Night after nauseating night of sleeplessness over how to logistically fit a turkey for 10, plus roast potatoes, parsnips, sausages and stuffing into a stupidly small-to-Liliputian-proportion oven. So much for the Aga in the country retreat.
In the good ol' days, Christmas was the season to be jolly - it was bonus season. Now I am reduced to the seasonal joy of sticking my hand up a 5kg bird and not having a clue what to do with the giblets.
I know this is a terrible, uncharitable and totally bah-humbug thing to say, but I can't wait for everyone to leave already. I just want to sit in front of the open (gas) fire (chestnuts roasting clearly not an option) with a mulled wine and a good book, not slave away for hours in the kitchen red-faced and swearing, while everyone in the other room gets inebriated on booze (the adults) or chocolate (the kids).
Then when everyone is fed and watered, family arguments aired and toys fought for and cried over, they will all coast away while I spend the rest of the festive day cleaning and washing up. The perks of the modern day - not in the least bit Victorian-era - woman. And that's without mentioning the weeks (if not months) of military-precision planning and shopping that have already been wasted in the preamble to this joyous occasion.
If I don't get a blindingly big gesture of a gift from the big man in the red suit, I may deliberately sabotage the turkey to declare my incompetence for future Crimbo culinary duties.