Don’t Panic – It’s Only Christmas

Wow, Christmas is coming up fast isn’t it. How does it do that? One minute I am moaning that shops have carols playing in October and the next it is under a fortnight away. I appear to have spent the past month watching/reading about Kirstie, Nigella et al planning perfectly dressed and delicious parties instead of organising my own festivities. I have spent so much time reading Good Housekeeping’s guide to the perfect Christmas meal and watching people fashion hand-made baubles that I have had no time to do anything else. Or maybe it is that watching other people do all the work is much more fun. Yeah, that sounds more likely.


I haven’t wrapped a single gift in hand stamped, home crafted paper. Nor have I tied any parcels with a raffia bow. In fact I haven’t even purchased any wrapping paper yet. I am considering starting a trend for gifting things in the carrier bags they came in, I am not being a cheap skate – they cost 5p each these days, in fact some of the things I have bought are in 10p festive bags for life. That almost counts as an extra gift right?!

I have studded not one satsuma with cloves. I am not entirely sure what a clove is, other than they are good for toothache. I do know what a satsuma is, obvs, a teeny tiny orange right?! I did make some Christmas fudge. But I ate that. In November.

I have not been lovingly feeding a Christmas Cake whisky since August. I have been lovingly feeding myself whisky since August. If I smear myself with marzipan you may not be able to tell the difference.

I have not got a time plan prepared for Christmas Eve/Day. I do not even have a menu planned. Roast I thought. Probably.

I may have to replace the children with cleaner ones, ones that smile nicely for the camera as opposed to gurning and making rabbit ears behind each others heads, in order to get that perfect family look for Instagram purposes.

I haven’t picked a colour scheme for the tree. I haven’t even got the tree yet, and when we do it will look like a fairy vomited on it by the time the kids have hurled stuff at it in a haphazard fashion.

I don’t have an Elf on my shelf, because I am scared of them – teenage years spent reading horror novels and an overactive imagination means ‘toys that come to life at night and mess up your house’ are at some point going to turn psycho, and I don’t have a lock on my knife drawer.

What I do have is lists. Lists in notebooks, lists on my phone and on the back of receipts. Obviously I never actually have these lists to hand when I need them, and inevitably this will lead to substituting strawberry jam for cranberry sauce on the day, but the thought is there.

You know what though, I ADORE the shiny Christmas shows and glossy magazines, and I love the fact that year after year I am naive enough to continue thinking that I will actually replicate some of the things they indulge in. I am ever the optimist, imagining for example that I shall take the children on frosty, woodland walks to collect holly and mistletoe for our mantelpiece. In reality it is always raining when there is a good moment to go out, and my kids would probably rather watch the walk recreated in Minecraft on YouTube.

And these days I have an extra perspective on reality versus the media portrayal. As a blogger I know how easy it is to present something that looks pretty and stylish, but I also know the truth behind the pictures. Take yesterdays Chocolate Slab post – not quite glossy mag standard, but it looks nice doesn’t it, and maybe gives the impression that I am stylish, and tidy, and organised. The truth is that my kitchen was a mess by the end of it, I had chocolate in my hair and on my face, and the room that is cropped out of the photographs is, well, a bit scruffy frankly.

So I will not have a Christmas panic. I will not have a perfect advert Christmas, I will have a real Christmas – complete with mess, spoilt kids, non-matching wrapping paper, too much chocolate, an uncoordinated Christmas tree, a massive delicious dinner without much pre-planning (I make a roast most Sundays- how hard can it be). And someone will feel sick, my over excited kids will become arguing kids, I will drink too much Baileys and wear silly paper hats, there will be love, laughter and total chaos. Followed by Christmas Doctor Who and a large booze drink when the smaller people are asleep. And it will be ABSOLUTELY BLOODY BRILLIANT!!




  1. December 16, 2015 / 4:42 pm

    Perfection is over-rated and social media has a lot to answer for! Have a great Christmas
    Kizzy recently posted…Live intentionally in 2016My Profile

  2. December 16, 2015 / 5:29 pm

    Totally love your honesty here. If more people were a bit more honest there would be a whole lot less pressure.

    I think your Christmas sounds just the way it should be and I’m sure you’ll have a lovely time. x
    Liz Burton recently posted…DIY Copper Leaf Plant PotsMy Profile

  3. December 16, 2015 / 6:11 pm

    I haven’t wrapped or even finished my shopping yet and I am not bothered for some reason. I am usually very stressed at this time of year.
    Fantastic post x

  4. December 17, 2015 / 11:31 am

    I’m so much more relaxed about the whole thing this year, if things don’t get done then they don’t get done. The kids will have an amazing time and I’ll just love watching them with a nice big glass of wine :O) x
    Sonia recently posted…Challenging Myself…My Profile

  5. December 17, 2015 / 11:49 am

    I don’t do Christmas perfection – the house will be covered in mismatched wrapping paper and I don’t care as we will be having fun. I haven’t wrapped a single present either #eek
    Kara recently posted…Managing the kids finances with OsperMy Profile

  6. December 17, 2015 / 1:01 pm

    OMG YES!!! This, all this (except I do have the tree, but it does look like it’s been vomited on). I love Christmas, and only fleetingly wish I could do all those perfect things. I even leave the cooking to husband (every day, not just Christmas). My confession is that I do love to wrap. But nothing handmade or raffia-ish here. Merry Crimbo to you!
    Stephs Two Girls recently posted…Festive Christmas CupcakesMy Profile

  7. December 17, 2015 / 2:32 pm

    Yay! Amen to that! Sounds pretty much like us (but without the booze in my case). It really does take me by surprise every year though. I spend weeks denying it’s on it’s way and suddenly it’s only a week away! How does that happen?!
    Sarah MumofThree World recently posted…The singersMy Profile

  8. December 17, 2015 / 2:42 pm

    I think that we all make Christmas what we want it to be. I have the gifts, but they are all in my shower and not wrapped and I have no wrapping paper, but we have crafted our way though december and that makes me happy!

  9. December 18, 2015 / 12:43 am

    I bet you will have an awesome Christmas, spent with friends and family, all the fluffy and shiny stuff doesn’t matter. We haven’t elves, the kids think they look spooky. I have wrapped up our present but we haven’t got lots just a few really good ones. hehe!
    Don’t get stress doing the food shop! No panic buying special offer mince pies x

  10. December 19, 2015 / 11:23 pm

    YAY!! I am so with you. Every year I say I’m going to be organised….I haven’t even sent a card yet. I seem to be in some sort of Christmas denial and I dream of making gingerbread and mulled wine and the days keep slipping by. I cannot believe it’s Christmas Day next week….I hope my denial ends soon!
    Globalmouse recently posted…Fantastic Asian food at Umami Restaurant, Kensington, LondonMy Profile

  11. December 20, 2015 / 8:42 am

    I have been quite relaxed about it this year. We don’t have a colour scheme either and anything fancy on the wrapping front is never going to happen.
    Erica Price recently posted…Week 51 of 2015My Profile

  12. December 21, 2015 / 3:05 pm

    I hear you about the whisky? Here I was feeling smug and all of a sudden realise I have left the main present till absolute last minute. Cue manically searching eBay and bribing posties! Have a fab Christmas!

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