This year is going to be different. Just you wait.
I will keep accurate lists of what I've bought for whom and where that stash may be hiding in my house. I will not forget relatives and God children. Not even the ones that live far away. Or are babies. And especially babies that live far away. I will cross reference lists with other relatives and God children's parents just to make sure there is no repetition. As God as my witness...
I will not, repeat, not wait until all the kids have gone to bed on Christmas Eve and then begin wrapping. Staying up until 2am one year on Christmas Eve only to get up four hours later and watch it all get ripped up has cured me of that idea. I swear.
I will start pre-shopping for food and freeze as much stuff in advance as humanly possible. Really.
I will get out a cookbook and make Christmas cookies with my children. I will not yell at them should they drop the bag of flour on the floor. I will set the timer for intervals to make sure that they don't burn. I will not pick off all the chocolate kisses.
I will not imbibe so much champagne at Christmas parties that by January 1, you could get drunk by licking the residue off my arm.
I will not have to act surprised and gleeful at my husband's choice of a Paul Smith dress and jacket for me because I know I will love it. I will pick it out in plenty of time. No acting involved.
I will not forget to buy advent calendars until December 5 and then find that there are no advent calendars left to buy. I will not steal un-claimed days Chocolate and will track down owner of the calendar and make sure that person gets their due.
I will send out all my Christmas cards on time, with photos of the kids and with personal greetings. Even the international cards will arrive before Christmas.
I will willfully go for a Christmas Day walk with my family no matter what the weather. I will not complain and dawdle or feign the flu. I promise.
I will be patient with my family and take into account that it is all their foibles that make them so unique. I will not let my husband drink a bottle of wine and comment to my parents that the black sheep in my family is really "no more fucked up then the rest of them."
I will willingly and creatively put together intimate suppers for our old friends who always come to visit over the holiday period. I will turn a blind eye to their new puppy who is also coming to visit even when it wees all over my house.
I will have all my wrapping done so there won't be a moment where my children walk into the guest room pulling out a Toys R Us bag. I will have everything wrapped and hidden by the time they break up from school. The only bad "walking in" moment I will fear is when I am shagging my husband every night.
I will make sure that the oil is topped up in the tank.
I will get bones for the dogs.
This year, this year, it's going to be different.
This post was written by Audrey, a Thames Valley mum of three. You can read more at her blog, Multitude.
Photo credit: robinhutton