Saturday, 13 December 2014
All is calm, all is bright?
The films and adverts depict beautiful scenes of smiling families (one boy, one girl) laughing together as they decorate their Christmas tree. You can feel the love emanating from the screen. It's what Christmas is all about, isn't it? Precious family time, bringing peace and good cheer.
I'm guessing then that fighting over who will put the star on the tree, taking it off again when somebody else has put it on and then rolling across the floor howling isn't what normal families experience.
And what about the putting together of the (bargain, and still going strong) fake tree? Do the pieces get thrown on the floor in a strop because the person 'fluffing up the branches' can't do it properly? I've never seen that on a Christmas film.
Do the tangled Christmas tree lights cause tears of frustration on the adverts? So knotted up, they are just asking to be thrown across the room, surely. And once around the tree, the person who will remain nameless, suddenly remembers it's a good idea to check they work first. They don't.
To encourage the festive cheer, one child plays 'frosty the snowman' loudly from you tube. Unfortunately it is so loud that we have to shout at each other to be heard. Causing more of a frosty atmosphere than the snowman would have liked. Just stay quiet, Frosty, you're not helping.
'No-one's letting me do anything!' Shouts the youngest, flopping to the floor in tears before running upstairs to his bedroom.
'I'm not sure I can live with that for the next three weeks' whispers the parent looking at the star lights randomly stuck over the window in no particular order. The boy who'd huffed and puffed over the star lights heard the whispered comment, shook his head and stomped up the stairs leaving the parent feeling guilty. I've never seen that in the Christmas Downton.
And the tinsel fights? 'He's got more tinsel in his room than me! MUM!! Will you tell him?!!!'
And so, expectations of a joyous family activity lead to raised blood pressure and stress levels that could reach Santa's sleigh.
Maybe tomorrow we can be the family on the telly.