I wish all festive facilitators a relaxing one - from 7pm

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Warning: generalisation ahead. If you are a woman, then chances are that you have, like me, facilitated Christmas for one and all around you.

Without me, Christmas would most likely consist of a Bernard Matthews turkey dinosaur with a side order of Quality Street and some battery-operated fairy lights on a dead pot plant.

My husband and I have now finished work for Christmas and he has taken to looking around him, smiling and exclaiming how much he loves Christmas.

Doesn’t the house look jolly and festive? Ooh, the calendar says we have friends over for dinner tonight, lovely.

Behold all the cards we are receiving from a squillion family and friends, how marvellous to hear from them!

And here, in the kitchen, a bottle of festive Disaronno, and ice already in the freezer.

Why, it’s almost as if some poor soul had planned it!

Which is leaving me to wonder, does he actually think the Radio Times comes ready-circled when you buy it?

Is he under the impression that people send us cards simply out of the kindness of their festive hearts?

As opposed to their own wives having also spent literally hours hunched over Paperchase’s finest, scrawling a dissertation’s worth of good cheer, before leaving work early enough to buy a truckload of stamps and throwing them with a liberating flourish in the nearest postbox?

Right before they move on to writing 22,000 different shopping lists for when the turkey needs collecting, where to get the veg from, what to buy his mother, what to buy his father, what to buy his children, and timetabling in a schedule of when to actually see all of these people between now and new year.

The children summed it up nicely by recalling how, whilst mummy was sweating over a lifetime’s supply of King Edward’s last year, daddy was entertaining them by making a variety of shapes out of napkins.

So, be you male or female, if you are the festive facilitator of your household, I wish you a relaxing one come 7pm or thereabouts tomorrow.

Good luck.


My youngest daughter recently asked whether or not she could have an elf on the shelf.

Clearly, I just don’t appear busy enough at this time of year, charging around with turkey up every orifice and pine needles stuck in my backside.

When I said as much, she looked puzzled, and spoke to me in the tone she usually reserves for people whom she perceives to be intellectually below par.

‘But mummy, you don’t need to do anything, the elves move on their own at night.’

Right. Great. Course they do. And then she pulled out the big guns.

‘Otherwise, the parents would be lying to their children. Wouldn’t they?’

Which leaves me four little words: Father Christmas. Oh dear.


I’d like to wish the boys from Home Coffee (Albert Road and Cosham) a very merry Christmas and best of luck for their festive opening tomorrow for those who would otherwise be spending Christmas alone.

I think it’s a fantastic gesture.

In a digital age, where much of our interaction is done anonymously and online, it’s the perfect time of year to make that extra interpersonal effort.

Much as it’s something we should be doing all year, that’s a little too idyllic to be remotely realistic in a 21st century world.

So, if a time such as Christmas and an approaching new year can remind us all to be a little nicer, be a little kinder, be a little more forgiving to other people, is it any bad thing?