Growing up, Christmas was a magical time at my house. My mother went all out – the tree would be up on the first of December, the house would be decorated to within an inch of its life. There would be Elvis singing Christmas carols on the CD player, mountains of gifts under the tree. Mum would spend weeks planning and orchestrating the most perfect of perfect of Christmas lunches. There would be pork with crispy crackling, roast chicken with fancy stuffing, freshly cut ham off the bone, turkey, three different types of gravy and sauces, fresh prawns – so much food that we would be totally stuffed and not eat again for days. She used to even get Christmas toilet paper which is a feat because I’ve never laid eyes on it since.
Fast forward thirty years. Nothing has changed. Nothing. Christmas is now not so much wonderful and nostalgic but a chore or something out of ‘Nightmare at Elm Street’. Now that I’m all grown up I have to contribute which is great and I like doing it. But by geez if it’s not done perfectly – the Christmas Nazi goes off like a frog in a sock and it’s not pretty!!!
‘You will be here by 1.04pm’ she bellows. ‘The chicken must be cooked for 40 minutes at 162 degrees’.
‘Make sure you are wearing the Christmas shirts I bought you last year’
Awww Mum – I’m 38 – I’m too old to wear a Rudolph shirt….
‘I WILL get photos, if I haven’t been committed’
FYI my Mum’s idea of Christmas photo’s involve everyone smiling (standing in the correct order) and looking like we are having the best time of our lives in garish red, white and green Christmas themed shirts (and matching earrings if you’re female) complete with Santa hat – actually the Santa hat is compulsory except during lunch when paper crowns are enforced. If we don’t get it right – we keep going, and going, and goooooing. When my son was young it took three hours to get the perfect photo and hey if you look at the photo’s at a glance they look great, but look a little closer, look into our eyes and you can see that we are all dying inside. GRRRRRRR. Luckily after three hours we were all drunk and happy to smile!
The day is scheduled down to the last second and there is no chance to escape early, we stay until she falls asleep (I ply her with wine), or the children get too much (lots of red cordial and chocolate sultanas).
My husband coined the phrase ‘Christmas Nazi’ and it suits her well. He loves my mother – well for 364 days of the year anyway.
Until next time!