Thursday, January 03, 2008

Did you have a lovely Christmas?

In the rush to get everything ready for school, I overlooked a couple of things.

The first was that this morning I polished two left shoes. Yes, two left shoes, of the same design, the only difference was that one was slightly smaller than the other. This was discovered just before we left for school, already a couple of minutes late. Having uncovered a right shoe from the shoe pile, this meant that my eldest started his first day with one polished shoe and one unpolished one. An oddity but not a worry. He can always wear the other pair tomorrow.

The second thing was the "first day back syndrome", where people smile innocently and customly ask that dreaded question....

"Did you have a lovely Christmas?"

This can hit you anywhere, whether at school, at work, when you bump into friends on the street, over the phone etc.

It's all very well if you did have a lovely time, but what if you didn't?

Do you lie, smile politely and say "yes thank you, did you?" and are then cross with yourself for having lied to save yourself from pity and the enquirer from boredom.

Or do you tell the truth and sound like an old git....grumpy guns ablazing with stories of tiredness, crap weather, several failed winter walks (one because of a misunderstanding and the other because you forgot the wellies and didn't realise until after a 20 minute drive) rowdy kids at the Christmas table, discovering a cracked windscreen and finally culminating in your husband coming down with a sickness bug just before New Year's Eve. (Although on the bright side, there was an enjoyable visit from sister and family inbetween.)

If you offer this kind of response one thing's for sure, you won't give the enquirer chance to tell you about their Christmas, particularly if they are in a hurry.

However, unless you want to be expelled into the same dark corner of social appreciation as the Grim Reaper, the best advice is to tell the truth to your close friends only...where you can have a good laugh over the unfortunate series of events.

For those who are less could try grinning and bearing it, whilst you consider the silver lining of an almost dark cloud".

"There were some lovely presents...what about you?"

"Yes...and we particularly enjoyed our very first home-made Christmas Cake!"

"It was such a lovely time to catch up with the family"

"We enjoyed some quiet nights in"

There, now that's what I call positive spin. Don't worry if you have to use each answer several times as you reply to the many enquirers. With answers like these you'll feel instantly better and no-one will be none the wiser.


Florries Mum said...

I know just what you mean. I came down with the sickness bug Christmas Eve, carried it over until Boxing Day then generously passed the baton over to Bury Boy. We are now much recovered, but I smile sickeningly when asked the dreaded question. And when you work with the public all day thats a lot of smiles. And a lot of leftover cheese, pate, cold meats,chocolates,cream, fruit,etc etc. We should start a swop site for recipes for using perishable leftovers. Or just have another party.Hic.

21st Century Mummy said...

Florries poor thing (and BB too), but having to smile at all those people...that's even worse. I've still got cranberry sauce coming out of my ears (not literally of course - sorry for that image. I think a party is definitely the answer. ;-D

Jo Beaufoix said...

My kids aren't back till Monday so I've not seen the school crowd yet. Thanks for all the answers. Our Christmas was ok, but I don't want to dwell on it. It's done now.

Paul F said...

Nice post 21CM. I must confess to answering by hesitating and depending on who the polite enquirer is choose between:

"Is such a thing possible?"

"Christmas is really for children"

"I appreciated a few days off to reorganise my study"


But then I AM a miserable old git.

21st Century Mummy said...

Hi Jo - best to be prepared. Hope you have a great weekend and enjoy the rest of your time with the little missees ;-D

Hi Paul - blimey, so glad I didn't bump into you while I was in my own disheartened phase ;-D