Tis the Season to be Jolly……
(Christmas in London – How I love it, for there is always so much to do and the lights and decorations are so pretty!)
Well would you believe it, Christmas is here again? Without any warning it springs upon us with such force and with such a multitude of parties, events, fairs, dinners, open evenings, balls, charity events etcetera etcetera, that I for one am left gasping.
And if you love Christmas like I do, you will be making the most of the festive season and enjoying it all to the max!
(Party invitations…. what fun to be had!)
The whirlwind that Christmas stirs up though, is at times beyond belief and I for one have decided that it should be given a hurricane rating !
This Christmas is definitely a ten.
How ladies, do we ever cope? What with all the merriment:- the mulled wine and dancing, the plotting and planning of parties, the shopping and cooking of festive fare, plus having to work, how do we get through it?
(The fun of decorating the table for the big Christmas dinner!)
I wonder myself, for before Christmas I am aiming to finalise the spring collection for next year which is a mammoth job in itself, plus organise a fashion show and two photo shoots, plus see all the lovely clients who are in and out of the studio everyday. Added to that is fitting in the writing of a hundred or so Christmas cards to post before the cut off date, plus baking the traditional Christmas cake, which should have been done literally months ago, along with the brandy soaked pudding – and as for Christmas shopping and buying a myriad of gifts, then wrapping them beautifully – well now, it is all simply too much for words.
Oh and I forgot to mention all the other things us women do – the decorating of the house, hosting a couple of parties, all the kids activities if we have kids, organising the turkey, cleaning out the spare room for the in-laws who are coming to stay, organising the cat sitting when you go away for a few days, and doing that huge grocery shop that we all feel compelled to do a few days before the 25th of December, as if shops are going to be shut for the whole of January!
The only thing for it of course is to realize that something must give. Either that or hire a 'Christmas Assistant' who does half of it for you ! Now that would be nice – one's own Christmas Elf !
So what does one do, when they have too much to do? Well if you are like me, you ignore it all, procrastinate like crazy and sit down and write a blog about it !
I have to admit to getting rather lazy in the midst of it all. The first thing to give is the bedroom. It currently looks like a bomb site from having six nights of parties and festivities out on the trot – clothes being flung everywhere and left piled on chairs, shoes and bags stacking up in a very impressive pile, hot hair rollers, curling tongs, make up, perfume, necklaces, earrings and other jewellery bits, not to mention lingerie galore – lacy little bits and pieces peeking out from where ever they have landed as I have whipped them off and toppled into bed. Then there's all the other girlish paraphernalia scattered wildy across my old oak dressing table – which incidently I have moved with me from one country to another, so fond of it am I.
Quite frankly the room is a mess… Maybe if I was Tracey Emin I could sell it off as an 'art piece' – for it certainly says something about a busy woman's life.
(Lingerie from my favourite lingerie shop – 'Truelove' – In Barnes – Not the type of luxury to be left scattered about – But then again it is so gorgeous to look at and should not to be left tucked away in drawers either!)
Any man reading this will be horrified, as will my mother. Somehow, men manage to keep it altogether, as do mothers. Men don't attempt to multi task at Christmas time – or at any other time for that matter. And mothers seem to be able manage it all without getting in a mess….
Yes, Christmas is a bit of pressure pot for us ladies…
So here's a few cheery Christmas tips from me!
Have a few Christmas outfits lined up and ready to go, so you're not running around the house the day of the party, despairingly telling whoever will listen, which is usually only the cat or dog – that you simply have 'nothing to wear!'
Make sure you have the really “ Big Events” like the Christmas Ball sorted weeks beforehand. Have the dress hanging and ready to go – organise the entire outfit right down to shoes, accessories and stockings! (Yes, you don't want to be running around a few hours beforehand, trying to find an 8 denier pair of sheers to complete the outfit. You're bound to end up in a pair of old tights with holes somewhere or another feeling like a right lemon! )
(Glorious tights from Truelove Lingerie -Barnes)
I know lots and lots of you are well organised when it comes to your clothes for we have been madly sewing some amazing dresses over the last few months in preparation for special Christmas occasions. I hope you have all been the belle of the ball!!
