So, Christmas goes by and I am left with the same overwhelming feeling every year.  Was it worth it?

Was it worth the days of preparation, the hours of shopping, the hours spent in the kitchen molesting large birds, the rearranging of the house, all for a few hours? 

Let’s examine the evidence:

Firstly –  Christmas Eve.

Spending the build up to Christmas overworking your debit card with not an end in sight?  Well, not great for the bank balance, but I am a fan of present buying, so not all bad.

Planning a meal for 20 people? Not too bad, after all, I don’t do small portions.

Moving all the furniture in the house to accommodate said 20 people? Extremely annoying, especially with my parents offering advice on how I should have set the house up to begin with and constantly moving furniture.

Last minute change of plans which meant moving all the furniture again on Christmas Eve?  I don’t want to talk about it.

Getting to Debenhams at 08:30am on Christmas Eve, having already collected the turkey and done the supermarket shop and finding out that although their website said they would be opening at 08:30, there was a sign in the shop window saying it would actually be 09:30.  Frustrating as all get out. Fail, Debenhams. Fail.

Ending up buying really nice luggage at 70% off at Debenhams because we were there and two of my parents’ suitcases had been mangled by Aegean Airlines or Heathrow Airport?  Bonus.

Arriving home from our Christmas Eve shopping trip with two suitcases and two holdalls containing respectively a 7kg turkey, a ham, 8 baguettes, a cheese board and a Christmas pudding ?  Hilarious.

Fishing elbow deep into the turkey to remove giblets, handling said giblets, and then holding the damn bird’s legs open while D puts pepper into its cavity? Um. Fairly gross actually, I don’t like doing it – it is at this point every year that I start bemoaning the fact that we don’t just have beef for Christmas.

The thing about Christmas Eve is that there is so much to do that day, with a view to making the next day slightly easier.  So the activities to be carried out onChristmas Eve are as follows:  make the cranberry sauce, the gravy, the stuffing, the salad dressing, the pavlova, get the turkey ready for the oven the next day, peel the vegetables, set the table (Mum & Dad did this part, thank goodness), tidy the house, borrow chairs, make sure we have everything we need, apologise for not having the right kind of table decorations, move all the existing decorations around until Dad is satisfied with the end result, then switch everything around again because Mum wasn’t happy.  Now let’s add into the mix my limp, and the fact that my feet also swelled up like balloons, and I was a sight, believe me.  Still, by about 8:30pm, I had had a lovely hot shower, and went off to see my goddaughter and give her her presents and spend some time with them before Christmas.  As you can imagine, she was as over-excited as one would expect a seven year old to be on Christmas Eve.  It was infectious.  I came home full of the spirit of Christmas, further evidence of the positive power of children.

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Even though I had been good all year, I thought I should leave a trail for Santa to follow…

I went to bed at midnight, and fell asleep wondering if I had been good enough for Santa to deliver some presents…

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