If you do Christmas in any form, odds are the women in your life (and yourself, if you is one) are (and have been for a while) considering present lists (and the budgets they represent), planning menus, ordering meat and/or planning other food, checking guest lists and shopping - endlessly shopping. I'm sure there exist boy-girl couples in which Christmas is co-ordinated by the boy, but I've never met them. Oh sure, guys "help out". Some of them might even buy a present or two. My father, in fact, was the food organiser. However, I've never met a bloke who was pulling all the strings, making sure everyone gets a gift (which they might even like), ensuring that all the decorations are done, working out who needs to be where and when. In short, they aren't responsible.
An illustrative example (paraphrased)
Crash: I feel guilty that you're doing so much. If there's anything I can do to help, let me know.
Me: Yeah, actually, I'd like you to be responsible for the booze.
Crash: Ok, I can do that.
Crash: Could you just decide what booze we want and check on the web for the prices at Dan's and 1st Choice?
The idea that men "help out" is a constant meme, but it seems to be on steroids at Christmas. I've even heard men complain that the magic is taken out of Christmas for them if they have to actually make it happen themselves. Well no, there really is no Christmas magic - it's the women doing a bloody lot of work - or at least a lot of thinking, planning and juggling that makes it look like magic. It's all illusion, and frankly, the show could probably use a few more magicians and a few less audience members.
Of course, I still love Christmas, so this post is to thank the women in my life, and all the women before them, and those all over, who are making Christmas happen. Continuing, creating and bending traditions, putting their heart into gifts, food and atmosphere that creates the magical illusion.
On Saturday, I'll be drinking white wine in the sun, ignoring the dodgy lyrics and enjoying the show, even though I can see the strings and all the "from Santa"s are in my handwriting.