Becoming a mum has brought out the earthy, wholesome person in me, which I didn’t know existed until now. I never cared much for roasting chestnuts; or making nativity scenes and wreaths with materials only found in the wood; or making my own mince pies and mulled wine; or making homemade soft toys and Nigella’s ‘euphoric’ chutney as presents for everyone; or buying a traditional chocolate-less advent calendar from Oxfam; or learning the grown-up version of We Three Kings; or making fairy-light chandeliers out of two circular knicker driers.
This year, however, I have become the ultimate, obsessive, and slightly manic earth-mother extraordinaire, or so I would like to think. As well as doing all of the above, and more, I plan to march Betty and Tom off to church on Christmas morning, with Betty donning her little elf outfit, which I made for her to wear for the front of our Christmas card this year.
Perhaps I am over-compensating, as last Christmas went by in such a blur because Betty was only five weeks old, hence I was knackered and busy coming to terms with all the emotional and physical challenges that a new baby throws at you. And Betty was busy still feeling annoyed about being born, and having no qualms in telling us so. On top of this, I was also trying to reconcile myself with the fact that it was Christmas and I couldn’t even get pissed on rancid drinks such as Baileys and Sherry and smoke my uncle’s cigars, make a complete tit of myself, and pass out before I’d even got to watch Eastenders.
In my mind, this is Betty’s first proper Christmas, and now that she is a delightful, non-crying, solid food-eating, gorgeous little girl, I am going all out to make it the best, most homely, and jolliest Christmas ever. It will be such a joy for us to have a Betty sitting at the table with us, providing all the entertainment, and devouring her Christmas lunch whole-heartedly. And sharing in all the Christmas cheer over the festive period – the presents, the long walks up mountains, the much anticipated arrival of all grannies and grandpas, my sherry-induced purple face, the obligatory viewing of Mary Poppins (accompanied by my slurred rendition of supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, sung backwards), the Eastenders Christmas special, Trivial Pursuits (which inevitably always ends in my tears), all of which leads to the demise of any earth-motherness. Betty will marvel in it all, and Tom will be nowhere to be found, probably cowering in some dark corner hugging a whisky bottle.