Every year I have this vision of a perfect Christmas and then stress myself out trying to achieve it. I get grumpy when no one is working towards the same vision as me and sob into my Baileys with cries of "it's all gone wrong".
One year, after a huge strop, Stuart banned me from ever cooking Christmas dinner again as I was unbearable. He stuck to it for a year and duly cooked dinner for 8 adults 2 teens and 4 little ones. This year, (there have been a couple of Christmases at my parents in between) he has handed the reins back to me.
Away from the situation I can see how ludicrous it is for me to behave like I do. It is so out of character for me. I'm really not usually that highly strung but some sort of Christmas madness comes over me.
We have once had the perfect Christmas though.
Callum was about 1. After a small stocking, we got up and went downstairs for scrambled egg, smoked salmon and champagne, as is our tradition. We then opened tree presents. Following which we headed to the local for a bit of Christmas spirit by their lovely warming log fire. After a couple, we walked back home and Stuart started on the starter of goats cheese and red onion tarts. I cooked the main of roast duck and roast veggies. The gravy reduction didn't turn out but it didn't matter, all was chilled. A while later we had pudding. I don't remember what we did that evening but I do remember feeling chilled out and really enjoying it. So much so I want to try to recreate it this year.
This does worry me as we all know it's impossible to identically recreate an event second time round so I'm trying to tell myself to relax and to have an idea of what I want to achieve but ultimately to remember the reason why it went well was because I was relaxed.
To also remember, it's not about me anymore, it's about the kids. It's about making sure they enjoy it. That the day is full of happy memories and magic for them.
What is important is that I am with the people I love and that is all it really takes to make a Christmas perfect.