Hi there! Remember me?! I know, I haven’t written anything for a while. I literally have not managed to find a spare hour to write since about a month ago, and in any very rare spare hours I’ve frankly been to exhausted to engage my brain cells.
Mum guilt is featuring quite heavily in my life these days. I took a promotion at work in September…actually, scratch that, I very willingly applied for said promotion and was chuffed to the tips of my grey hairs when I got it. Since then, I’ve been working ridiculously hard, plus trying to uprev my training, too. Oh yeah – the half marathon I wrote about in my last post…smashed it. Smashed every single one of my PBs, pretty much. Just in case you’d been wondering.
Anyhoo, so my latest area of extreme stress and self-heaped pressure is Christmas. I notoriously hate Christmas, which is a mood state that has an exceptionally miserable story behind it, and I don’t think anyone will appreciate me sharing it. So basically every year I JUST PRETEND TO LOVE CHRISTMAS AND ISN’T CHRISTMAS GREAT?!?!?!?!?! Mainly for the kids, innit.
This year, though, something has changed. I actually maybe possibly kinda do love Christmas, a bit. I’ve thrown myself into it hell for leather and have been prepping since late October, fuelled by the realisation that this year I shall be hosting 7 feasting people. I’ve made lists upon lists and lists of lists. I’ve planned Christmas Eve boxes and we’re doing Elf on the Shelf (that naughty, NAUGHTY Simon Elf! What will he think of next?). I’ve pre-ordered the glazed turkey. I’ve been boozing up the Christmas cake. I’ve made mincemeat. The tree went up at the end of November, with a copper and rose gold theme that is just mmm-mmm. I even, after years of flirting with the idea, MADE my own Christmas Wreath for the front door.
I made this 💓🎄 Anyone who knows me will know that enforced training rest days send me absolutely fucking batshit crazy so I’m clinging on to any sense of achievement that I can find. This will do. And tomorrow, we SWEAT 💦 . . . . #handmade #restday #restandrecovery #christmascraft #justcallmesuperwoman #pinterestmum #craftgoals #handmadewreath #artsandcrafts #christmaswreath #doorgoals #forestfloor #myview #mydoor #imthinkingaboutmydoorbell #naturalwreath #christmas2017
But you know what Christmas needs? Planning, that’s what. Gone are the days where you can nip around West Quay (local reference, Southampton-ites) on 21st December with £100 and a Gingerbread Latte, because you only have 6 gifts to get and it’s all fine. It takes a village to raise a child, right? So it stands to reason that the second you’ve procreated, Christmas suddenly becomes much more of a military expedition in the shopping stakes. I got a text from one of my mum friends: “Er, what are we doing for teacher’s gifts, and what have you bought to go in the Christmas Fayre tombola raffle lottery giveaway thingy?”Well, still working on all of that, in truth.
Between Christmas Past (£100, West Quay, Gingerbread Latte) and Christmas Present (arrrgh!), I went through a spell of doing the whole kit and caboodle on that very popular online retailer, that starts with A and makes you think of jungles. Or rainforests. You know the jam. Literally my entire Christmas shopping would be bunged in one Prime cart, delivered the next day, and that was that.
But when you have to adult, and chef, and mum and wife – you realise that one lone online retailer can’t do it all. This is why I am eternally grateful for the most coveted uprising – the Supermarket. A literal one stop shop. Food, decorations, tableware, booze, books, toys, cards, wrap, gifts, gift cards, clothes, household wares – all there. Granted, it’s bloody busy, like, but if you plan carefully you can raze those aisles in one or two trips and have Christmas all wrapped up. Oh yeah, you can also get….oh no wait, I did say wrap. Sorry.
So when Morrisons wrote to me and asked if I’d like to be a part of their Christmas campaign, I rubbed my little hands with glee and said yes please. They asked to send me a “brimming” box of Christmas treats for a cosy, festive evening of Christmas planning and fun. I’m always a little dubious when it comes to promises of “brimming” boxes, but this was legit marvellous. It arrived on a Saturday – always handy – and contained more greetings cards that I could shake a stick at, plus mince pies, Christmas fudge, mulling spices for wine (hello!!), little Mickey and Minnie Santa’s, Moana on DVD, mini peppermint candy canes, and a gorgeous purple tartan throw.
“So,” I said to my husband, “We can stick t’DVD on for the girls, wrap them up in the blanket and give them some sweets, you and me can crack on with a mince pie and some fudge, I’ll get some wine mulling in the slow cooker, and we can do our cards?”
“I sort of think that’s the whole premise of the box, Marple.”
And that’ll be no mince pies for him.
But, that is precisely what we did. The beauty is, everything in the box can be bought from one place, in one trip, plus is sets the scene for the rest of our to-do / to-buy / to-make list. Even more beautifully, the closest Morrisons to me has just had a refurb, so it’s even more gratuitous on the festive bounty score.
I will say one thing about the cards though – man alive, I got sent some cracking cards. Their range is seriously tip top, with plenty of multibuy offers on too. However, there were some GORGEOUS cards that I couldn’t use… damnation that I don’t have a dog! Double damnation that I’m not a fiancee, because that silver jewelled card is stunning! Triple damnation that I don’t have a son and daughter-in-law! So, I bundled up the less “relevant” ones and donated them to my daughter’s Christmas Fayre at school, where all money raised goes to local charitable causes. Winner winner turkey dinner.
Thank you, Morrisons! And happy shopping folks. I will try and not leave it as long before I write again…I happen to be fundraising for an April marathon so you’ll be hearing a bit about that, I’m sure.
-SJW December 2017
Disclaimer: I received, as stated, a lovely box of goodies from Morrisons. All views and opinions expressed are my own. For further detail about my work with brands, please see my full Disclosure Statement.