by Rachel Ragg
Well, blow me down. Yet more proof that mothers are stressed out and unappreciated.
Research by Galaxy chocolate-makers has shown that two out of five mothers spend more than 40 hours planning and preparing for their family’s Christmas. A quarter of these said they started preparing in September; one in eight admitted that they started as soon as the Christmas decorations went back in their boxes in January.
Their male partners, on the other hand, spend an average of five hours doing Christmassy things. Presumably one hour trying to untangle the tree lights and another four hours swearing at them and sourcing last-minute replacement bulbs with white tips.
The same survey said that one in seven women felt that their festive efforts were unappreciated, and one in five felt that their other halves were no good at choosing Christmas presents.
Hang on a moment. Only 40 hours?
This morning, I suddenly remembered that the children break up tomorrow, so I went to buy my son a watch. Four hours later, I came home with a tea-towel for my husband’s oldest daughter.
I then spent a further hour on the internet failing to find a watch for a nine-year-old that wasn’t suitable for a rapper, didn’t come with an ID tag attached, and wasn’t a ‘time-teacher’.
So that was five hours gone in one day, and I’ve not even queued for a turkey in M&S yet.
As for feeling unappreciated: surely that statistic is the wrong way round? I can’t believe that six in seven women feel that their lovingly chosen gifts and hand-stitched Christmas tablecloth are actually appreciated in the carnage of Christmas morning.
While we’re at it, it can’t really be only one in five who reckons that their other half is a dead loss at choosing presents. I know that I am getting a Brora tank top this year – because I bought it for a tenner on eBay and handed it over to my husband so he could surprise me on Christmas Day. Just to be on the safe side. If I ever want to really punish him, I will tell him he has to buy Christmas presents for his own family.
So why do we go to all this effort when we feel stressed, unappreciated, and scared of receiving a novelty apron from our well-meaning other halves?
Well, it’s because … actually, I haven’t got the faintest idea. But if Galaxy would like to sponsor me in chocolate to come up with an answer, I might just manage it.