does he always buy those?).  Realise that we have nothing to dip in the dips - it would be a catastrophe if someone wants those tomorrow and there is nothing to dip, what kind of hosts are we?  Dispatch husband again this time to Tesco Express (well, he shouldn't have bought those dips - his problem, he needs to fix it).

5.  7.00 am Husband returns again laden with celery, kettle chips and a bag of salad that might "come in handy".  Oh, also two chocolate oranges which were on offer (but went through the checkout at full price necessitating a 20 minute conversation with the shop assistant about pricing errors in their system/other supermarkets in the area).

6.  Open fridge and stare blankly at the bulging shelves.  Play another game of fridge Jenga by shoving celery on top of some custard where it balances precariously.  Slam door shut before it all falls on your head.

Quick! Shut the door before it all falls on your head...

7.  Open fridge again.  Prod turkey.  It still feels a bit?  Solid.  It will defrost in time won't it?  The back of the packet says 48 hours in the fridge, and it's from M&S who essentially are the saviours of Christmas in this house.  They've never let us down yet.  Nah, it will be fine.

8.  What if they've lied though?  Start composing a letter of complaint in your head, detailing how M&S ruined your Christmas and poisoned your family.  I wonder if they'll send you some form of compensation like a voucher or a hamper?  Maybe just a giant packet of Percy Pigs?  You like those...

9.  Breakfast, with over-excited kids, lunch, with over-excited kids, dinner with over-excited kids.  How the hell are you going to manage this?  Your husband has buggered off to work (smug git, how could he do this to you?) leaving you to scrape the children off the ceiling (and dispose of the empty Advent Calendars - finally!).

10.  Drink coffee.  By the bucket.  Feel a bit manic.  Is that another hot flush?  The day goes by in a blur, and it's raining, so you are essentially trapped in the house with your rabid offspring for the foreseeable (to make matters worse there's no Judge Rinder this week to take your mind off things *sob*).

11.  You can't wait until it's bedtime (for you, let alone the children).  For bedtime to even happen, you need to find the Christmas stockings.  Where did you put them?  Tear every cupboard in the house apart looking for the bastard things until one of the teens points out that they are on the top shelf of your wardrobe.  How do they know that?  Answer:  they've been snooping and not only know the whereabouts of the stockings but also what's inside every present that you've hidden in there. FFS.

12.  Children in bed (mostly - teens refuse until you threaten that they'll get no presents unless they do).  Arms laden with presents, you creep around filling stockings and shoving things under the tree.  Husband "calls it a night" leaving you to work out how to get 48 parcels into a stocking the size of a thimble without dislocating a finger.

13.  You are done.  Consider curling up into a ball and rocking in a corner with the relief of it all, then decide bed is probably better (and warm).  Except, you can't sleep.  Well, you do, but with one eye/ear open so that you can make sure children don't wake up and start unwrapping presents at 12.30 am like they did three years ago.  You feel tired, you can't do this, it's only Christmas, only a roast (except everyone knows it isn't just a roast, it's a roast with your in-laws).  Stressed?  Much?  This is ridiculous!  Just so tire...

14.  You wake up.  Christmas Day.  No, not yet!

But everything is fine.  Perfect even.

The turkey is defrosted, the presents get unwrapped, the family arrive and enjoy their day.

Why did you even worry?

And nobody bothers with the dips/celery/crisps.  Must remember not to buy that next year.

Merry Christmas!

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