Family Matters Are You Kidding? Column # 7

“Christmas time is here….happiness and cheer…” Really? Let’s look at it from a woman’s perspective.

1. You fought through crowds last Boxing day to buy cheap wrapping paper, ribbons and tags for next year. You threw them in the back of a closet. This Christmas, you can’t find them.

2. Know the size of clothing, shoes, colour preferences and will-die-if-I-don’t-get gifts and give the best ideas to grandmothers who want you to buy them if they send you the money.

3. Stare despondently at magazines in checkout line-ups showing fabulous holiday crafts and decorating tips that you will never do and can’t afford.

4. Decorate with very familiar and miserable old things.

5. Make cookies with children who are interested at first, but then fight and hit each other with dish towels. Make your grandmothers fruitcake recipe that costs a fortune in ingredients knowing full well no one will eat it.

6. Resist the urge to punch the self-satisfied friend who crows about finding the last (fill in the blank) in the city. The only toy your kid wants.

7. Buy all the Christmas cards. Write all the Christmas cards. Mail all the Christmas cards. Write only your name on the bottom of every card because you are the only one who does this odious chore.

8. Buy all the gifts months before after careful and deliberate consideration. Wrap all the Christmas gifts. Send all the Christmas gifts. Hide all the Christmas gifts. Watch hubby roll in on Christmas Eve to wrap his few items he just picked up on the way home from work.

9. Rush around at the last minute to buy the forgotten gifts … for the teacher, gift exchange at school, bus driver, babysitter, newspaper boy, math tutor, White Gift Sunday, etc.

10. Clean the oven and Javex the teapot and tea towels in anticipation of Grammy’s visit over the holidays, or just clean the whole house. It’s easier.

11. Buy all the kids nice outfits with shiny new shoes for the Christmas concert. Watch as your kids disappear completely behind four rows of other similarly dressed children. Know that none of these outfits or shoes will fit next year.

12. Hold the ladder, flashlight, staple gun, light bulbs and extension cords for hubby on the coldest and windiest night of the year as he curses and whines about the one lousy chore he has to do.

13. Plead with children to dress nicely for church. Plead with children to dress nicely to visit relatives. Plead with children to stop making an issue over who is going to sit at the card table with the cousins from hell.

14. Buy the turkey, stuff the turkey, cook the turkey, carve the turkey, eat way too much turkey, try to find a place in the fridge for the leftover turkey. Try not to think about turkey leftovers.

15. And lastly, be ever so grateful you have a family to do this for.

Lesley Crewe is a writer, only because her miserable kids left home and apparently aren’t coming back. How this affects the family dynamic is a quagmire of epic proportion. Living with a retired husband doesn’t help. My thoughts on this situation will inspire, or make things 10-times worse.

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