She’s the woman who glazes the ham. She puts decorations around the house and sets the tunes to festive. When you were little she bought you toys for Christmas – and she didn’t even get the credit.
Not everyone’s story is the same, of course. Some of us were raised by fathers. And some of us knew not to expect much of anything for Christmas. But for a lot of us, Christmas time became Christmas time thanks to our mothers.
That’s not to say our dads didn’t contribute – many of them did. But it wasn’t uncommon for gifts to come “from both of us” – despite dad having no idea what it was.
A lot of us take on Christmas out of sheer love for the season – I know I do. But I’m saying that as a childless woman in her twenties, who only has to buy gifts for a partner and a few family members. For me, the joy of Christmas comes from picking out specific, meaningful gifts, and wrapping them up in that year’s colour scheme. I mean, yeah – I’m the kind of girl who listens to Christmas carols on Spotify all month and wants to put the tree up in November, despite everybody else’s protestations.
But there’s a difference, isn’t there, between us dependent-free festive chicks, and the women who are just expected to take on the mental load that is capital-C-Christmas. There are a lot of mothers out there whose families just expect they will cook. And there are men out there who treat Christmas day as a day to be waited on.
Not all men, of course, of course. But enough men for it to be a thing.
It’s often during these very traditional times that these traditional (read: patriarchal as all hell) gender roles rear their ugly head.
So, I offer some tips. Take them or leave them.
Write suggestion lists. Make people write down what they want and make sure everyone’s buying something. Spread the buying around.
Tell people exactly what to bring. In order to not end up with 27 salads and no desserts (or vice versa) assign people different responsibilities. And then forget about. What turns up, turns up.
Get the men to wash the bloody dishes. What, are they gonna say no on Christmas?
Put your feet up. Christmas is about enjoying time with loved ones. The truth is, most of us wouldn’t be able to recall the presents we received two years ago. Nor what we ate for dinner that year. Instead, we remember the laughter, the games, the inside jokes, and the cuddles.
Christmas is my favourite time of year, hands down. And my love for it was absolutely fostered by my mother – the original Mrs Claus (at least in my life).
If you have one (or if you are one) take the time to thank your Mrs Claus this year. She deserves it.Support Villainesse