Tuesday, 22 December 2009

What does Mrs Christmas do?

I have no idea where this Mrs Christmas thing came from - when I was a child, Father Christmas was definitely a confirmed bachelor, all alone but for the elves.
But somebody has told my son there is a Mrs Christmas, and now he wants to know (roughly every ten minutes) what she does. So far, I don't have a satisfactory answer.
Given the stage of Christmas preparations I've now reached (Def Con 2 and counting) am sorely tempted to hiss through gritted teeth: "Everything! She does everything! Right up until ten to midnight on Christmas Eve, when Father Christmas casually wanders past and says 'so have we done the stockings for the entire world this year, then, or what?'"
But that's not in keeping with the spirit of the season. Nor will I promote the idea that she cooks and cleans for Father C, mucks out the reindeer, skivvies for the elves, etc. I'm worried enough about what kind of role model I've become by giving up full time work.
So in the end I said Mrs Christmas goes out to work so that Father Christmas can afford all the presents. This did not go down well: admittedly it's not very magical. I feel I have let Mrs Christmas down with the job description.
The boy is still asking, so if anyone has any better answers, please shout. Meanwhile since she has appeared on the scene, I'm wondering whether along with the mince pie and sherry for her husband (plus carrot for the reindeer, obviously) we should be leaving something out for poor exhausted Mrs Christmas on the 24th?
I'm only guessing. But if a large gin and tonic and a family size tin of Quality Street, say, were left by our fireplace then I bet it would be gone by morning. Magic, eh?


  1. Since Mr appears to do the deliveries solo Mrs must be back at base running logistics at HQ - rather like BT engineers with their just in time job scheduling. And since it's very inefficient to return to base empty, having Mr collect any food based gratuities on behalf of Mrs would be fitting.

    In the run up to Christmas I imagine Mr deals mostly with the boys toys, while Mrs is handling the girls. Of course, with Mr getting stuck in chimneys for as long as we can all remember he has tended to get the lions share of the attention all these years, while Mrs' efforts have largely gone unsung.

  2. Geee when I was a child old fella was single and nobody was wondering what is he doing with elves nowdays you have to be politically correct so to avoid telling he might be old gay or worse... there has to be Mrs.

    and then again if Mrs C was there from the very start, as most of the women, doing their job in home are unmentioned

    luckily my lil one doesnt talk yet so i have time to come up with smth before she starts asking questions

    Merry Christmas

  3. Doesn't Mrs Christmas lounge around in her dressing gown, watching Jeremy Kyle and eating chocolates while wondering if it's time yet for the first gin of the day?

  4. Behind every great man is an even greater woman? She needs a large G+T and a back rub left for her on Xmas eve.

  5. Mother Christmas, not Mrs Christmas. I remember looking for her sitting by the chimney with Father Christmas when letters were posted up to them from the fireplace on Stir-Up Sunday. Of course she flies in the sleigh on Christmas Eve.

    I don't think her absence from conventional pictures ever bothered me, though perhaps there was less saturation coverage of Father Christmas when I was young.

    I did instantly snap up a snow globe 20 years ago that shows both of them. I hoped it was a harbinger of more to come, but have never seen her again.

  6. It's a good point. When I gave up work this year, I was really worried about the role model I would become. It comes down to the fact, and Mrs Christmas suffers from this too, that housewife as a role is undervalued because it's a traditionally female role and unpaid. If you look at what we actually do, and value it as if we were a nanny, cleaner, housekeeper etc. - it would be at least 50k a year live-in. So let's hear it for Mrs Christmas. Like us, she probably doesn't ask for a salary, but she values the little luxuries that Christmas Eve brings, and a few chocolates and a little bottle of gin wouldn't go amiss I'm sure. Thanks for reminding me of the woman behind the man.

  7. Hello Gaby
    having read your recent article in the RSA journal, would like to invite you to speak at a literary festival in March (Oxford) to join another speaker about social media and the rise of the citizen journalist. Do not know how to contact you but can send you my e mail so I can send more details if this might be of interest. sewalker3@hotmail.com

  8. Just found a new discount warehouse, with lots of Christmas stuff half-price. Mrs Claus apparently does her stuff in a very short fur-trimmed skirt.