Goodwill to all men? Christine Kempell demands equality this Christmas
Time Out Kids staff
Men never really grow up when it comes to Christmas, do they? Of course, they get over-excited at all the presents and cram themselves full of enough treats to make themselves sick, but that goes without saying. No, I mean that they never really have to take responsibility for the whole occasion. They slide seamlessly between Christmases at home with their mum and dad, to spending the day at the girlfriend’s family abode and then finally at home with the wife and kids, without ever having to stuff a turkey or criss-cross a Brussels sprout.
Do you remember the precise moment when you signed the agreement stating that you would be sole representative of Yuletide Duty? No, that’s because it creeps up on you, but the list of tasks we apparently agreed to is endless. It begins with writing every card to all relatives on both sides, even the ones we only met once, briefly, at the wedding. (Who is Great Aunt Mabel anyway?) And there’s no My family/Your family divide anymore as we’re now all one big happy family.
Before we know it, we’re also responsible for purchasing presents for said happy families, on both sides, and all our mutual friends too, plus their kids when they come along. Our budgeting skills at this time of year would have the Chancellor of the Exchequer jingling his little black box in appreciation, and our ability to make giant plastic objects disappear until they are discovered under the tree should, by law, grant us immediate entry into the Magic Circle.
Then there’s the food and beverage duties, which include the ability to cater for an entire football team, while simultaneously making gravy, telling jokes and assembling a Lego monster with moving parts. Child peacekeeping skills worthy of a UN ambassador, saintly patience in dealing with relatives and intellectual dexterity at Trivial Pursuit and other games are an added bonus, although not compulsory.
Just because men are given the one duty of carving the turkey does not justify spending the afternoon dozing in front of the TV while you clean the entire kitchen. It’s enough to drive you to commit hara-kiri on them with the carving knife, but that would upset the children.
So, this year, I say let’s all relinquish our Yuletide duties and draft up a new contract. Merry Christmas everybody!