Out of her schlepping mind

Dear Mary

We are having Christmas lunch at our house – again – but my husband’s mother wants us to go to her house for brunch first. She lives 45 minutes away and I will have to be up all night Christmas Eve getting things ready for lunch if we are going out for the entire morning. Can I send my husband and the children?

Signed, Pragmatic


Dear Pragmatic

Firstly, thank you for the biggest belly laugh I have had in weeks. It is a wonderful illusion, that notion of logic or free-will coming into the Christmas equation. Add the daughter-in-law element into the mix and you are, as we say in the festive business – screwed.

Firstly, let’s deal with the issue of pragmatism.

After seconds of exhaustive web-searching, I have found the much lesser-known-than-the-Oxford-but-probably-still-perfectly-good Cambridge Dictionary’s definition of pragmatism – the quality of dealing with a problem in a sensible way that suits the conditions that really exist, rather than following fixed theories, ideas, or rules.

You think that just because it is a MASSIVE pain in the arse for you to schlep over to your husband’s mother’s house for a meal that doesn’t really exist – certainly not without champagne which you won’t be able to drink because it’s his mother’s house so it would be mean of him not to have a little Christmas cheer with her and someone has to drive – AND still have everyone over for the lunch they will be too full for, that you can opt out?

I refer you, my dear-deluded Pragmatism, to The Clause.

The Clause clearly states that Christmas really doesn’t stack up, joy-wise, for anyone over 14.

This is you.

So suck it up. Make some lists, give your husband PLENTY of jobs to do on Christmas Eve and remind him repeatedly of why this is necessary (this is the Greatest Christmas Gift of All – passive-aggressive opportunities) and limp through to Boxing Day like the rest of us.



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