It’s December and that means…well Christmas of course. You can’t escape it unless you disconnect the television, the internet and western civilisation itself. Every year, the department stores and supermarkets each try to make the best Christmas television, but for the past two years, the winner for me has been John Lewis.
Last year, it was the boy waiting day after day in order to give his parents a present (though I did wonder what was in the box…perhaps something he found in the garden). This year, it’s the courtship of two snow people:
Don’t get me wrong, I do love this advert quite a bit, but it isn’t what is considered ‘real life’ especially as myself and my family once built a pair of snowmen and one didn’t disappear to the shops to buy some gloves for the other; maybe it was because a) it was a regular snowman or b) he was a cold hearted (I honestly don’t mean to make a pun) snowman.
Now Asda, on the other hand, got it spot on:
This advert has received some complaints, saying that it’s sexist for the mum to be working night and day to create the ‘perfect Christmas’. Yes, it is slightly old fashioned and there are plenty of men who do their bit, but in my family, there’s many parallels.
My mother runs Christmas, not with an iron fist, but a pretty strong one nonetheless. I have vivid memories of decorating the tree with my brother, only for our work to be critiqued, marked and eventually taken down to be redone by mum to her specifications. But I’m over it…just.
I also remember a flying bunny slipper, aimed at my brother, crashing into a mini Christmas tree and knocking it over. I don’t remember my mums reaction as I had fled up to my room, stupidly leaving the slipper as evidence.
As for the shopping, Mum is down at the shops most weekends starting in November. She has her lists of gifts and her bags and still manages hide all the presents incredibly well, despite my attempts to snoop. She’s also a pro at wrapping presents, nobody I know apart from shop assistants can get corners that neat and tight, and she even uses a massive sharp knife to cut the paper instead of regular scissors (it gives a much straighter edge apparently). All we hear from behind that closed door is cutting paper and endless metres of tape being cut.
Food is another forte of mums, she’s an amazing cook, the best I know, but I must say this: Christmas, just one day of the year, warrants a roast dinner that is tripled is size compared to a regular Sunday. Luckily we have a spare mini fridge going and a second oven. But even then, something doesn’t go right (in her mind anyway, the rest of the household are barred from the kitchen unless enlisted for help or in need of a drink), it’s fair to say that she gets stressed.
My dad, on the other hand, has what I see as a fairly typical approach to the festive season. He has nothing to do with the tree, or the cards, or making Christmas cakes and mostly acts as a taxi as mum can’t drive. He and I also have our yearly tradition, as his only daughter, I must escort him into the city centre for the last Thursday (late night shopping) before the 25th in order to help him buy a gift for mum (it also doesn’t help that her birthday is Christmas Eve). We usually end up at the Chanel counter, with Dad performing the “lost gift buying husband” look in order to lure one of the helpful women over, who will then get the perfume off the shelf and wrap it in fancy paper for him. Sorted.
Except this year Mum has told us that she doesn’t want any Chanel perfume…panic!
Luckily this has happened before, but it ended badly. One year Mum said that she wanted “that Kate Moss perfume“. Sadly there were two perfumes by Kate Moss, so I picked the one that smelt nicest to me. We wrapped it up, presented it to her in front of everyone, only to get a blank face and the response of “I didn’t ask for this one“. Dad and I could have cried, after all the effort that went into just finding where to buy it from.
There are so many memories that that Asda advert brings up, too many to post on here but I will say this to Mum, as she may read this:
Try not to get too stressed out…I’ve even bought you a present already!
And Dad…get ready for battle on the Norwich high street. We’re going in.
Got any fun Christmas memories? Post on here to share!
p.s. here’s my awesome mini Christmas tree: