Women do the hard work at Christmas and a man gets the credit

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Most of this angst has been making sure that I have the “exact” right gifts for everyone I need to shop for.

Not only am I in sole charge of making sure the children all have the much-longed for presents they are hoping Santa will deliver to them, but also there is the rest of the family to consider too.

These include the other half, my parents, his mother, his niece and nephew, not to mention all the various offspring of our friends and family. There seem to be a number of unwritten rules in relationships – one of which is women will take on the responsibility of making sure all members of the extended family – including his relatives – are catered for on the big occasions. I have yet to find a man who goes out of his way to choose the perfect gift for his mother-in-law.

I can’t believe I ever used to get stressed about buying gifts before I had children. All of three things to buy a year was never exactly going to be difficult.

Now I dread I am not going to be giving my children the thing they have longed for most and I will have to witness disappointed faces on Christmas Day.

So instead I have boxes upon boxes of gifts waiting to be given to my little ones on the Big Day. I just need to find the energy to wrap them all up before Christmas Eve. Sadly though, despite all my hard work and effort, I won’t get any of the credit. Oh no, Santa will. A man. I mean, since when do men ever organise Christmas like us women?

It is not men I see hopping from desk to desk at work toiling away at making the room look as festive as the inside of a Santa’s Grotto. They are not the ones who have been up all night sewing strips of festive bunting together to make sure ours is the best-decked office on the floor by far .

And now the office looks great.

However, I have still to put up my tree at home, much to my kids’ disgust. Most people put theirs up last weekend. I didn’t. Instead I was away enjoying myself with friends on a weekend break. Now I fear it may be too late to go the whole hog and get a real tree to deck in our already overcrowded and cramped living room. After all, there is only just over a week to go until Christmas Day. And somehow after the party is over the decorations become obsolete very quickly. They limp on gallantly until the New Year, but come January 2 they just look out of date, literally.

There is nothing worse than going back to work after the celebrations are over only to discover the tinsel and baubles which seemed so jolly just a week before, are still pinned garishly to the ceiling. And despite all best efforts to put the decorations away, there is always one piece of sparkle which gets missed and winks away at you for the next half a year or so, until someone finally spies it and banishes it into the back of the Christmas cupboard. The other good thing about denuding the place of gaudy tat is that the home/office suddenly seems a lot bigger.

However, I don’t think I can really be a Scrooge and not have a tree this year so I think I will be succumbing to buying a Christmas tree this week. And for the first time I might even choose one from the Sheffield City Council Christmas market, currently in full swing on Fargate in the city centre . For more information visit: https://www.sheffield.gov.uk/out--about/city-centre/christmas.html