Thoroughly Modern Mammy Maria Rushe shares her rules to a happy Christmas with minions.

I just spent half an hour reading articles and blogs on “How to Survive Christmas” and “Top tips for Mums at Christmas”… and ooooooh how I giggled.  

It’s true that Christmas will change after kiddies pop along.

screenshot_20161216-213003In the days BC, I was an organised CHRISTMAS MACHINE. I’m talking Mary Poppins mixed with Martha Stewart. I had the cards all written and posted by December 1st, all gifts bought and wrapped by the end of The Toy show, and Christmas Eve and Morning were heavenly; Baileys before breakfast, Mickey Bubbles playing on a loop from the 23rd, visiting the family when we felt like it, agreeing to drinks with friends at the last minute…

Now, with 2 minions, Christmas is different.

But I wouldn’t change it for the world. I’m not organised AT ALL this year. I am only half way through my “to-do” lists and this weekend, the whole house is sick. Typical eh?

I adore Christmas and I enjoy “creating” Christmas in my home, but is it picture perfect? No. Christmas in my house is chaos and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  

If you’d like to read my honest responses to some of the “handy tips and advice” that I stumbled across online, have a look at last night’s blog on my Facebook page.

But for you lovelies, I shall spare the profanities and simply give you MY Christmas rules. I stick to these and they help. Add your own in the comments!

1. Choose a cut-off time.  For me, it’s 11.30am on Christmas Eve.  Even if I have everything bought and sorted, I still go into town first thing that morning. I pick up any last bits and pieces…(and then ring my Dad to get his “last minute” list)… have a coffee and enjoy driving back OUT of town just as it’s getting busy!   Anything that isn’t bought or delivered at this point, can and will wait.

2. Start your own traditions.  I’m not talking “make your own decorations” or “Ice the Christmas cake together”… I’m talking hot chocolate and a Christmas Movie. Mini-Me and I always bake cookies for Santa. Rachel Allen I am not. But if you go to any baking aisle, there are a variety of wonderful “just add water” packages which can make your Mini-Me THINK you’re a domesticated Goddess. Let them at the finished products with icing tubes or even better, grab one of these sets and have fun.



3. Do NOT wrap all of the “Special” gifts.  Who the hell started this one? To me, this is like ironing socks.  Yes it looks lovely and possibly gives a sense of satisfaction, but seriously…life is too short. By the time I’ve wrapped the gifts for nieces and nephews and The Him, I’m three papercuts away from opening another bottle of red.

4. If you have young kids or a baby, stick to their routine if you can.  If your baby usually naps at 2pm, don’t agree to be somewhere at 2pm unless you know they can take their nap there.  Or plan driving times.  Timing drives to your baby’s naptime can make life easier for you and your minions.  Your 18 month old doesn’t understand “Ah it’s Christmas”.  This is obviously a very personal choice, but for me, bedtime is bedtime. And my two will still be up at 6am, regardless of what time I keep them up until.

20161216_2133135. Give yourself a break.  A Christmas inspector will not visit your house unannounced to check that the skirting boards were cleaned or that the veg is prepared before bedtime on Christmas Eve.  Use disposable Turkey trays, buy pre-peeled spuds, buy mince pies and a jar of cranberry sauce and have chocolate for breakfast.  Stay in your PJs. Let the living room stay messy. If you don’t like Turkey, cook chicken! The most important thing is not the dinner.  It is not what your visitors think of your sitting room.  It is NOT how perfect your day is.

It’s you.  It’s your family,  (whatever shape it may take!) It’s your kids.

It’s the fact that the world allows itself to shut down, just for a day and it allows us some magic.  We can all find magic, but the best place to look for it is in the little faces of your kids, or nieces and nephews, or grandkids.

6. Do the sprinkling of reindeer dust on the doorstep. It’s wicked.

7. Reading “The Night before Christmas” is a must for us.

Have a Thoroughly Magical Christmas Mammies. It will pass like every other day, and when the kiddies are tucked up in bed after the sugar high, enjoy every sparkling second and raise a glass to parents. Cheers!