The halls are decked, the doves are doving and the drummers are sipping Aldi sparkling wine (apparently little difference between that and real bubbly. Just another pearl of daytime TV wisdom for you there. Thanks Phil. Thanks Holly).
But there is one Christmas stone yet to be unturned in our house. And that is – what to wear come the 25th. (Stick with me).
Just this weekend youngest sister exclaimed that she “still needs to buy a Christmas outfit”, in the way one might say, “I’ve forgotten to order the turkey” or “the tree is alight”.
The Christmas Day Outfit (in case you don’t know…although I feel you must know. Surely we aren’t the only family dressed up like Downton come the big day?) is preferably:
- previously unworn
- not pyjamas
(Also overlooked on the 25th is the ‘no shoes in the house rule’- because without the ideal shoe, what is the Christmas outfit?)
I have rebuked this tradition for just about…ever. This is much to the distaste of Nanny Carol, who sees the day as ideal opportunity to showcase latest “low cut and high on the thigh number” (her words, not mine)*.
As proud, manure stinking horse owner, Christmas Days have inevitably begun and then ended with the routine of shoveling, sweeping, hay-ing and feeding. Why then would I waste precious moments that could be spent in front of festive M&S platter, doing a quick change?**
Among ironed shirts and heels, my Christmas’s have been spent looking like the stable girl that Downton kindly invited in for some turkey.
A change on my part is imminent. (Admittedly spurred by too much time in PJs or, worse still, ‘practical’ dress. 2015 has had me literally on the verge of Velcro)
In prep for my first fancy Christmas, I did some prying: why do some of us heed particular CD dress-code, since before the dawning of Trinny and Susannah time?
“if I’m spending 12 hours basting a turkey you can bloody well get dressed”
“because it’s an important family occasion”
“so it feels more like a party”
“a drawstring waistband would be dangerous around the dinner”
Now none of these people are awful or shallow humans. All are exceptionally kind, generous and wise to what Christmas is all actually all about. (hint: it’s not presents or how you look. Although presents are great).
We (and when I say ‘we’ I mean half of Instagram) talk so much talk about ‘mindfulness’ this and ‘live in the moment’ that. Maybe recognising the big day by way of dress is actually just that.
With carpet scratching through our tights (we’re inevitably sitting on the floor because all other seats are taken) and buttons straining on our nicest jeans, there’s nothing better to turn our attention back to the present moment on the Big Day.
So focused on the perspiration running wild under layers of sequins are we, that this is essentially mindfulness at its best.
And if that isn’t enough, then the visual reminder of your Aunty Sue adorned in velvet is likely to do the job.
So this year I’m all in. Happy Christmas to whoever may be reading.. time to shower myself in sequins and (inevitably) gravy.
* Before you envision Nanny Carol as a poor Peggy Mitchell imitation, she can carry off a pair of skinny jeans like few ladies I know.
** Only in recent less frequent horsing days have a realised that the smell alone is reason enough for this.