Christmas is a magical time of the year, but the mess before Christmas gets right on my chuffing nerves!
The run up to Christmas
Everyone in our family really enjoys Christmas, some of us more than others. There is just something magical about Christmas. I’ve always enjoyed it, the festivities, the atmosphere and if you have kids, the magical situations you can create.
In our house, Christmas starts on the 1st December. We do Elf on the shelf, and they can’t come until the Christmas tree is up, and in turn, the advent calendars can’t arrive until the elves are here, seeing as though it’s the elves that bring them. So the run-up to Christmas starts relatively early in our house.
The mess before Christmas
As I say, I really enjoy Christmas, but what I don’t enjoy is the fact that the house seems to get messier and more cluttered as the month goes on.
Initially, you have to move your living room around just to find space for your Christmas tree. In our case, it actually involved moving some furniture out of the living room. Then there is the mammoth task of decorating your house for Christmas. When you have kids you’ve got to make the effort.
This year I decided to have more than one Christmas tree in the house. And yes, I decided to get the messiest, glittery, snow-covered trees I could find, just because I absolutely love constantly vacuuming it up every 3 hours. I don’t think I’d be able to cope if I had a real tree in the house.
So the task begins and the whole family get involved in decorating the tree. Mrs F and I aren’t really the type of people who are bothered by how the tree looks, the kids decorated it and that is what counts. Until you realise that there is a massive cluster of the same coloured baubles in the same place and it is really annoying. But you ignore it because the kids are really chuffed with how the tree looks, deep down though there is a small rage building up inside you thinking “WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT!?”
Finally, the tree is “decorated”, a makeshift nativity scene is set up and tinsel is adorned over everything. With a quick hoover, again and again, and… again the room looks lovely and festive and tidy.
It takes approximately a week before I start getting a bit irritated at how the big tree in the corner is starting to bore me, I’m sick of hoovering up glitter and I’m sick of picking my balls up off the floor. The other day, I went in the shower and had glitter in places glitter shouldn’t be able to get to!
Then comes the start of receiving Christmas Cards… oh my word… how many Christmas cards does one house need… My youngest has more Christmas cards strewn across the living room than you can imagine. I’m constantly picking them up and repositioning them. I could get some string and hang them up but last time I did that it fell down and ended sliding on a pile of cards and doing the splits.
It becomes more apparent that there is actually nowhere to put anything anymore because Christmas cards and Christmas decorations have taken over the house, so general clutter and mess just appears everywhere.
Elf on the Shelf
On top of the constant battle of tidying up, vacuuming glitter and standing up the same Christmas card over and over again there is the constant challenge of the elf.
In our case, 4 elves. You’d be wrong to think I have 4 children who all get an elf each. I have 3 children, 2 of which are ‘none believers’ in the big guy. But a couple of years ago I decided to make small stories up with the one elf, who then had his wife come to stay with us, 2 years later that story evolved and my youngest child asked so many questions, that led me to create elaborate stories and now have to follow it through. So now we have 4 elves; Sandra & Colin Crinklebottom and Mildred & Barry Von Skidmark.
Stupidly I have created more work for myself because now I have to think of twice as many things to do with these elves, every night, for 24 nights!! Not to mention, the quick reactions you have to have to hide said elves when they do their “magic”. And then, there’s the mess and carnage you have to create and then tidy up the day after. So basically I’ve just created a rod for my own back and I’m moaning about something that is my own fault.
Don’t get me wrong I enjoy doing Elf on the shelf stuff, it’s actually really fun. Especially seeing Alfie’s face when they do random things. Our Christmas tree is magic, so if he wants to write a letter to the elves or Santa, he pops it into the tree and it magically disappears (when he leaves the room!) You can check out the whole ‘Elf Saga’ on my Instagram or Facebook pages.
Christmas Day mess
Christmas day mess is kind of different from the frustrating month-long mess. The bleak sign of something that was once a floor is now covered in wrapping paper that is shot everywhere and with toys strewn all over. Individual piles of Christmas presents, slowly merge to create one massive mound of ‘stuff’.
It’s a nice mess. It’s a mess of excitement and joy. But it’s also a mess that drives me crazy, so 2 big bin bags at the ready, every Christmas day without fail. One year, we had that much wrapping paper, everywhere, I ended up putting one of my kids in the bin.
I’m not a clean freak, but I don’t like a mess, it annoys me. As much as you wouldn’t think it I really do enjoy the magic of Christmas. I guess it’s just one of the things you just put up with. It’s only for 30 days of the year… Every year, for the foreseeable future years…