Picture the scene; it’s Christmas Eve, the fairy lights twinkle, the festive scented candles flicker and glow casting their soft light up the walls and filling the room with the smells of Christmas. I lay half comatose at one end of the sofa having had the doom of the Winter Cold of 2012™ since the beginning of December. I’m not even joking.

Duffduffduffduffduffduff…the end credits of Eastenders roll, cue the husband peeling himself lazily off his warm seat and declaring he is going to bed.

Aren’t you helping me put the presents out first?

I chuck in the wide pleeeeeeeease eyes with a touch of if you don’t do this then so help me I’ll…scowl.

His eyes flick up to meet mine, bemused -well I must have looked a bit odd – and evidently quite clueless.

Santa. The presets from Santa. They go under the tree.

Still nothing.

Fucksake, WE are Santa. We need to bring everything downstairs and leave them under the tree. Tonight.

The penny drops, finally, with a thud almost as loud and dramatic as any closing moment of an Eastenders episode. I leave him assembling the train set – mumble mumble sigh I’ll get everything then shall I? – while I do three trips up and down the stairs, painstakingly avoiding the creaky spots, until all of the brightly wrapped bounty is pooling at the base of the tree.

Christmas. Is. Done.

Time for a celebratory biscuit or two and a cup of tea having managed to clean the house from top to bottom, re-organise all old toys in anticipation of all the new toys and resist the urge to drill holes into my own defunct sinuses after over two weeks of abject suffering.

We all got colds at the beginning of December. They were less off the shrug it off and get on with it with a few extra sneezes thrown in, more of the streaming rivers of warm, glistening snot, hacking cough and general moodiness variety.

The husband got better. Beans snot rivers ran dry and she was left with a nasty cough that only seemed to trouble her at night or when laughing hysterically. Usually at herself. Ok, usually at her own farts. I got better for all of about twelve hours, six of which I was asleep. Then I got another cold. As if I’m not already seeped in enough self pity…

Christmas morning dawned and we began the slowest descent down the stairs ever in the history of the universe. I used the time to explain to Beans about Santa and presents and to wake up enough to focus properly. Mornings aren’t my strong point.

We did the present thing; wrapping paper everywhere and a toddler who had no idea why all this was happening but mummy mummy mummy look at all this stuff and its all MINE and I want moremoreMORE.

No poppet, lets not paint now. I know they’re new paints but look, you still have more things to open and to play with and we’ll paint soon. Another day. Later.

Someone put the kettle on.

We played (new) football in our (new) tiara, a (new) discarded in a pile of its own glitter fairy princess costume and a (new) train set as goal posts because we totally don’t bow to gender stereotypes here apparently.

We saw family and ate food and by 9pm when all was finally silent and resembled something more akin to a home than an explosion in a Christmas factory I let out a satisfied sigh.

Hang on. What the what?

What the fuck I was actually genuinely really happy. It had been a really lovely day. Ahh, happy happy happy revel in the happy.

The clock ticks around to 10pm.

Oh god. I think I’ve got the flu.

Fast forward eleven hours and you would find the husband and I slumped on the sofa, pale and lifeless. We’re dying aren’t we? I muttered.

Beans ran around the room on full toddler warp speed, waving her arms in the air.


And just like that Christmas was kind of over. All the build up and the shopping and the wrapping and the reindeer food and the magic, it’s like you wake up on Boxing Day and someone’s already flicked the off switch.

It is when you have the flu and the husband has the flu and the toddler has somehow shaken off her lingering cough to become a freaking machine of looniness.

It was good though. Could have done without the germs but we had a cracking day.

Next year is going to be batshit crazy. And I can’t wait.