Dianne McDonald: A woman’s 12 days of Christmas

Dianne McDonald

On the 12th day of Christmas my true love gave to me …

Twelve guests expected,

Eleven last-minute presents,

Ten family dramas,

Nine kinds of cookies,

Eight more pounds on my butt,

Seven sticky-note lists,

Six nights of no sleep,

Fiiiiive hungry kids.

Four bill collectors,

Three pairs of high heels,

Two twisted ankles,

And one woman does it all again!

This time of year is more evident than ever that women are the supreme multi-taskers of most families. We cook. We clean. Rinse and repeat. It is easy for women to fall into the submissive and subservient roles that females have been assigned for centuries.

Who in your home deals with the holiday menu and the planning, buying and wrapping of any gifts; cleans the house; decks the halls; and somehow dresses themselves and any children for all gatherings?

I was VERY stressed about hosting a holiday party recently. A true comrade of mine told me NOT to clean for my female friend guests. How they really wouldn’t care about a few dust bunnies and fingerprints. She also recommended that I NOT bake a variety of desserts, and rather opt for bakery-bought tasty treats.

Her advice saved me hours of anxiety and stress about party preparations. I was more relaxed the day of the party and humbly explained away my messy house with humor to my guests.

Don’t go crazy cooking, cleaning and doing everything for everybody this holiday season … or you really will go crazy. Remember that your friends and family are not spending holiday time with you to see your Martha Stewart  mantel or your Betty Crocker pastries. Rather, they are spending holiday time with you, well, just to be with you. Enjoy whatever holiday you celebrate!

Patriot Ledger writer Dianne McDonald is a working mother who lives in Marshfield, Mass., with her husband and five kids.