Things I have learnt this Christmas...
* It doesn't have to be stressful - especially if the husband cooks on the big day.
* It's really quite nice to sing Christmas Carols around the piano like you're in an old black and white movie, drinking mulled wine..."So bring us some figgy pudding..."
* I do believe in the magic of Father Christmas. You have to believe to receive, right?
* My children have a ridiculous amount of toys. Too many. It makes me feel guilty.
* Relatives are best in short and sweet bursts.
* There is such a thing as overstaying your welcome.
* There is such a thing as too many turkey dinners.
* Sprouts are unsociable.
* Someone will always end up in tears on Christmas Day. Thankfully this year it wasn't me. Instead, an overwhelmed four year old.
* Never go sales shopping with your husband. It's miserable.
* Do get someone to look after the kids, go shopping with husband and spend more time having a lovely long lunch with a couple of glasses of wine, when you should be buying nappies and mince meat.
* Don't eat too many mince pies/sausages wrapped in bacon/brandy cream/stilton or your step mother will point out your mince pie belly and say - "Is there something you want to tell us?"
* Go out on New Years Eve. Especially to a wedding. Get drunk with your husband and mime along in a big circle to Auld Lang Syne. It sure beats watching Lenny Henry making a t*t of himself on Hootenanny.
* Don't let husband take too much time off work. He needs to go back before the squabbling begins.
* Don't let the last day before going back to work/school (where moods are fraught) make you forget about the wonderful, relaxing Christmas you have just had where you wanted to give your husband long deep kisses under the mistletoe.
* Remember that Christmas is just one day.
* And that a piece of chocolate orange solves everything, for everybody (except possibly nut allergy sufferers...)