If you don't have the time to don an apron, get out the mixing bowls and stir up some magical cakes, pies and puddings in the kitchen, don't feel guilty! I sure don't, for if I don't have the time to do all that baking or I simply run out of energy, I buy mine at a local Church Christmas Fair and they're always fabulous – none of us have been rushed off to hospital yet with any strange food poisoning illnesses! And just think, someone else has put a lot of time and effort into baking those scrumptious goodies, so why not feel good about supporting them – and if you're really wicked, (like one woman I know) you can just pretend you whipped them up yourself anyway! Keep your impressive baking skills for other times of the year, when things are not so manic…
(Gingerbread house made by the kids!)
Writing all those Christmas cards – Well, you can do one of two things:- stay up all night with a large glass of your favourite tipple and just get it done and hope that the last fifty are legible. Or you can do the unthinkable and send one of those email Christmas Cards that make a lot of noise as cartoon characters run across your screen. ( I personally am not fond of these, as I like the good old fashioned cards that you can sit on the mantlepiece and look at every time you wander past, knowing that at least once a year, that old school friend from thirty years ago, still remembers you exist. However, I have been known out of desperation to send those email cards – horrors! But much better than someone thinking you have forgotten them altogether!)
(Not hard to work out where I just received this card from… a land down under, where the sun is shining and it is hot- oh to be there for a little of that sunshine! My friends send me these cards to tease me…)
Decorating the house, well now, the best thing to do is to let the kids to do it. And then accept that everything may be a little higgledy piggledy and not quite how you'd have it, but it will do. Don't put the pressure on yourself to run around after they've gone to bed fixing it all up…just go to bed and have a jolly good sleep knowing they think it's fabulous. Let's face it – Santa's not going to be overly worried if the baubles on the tree are not quite in the right place and things look slightly wonky! I have a very enthusiastic housekeeper that does mine and hey ho, the whole house looks like something between a Walt Disney film and National Lampoon's Christmas !!
(My amazing, energetic housekeeper Renata caught on camera making a start to the decorating!)
The turkey and groceries – well girls, this just has to be done! I somehow manage to remember to put in an order with the local butcher for one of their supposedly free range, totally organic, happy, healthy turkeys, that have had a good life on some very pretty little farm somewhere in Devon and are totally unaware of what their destiny will be until the last second! And the groceries – well a midnight shop at Sainsburys is the key of course, when no-one else is about and the only people you have to do battle with is the shelf stackers who have the aisles full of boxes, making it impossible to get around. At least they are not in terrible moods and suffering hangovers from the office party that afternoon!
(MMMmmmm… what a turkey- not sure mine have ever looked as good as this one!)
And what of your partner / husband / boyfriend through all this fuss? The aim of course, is to get him through the whole thing as unflustered as possible! My Advice – don't expect anything major as far as contributions are concerned, unless they are as enthusiastic about Christmas as you are. Men on the whole just don't get it at all. They enjoy the end result, they just don't see the need for the tension it brings, and quite frankly I totally agree. There's no need for us to be perfectionists when it comes to Christmas – relax, enjoy it, and laugh your way through a festive time!
(A happy chappy!)
So get out those party frocks, the impossibly high heels you've had languishing in the back of the cupboard and head off to the next festive fun filled event knowing that there are never going to be any Oscars given out for the 'Perfect Christmas Organiser / House Decorator / Christmas Card Writer / Turkey Cooker '. Your family and friends would much rather remember you for the fun you had and your infectious laugh, than your grumpy old frown when things didn't quite go to plan!
Have a fabulous, fun filled Christmas all my dear readers and catch up in the New Year!!
p.s…. I'm off to clean up the mess in the bedroom which will make my husband very happy!: )
Postscript added some days later…..
p.s.s……Got out of the big bedroom clean up by an evening visit to 'Winter Wonderland' in Hyde Park – Much more fun !!
( The view across the Serpentine- so pretty on a clear moonlit night!)
But you will be relieved to know that it has now been done and I am starting the new week off with a spotless bedroom! All ready for another mess to brew!!