Look, I know I live pretty much day to day, going with the flow and trying to live a carefree life in the heart of hippyville these days, but fuck me; how did it get to 3 weeks to Christmas without me realising?
For some reason the tricky bastard has snuck up on me this year and to be honest I’m not really feeling the vibe.
I don’t know if it’s my distinct lack of preparation, or the whole logistical and financial nightmare that surrounds this time of year that has me sneaking down an extra glass of the good stuff to calm the building anxiety most nights at the moment.
No matter the reason, and I know this doesn’t just pertain to solo parents, but Christmas time and the seemingly endless break from school routine is basically just a whole fuckload more work and worry for us parents. And expensive.
First of all is the stress involved in deciphering and then purchasing gifts for family members. I mean how hard is it to buy something that reflects your deep understanding and consideration of the wants, needs and desires of old aunty Mavis’ 2nd husband and your 3rd cousin 7 times removed? Bloody hell. And the stupid thing is, it wouldn’t matter to anyone if you bought everyone a bar of soap and engraved their name on it with a fucking chopstick. But still, year after year, we all go through the same worry that we have bought an appropriate gift for every single person. Which we’ll never know of course, because everyone is far too polite to tell you their gift is a piece of shit that they’ll throw away before Easter.
Next up is the hellish experience of wandering around various shopping centres like a desperate junkie, as you flitter and fluff from shop to shop, in the often vain attempt to buy some extra (temporary) love on Christmas day from your offspring. And if you have children under about 9, you can’t even claim the accolades yourself as everything is attributed to that sanctimonious fat prick in the red suit.
When you have finally managed to spend nearly every cent you have on pointless pieces of plastic and soon-to-be-quickly-forgotten gifts from the heart, it’s time to plan your logistical assault on the travel required to appease all those near and dear over this celebrated “festive” season. Planes, trains, automobiles, spare beds, couches, lunches, dinners, drinks, suitcases packed to the brim for every possible scenario. The mind boggling details that must be ironed out pre-xmas are astonishing in their quantity and ridiculousness.
And that’s just the pre-organising.
Rolled into all these fun and games is of course the end of the school year. A beautiful time for all. Just as everyone is at their wits end, children on the verge of physical and mental breakdowns, parents doing everything they can to simply hold their shit together, the “system”, in its eternal wisdom, deems it necessary to have multiple, ill timed and hastily thrown together, compulsory events designed to draw the year to a close and highlight everything our precious bundles of joy have learnt throughout the year.
Like we care..
Let’s be completely honest here folks. As long as our kids don’t commit any crimes while under the care of their teacher, eat all their lunch on a regular basis, attend at least 80% of the required class days during the year and come home with some semblance of happiness each day, are we not, on the whole, pretty happy with the situation? Ok, so we need to check in on their reading and maths skills once in a while, but for fucks sake, we do not need a parade, play or open day to know whether or not little Jonny is a fuck up. We already know the answer to that without the intervention of the school system. Even if we choose to largely ignore it.
By the time you arrive at your first destination for the holiday period, is it no wonder that we are all grumpy, short tempered, nervous wrecks? Of course not – and don’t come at me with your bullshit about happy happy joy joy time of the year. We all know that’s the 8th glass of wine talking, as you read this and start stressing about your own progress towards the big day but are trying to cover it up with positive thinking.
OK, so I must sound a little jaded, but I bet you 10 bitcoin (just got into this and that’s a whole lotta spondoolies) that at least a fair portion of this article rings true to you even if you don’t admit it.
Don’t get me wrong. I love this time of year. To me it means no schedule, no hardline bedtime police, sleep ins, over indulging in everything that makes you feel unhealthy, catching up with old friends and sorely missed family, sun, relaxation (whenever you can snatch some) and of course the promise of a fresh start on the horizon when the clock ticks over midnight on NYE.
So although this comes across as all negative-Nancy, I am truly looking forward to Christmas and the holidays. What I absolutely detest is this emotionally challenging, mind fucking, stupidly busy and mostly pointless mad rush that is the lead up to said festivities.
All I can offer you is either my sincere condolences if you identify word for word with this article and my heartfelt “fuck you” if everything is smooth sailing for your end of year 😂