I imagine that, if you are a celebrity, Christmas is a perfectly curated thing. It is a Winter Wonderland of glitter and fabulousness in which everyone looks elegant, the children are charming and the presents are impressive (because no-one can truly be happy unless they have a soft-top sports car, right?)
But I am not a celebrity, so in my house things are a little more shambolic. Christmas at Boudicca HQ goes something like this:
- Get woken by the children at 4.30am, because Santa has been and there is every danger they will burst if they wait even a second longer for Christmas to start.
- Admire all the thoughtful and well-informed gifts Santa has left in their stockings.
- Discover that my dress no longer zips up and regret spending the whole of December gorging on mince pies, pigs in blankets, Christmas cake and anything coated in icing or dusted with sugar.
- Decide to stand side-on for photos.
- Watch my children spend three joyous minutes ripping the paper off the presents that I spent hours lovingly wrapping.
- Pretend to be delighted when my partner gives me bath salts. Again.
- Spend the rest of the morning with one hand up the turkey’s bottom whilst shelling brussel sprouts with the other. Yup. It’s all glamour in my house.
- Eat enough food to sustain a village in Africa for a month, whilst wearing a paper crown and listening to terrible jokes.
- Convince myself that having a large helping of Christmas pudding with cream and brandy butter does not rule out bingeing on mince pies and ice-cream later.
- No matter how bleak the weather, no matter how much the children protest, insist that we all go for a walk to ‘get some fresh air’.
- Put some sweets in my pocket to sustain me whilst we’re out and eat them surreptitiously when everyone’s attention is elsewhere.
- Slump on the sofa and munch my way through a box of Quality Street, a half-eaten mince pie that one of my children has abandoned and anything left-over from lunch.
- Feel bloated.
- Declare that this was definitely the best Christmas ever.
I wish you the best Christmas ever and a happy New Year!