Released On 9th Dec 2020
Victoria's blog: The holiday season
I have failed at Christmas. Completely and utterly failed and it’s only mid-December. My husband has failed too which takes the edge off a bit.
We both have deals which are meant to close by 31 December - we are tired, tetchy and totally ill-equipped to listen to a two year-old sing jingle bells on repeat with no tune, no words, just atonal mumbling and occasional shouts of ‘hey’.
I have tried. I froze in a school playground collecting donations for the Christmas fair. I froze in a garden centre car park queuing to buy a Christmas tree. I sweated and cursed trying to put up the Christmas tree. I remembered that my son had to wear a Santa hat and a Christmas jumper to school, I remembered that he had to take in a treat for the class Christmas party, I practiced lines for the school play (or rather, video, this year) and I failed to remember that my daughter needed a costume for nursery (but she’s only two and there are limits). I had an argument with my husband about whose parents to see over the holiday period (a completely pointless argument as it turns out my in-laws are now isolating until vaccinated – 2 hours wasted arguing but I’m calling it a win). I have sent emails to relatives trying to work out who I am meant to be buying for, what a petit point embroidery kit is, where I should procure a bonsai tree as well as how not to kill a bonsai tree before Christmas Day and why anyone wants a bonsai tree in the first place.
I have engaged in all my usual holiday activities but it just isn’t the same when my phone is ringing constantly, I am working until all hours of the night and spending weekends glued to my emails. The worst part is that my children know that it is not the same too. Thankfully support systems have swung into action. The children’s school/nursery are doing Christmas crafts with them so relatives can be gifted with strange combinations of cardboard, paint and glue that resemble nothing on earth. Grandparents have picked up the slack on socially-distanced visits to Santa Claus and have volunteered childcare for the days when my husband and I were supposed to be on holiday. And watching the Snowman on repeat isn’t lazy parenting, it’s a valid Christmas activity. We will survive and live to fight another Christmas.
And I have come up with a parenting hack which I will share with you. In a nice twist on ‘Elf on a Shelf’ I have changed my work phone ringtone to ‘Jingle Bells’. My children now believe that each and every work call is Santa checking in on their behaviour because their position on the naughty/nice list is borderline. They are very grateful for my intense lobbying on their behalf. You’re welcome.
Wishing you happy holidays and deals that complete before the end of the year!
Victoria is a solicitor at a City firm and her husband is a solicitor in-house. When he grows up her 5 year old son wants to spend ‘all day working on his computer like mummy’ and her 2 year old daughter wants to be a ‘police’ so that she can have a whistle.