A byllaw banning chores in December

I NEVER thought I’d say this, but I’ve had enough of Christmas.

Me! Who has played Santa Claus more times than… well, anyone except Santa Claus, probably.

Me, who begins to get excited when I open the first door of the Advent calendar, and who builds to an embarrassing crescendo over the following 24 days until I explode on Christmas morning with such cheerfulness and excessive bonhomie that the family makes excuses for me.

This year, however, I am finally exhausted.

Not by Christmas, but by preparing for Christmas.

And not by preparing Christmassy things, either.

Stirring puddings, feeding the cake with brandy, buying pressies, putting up decorations, over-decorating the tree (I know it’s in there somewhere under the tinsel and little balls), making a fool of myself at office parties – I love it all.

But it appears there are other things that come under the general heading of preparing for Christmas. Like mending the gate, turfing the front yard, building the kitchen cupboards (actually building the kitchen cupboards was last year’s job, but I only got as far as ripping out the old ones. On Christmas Eve).

What has any of this got to do with Christmas!

I want a bylaw that says wives may not demand ordinary domestic chores be done during December. How am I supposed to get festive with all this mundane stuff in the way?

I don’t care if the shower is a mess, or the gate has fallen off, or the lawn is a desert. Santa is coming down the chimney, for heaven’s sake! He won’t even see the lawn. And he won’t have time for a shower.

It’s another one of those man-woman things.

My wife wants the windows cleaned. I know, with greater certainty than at any other time of year, that I will not be looking out of the windows over Christmas.

Except to tell my granddaughter that if she listens very carefully she’ll hear Santa’s sleigh bells. But it’ll be dark by then and clean windows won’t matter.

There’s no point in trying to fulfil all your partner’s dreams about what needs to be done by Christmas, because it’s like the magic porridge pot – no matter how much you eat, there’s more of the confounded stuff!

My wife says man-woman thing, my bum! (Her bum, actually).

She says it’s a bone-idle thing. She might be right. All I can say is that no one should have to worry about building kitchen cupboards when the festive season is upon them.

Apart from anything else, alcohol and power tools don’t mix.

She says there’s nine days to go and haven’t I started a bit early.

Well, yes, possibly.

But can’t you feel it! Can’t you sense the spirit (alcohol jokes apart) gradually taking over!

I love it. I walk through the mall and I want to lift every child over my head and cry: “Yo! ho! ho!” but you can probably get arrested for that.

So I just smile a lot and wish everybody Happy Christmas.

And that’s Happy Christmas, not Merry Christmas. It’s a personal thing, but in my view it should be universal. You can be merry any time. All that take is a carton, or two bottles of red.

But happy – that takes some serious effort. And it has nothing at all to do with broken gates or clean windows.