The Nightmare Before Christmas.

I love Christmas. It is the season to be merry (mullered) and the season of goodwill towards all men (especially Hugh Jackman and all possible look-a- likes) and it's the time where one has great joy in giving gifts (and receiving...let's be honest, we all love a cracking present).

As much as I love the day itself, the build up is always a bit of a nightmare.

Here's what haunts me...my nightmares before Christmas:

PANTOMONIUM*

*This is a cross between Pantomime and Pandemonium....just in case it isn't clear.

There's nothing quite like taking a four year old to a theatre full of screaming Fruit-Shoot infused kids to spend three full hours trying to keep him in his seat, whilst a bunch of cheesy actors prance about on stage. It's borderline torture given that the young audience are encouraged to scream to the point that blood runs out of the ears of the adults accompanying them.

'He's behind you!!!, He's behind you!!!'.

'He' probably is. And I DON''T CARE (unless it's Hugh Jackman. If it was, I would totally turn around and blow him a kiss)

Alongside the shrill screams (and bloody ear lobes), the flip-up chairs ( that your kid will inevitably flick up and down for the duration of the show) and the extortionately over- priced fried seeds  (popcorn), you may hit the JACKPOT and discover that your seats will be in the slap- bang in the middle of a row of 40 people. This is great because if your kid needs a wee, or several in fact, you will have to get every Tom, Dick and their Uncle Harry up in order to make it to the loo. This is a great way to make friends with strangers. People just love an impromptu Mexican wave.

Serious.

A word of advice: If you can avoid the Pantomonium, then please do. Sadly, I am FORCED to attend the damn thing as my husband is a musician in the band and he can get a cracking discount for this wonderful evening of pure misery. Frankly, I'd rather have a discount voucher for a colon cleanse. It seems way more appealing and probably less psychologically damaging.

I am going to this dreaded Panto next week, only this year I am going with TWO kids under 5 and not just the one. Double misery, double nightmare. To get through it, I shall pack bags full of sweets, home-made popcorn, iPads and handcuffs to ensure that the little buggers stay in their seats. 

Is this wrong? Oh NO it ISN'T!! ....(Oh yes, it IS!!)

Oh, No it ISN'T!!!!!

The next impending nightmare:

THE A.W.O.L HUSBAND

I totally expect to abandoned on Christmas eve as is always the case EVERY SINGLE YEAR.

Why? Because it is only on Christmas eve that my husband will realise that he HASN'T bought a gift for me- his beloved wife and mother of his children. He will panic. He will vanish. He will leave me alone to look after his kids, wrap presents, violate and humiliate a dead turkey and polish the silverware (Ok, put the cutlery in the dishwasher)

He will return hours later, probably intoxicated, carrying an M&S  bag that he will attempt to hide under his duffle coat. It will probably be a grotesque dressing gown ...last year's was a massive spotted  pink number that gave me as much sex appeal as Mr Blobby. If he ever makes a come back, I would be a great understudy in this thing.

I will also expect the standard 'Sanctuary' Bath products from Boots...that is if they're still running the '3 for 2' offer this year. A box of Toffifee from Poundland will always appear on a special occasion, simply because  I once remarked that I found them tasty. Eight years and 231 boxes later, I ain't so fussed if the truth be told.

Even though I am happy for Boots and M&S that they reap the benefits of hoards of panicked husbands dishing out the last contents of their wallets on Christmas Eve, I think I speak on behalf of all women everywhere when I say that we would rather have our husbands at home stuffing sage and onions up the Turkey's asshole. It's a job more suited to the men. Our dainty lady hands were designed for finer things....like holding crystal glasses full of wine for instance.

eight years down the line and the supply keeps coming thanks to poundland. 

eight years down the line and the supply keeps coming thanks to poundland. 

 

And finally:

BOYS ,TOYS AND THE ALLEN KEY MISERY.

Every year, we purchase a toy that requires a screw driver and extreme patience to assemble. Last year it was the Playmobil Pirate Ship. The reviews on Amazon were excellent, but many stated in black and white that it took 'Up to 2 hours to build'. One of the reviewers was an engineer by trade and he said that even he found it a 'Challenge to build'. Despite making this point to my husband on several occasions, he chose to build the damn thing on Christmas Eve after having been to the pub with my Irish (aka whiskey-loving) Father for most of the afternoon. 

It didn't go well. 

Imagine the rage of an intoxicated non-engineer, elbow-deep in plastic screws and pointless instruction manuals, sweating and cursing as he tried to attach the tiny plastic cannons to the side of the ship. It took 4 hours. At one point, I googled 'Relationship Counsellors' and ' How to decide if you should get a divorce'. The only 'Christmas Spirit' in the room was a dwindling bottle of Captain Morgan's.

This year, we have bought the play kitchen from Ikea.  It's STILL in the box and I suspect that the box will come out on Christmas Eve after a lengthy session in the Red Lion with my mischievous Father.

The kitchen is MUCH bigger than the pirate ship and it requires the use of an allen key to assemble. I know in my bones that this will push my husband over the edge and I expect to end the evening either in A&E nursing him through a heart attack, or on the phone to a family lawyer discussing how to proceed with an Ikea- provoked divorce.

This kitchen is oh so sweet but can my husband and allen (and captain morgan)  build it on time?  

This kitchen is oh so sweet but can my husband and allen (and captain morgan)  build it on time?  

I can only hope that we can jump over these hurdles and make it through to Christmas Day unscathed.No matter how hard it gets, I feel confident that I shall make it to the other side of Christmas with my dignity still intact.

Sadly, our Paxo stuffed Turkey will not. His future is not so bright.

OH, NO IT ISN'T!!!!

 

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