Tuesday, 22 December 2009

First I do Christmas and then I conquer the world....

The one good thing about having a party on the 18th December is that it forces you to tidy away all the clutter beforehand, and give the house a thorough cleaning afterwards. Spent much of Saturday washing sofa covers and scrubbing the kitchen (don't ask) with the result that everywhere is now looking unnaturally tidy, gleaming and like the home of someone who is in control of the whole Christmas juggernaut.

Of course, this is all a complete illusion, but at least after a last frantic shopping day yesterday the daughters are roughly equal in present terms. This is an annual challenge; balancing the number of parcels to be unwrapped with both the 'wow factor' and the amount spent, and having three girls makes it particularly challenging. Choosing sparkly fripperies that are equal in charm and value and yet still distinctly original and well-suited to the daughter in question requires a range of skills that you could only possibly hope to find if you melted together the brains of a management accountant, a psychologist, Kofi Anan and one of those style journalists who do annoying London-centric shopping features in Sunday magazines.

Anyway, in the midst of all this it's been fabulous to discover that so many people took the time out of their own festive preparations to answer the competiton question for a chance to win a copy of Powerful Italian Penniless Housekeeper (and it's also been gorgeous to get your messages in the emails too.) The daughters picked two winners each from an empty Quality Street box, and the names that came out are... Peggy, Jacqueline, Kelly, Jayne H, Sri and Susan. I'll email you later to get addresses and put the books in the post (where they'll no doubt spend a quiet Christmas, but hopefully arrive soon after.)

Am now off to look for something to give the children for breakfast. This year I very cunningly booked my Sainsburys online shop well in advance and felt enormously smug and in control. However, when it was delivered on Sunday I remembered that I'd only ordered bizarre seasonal items like dill sauce, mini-sausages-wrapped-in-bacon and 300 lemons and there isn't a box of Cheerios in sight.

(I wonder what toast and brandy butter is like?)


Anonymous said...

kitchen scrubbing... sofa cushions..
good grief woman.
Get a grip.
And chocolate. LOL
Many congrats on the present shopping. My teenage neices wanted cash for haveing tatoos and their lips pierced - but they are both over 16, so.. I suppose you have that yet to come. and it does save on wrapping paper.
Hope you have fun in the snow with the family.

Sally Clements said...

Aha. You have done all the things I am supposed to be doing, instead of browsing twitter, and blogs. Hmm. Am now feeling suitably chastened and ashamed and slinking off to do the washing up...

India said...

Nina, the body art and piercing is an inspired gift idea for those moments when you realise you've forgotten to get a present for someone vital. I shall be sure to carry an envelope containing cash and a home-made voucher for the local studio at all times this Christmas (and just hope I've got all gifts to elderly aunts and small children covered already!)

(Not much snow here. All very, very disappointing and repeated news bulletins featuring reporters knee deep in pristine drifts is just rubbing salt into the wounds.)

Sally, this is terrible! This blog is supposed to have the effect of making everyone else feel positively goddess-like in comparison to me, because I am the world's champion slattern and Queen of chaos. Step away from that washing up bowl immediately and stop making me feel so guilty!


Nell Dixon said...

As a fellow mum of three girls you have my sympathies when it comes to the gift giving. I think chocolate digestives are a perfect nutritionally balanced breakfast anyway. Cereal is very overrated.