5 Reasons why the Christmas holidays pretty much suck


Ever seen those Pinterest vs Reality memes? The Pinterest image contrasted with the reality can be hilarious.

Known for its artful depictions of crafty cleverness, Pinterest can mesmerise you into thinking that you too can create skilfully fashioned knickknacks.

Suddenly, after dazedly scrolling much longer than is necessary, you find yourself making flan. You’ve never made flan, but heck, they make this look so easy! You imagine yourself carrying it out to an elegantly set table and accepting compliments on its texture and taste.

And then, when you take yours out of the oven, your “flan” is an inedible soup and you remember that you’ve never elegantly set a table and you can’t bake.

The December holidays are not dissimilar.

You’re within spitting distance of the holidays. It’s so close you can taste it. Scrolling through the images in your mind, you’re in a dream world in which you’re lounging in the sun, carefree and stylishly kitted out, cultivating a classy tan and sipping on a cocktail.

And then you remember you’re a parent.

When you’re in the throes of end-of-year work stress and you’re visualising your time off, it can be easy to forget that holidaying as a parent and holidaying as the childfree are worlds apart. Here then, to remind you that you don’t live in Pinterest and that when you’re a parent the Christmas holidays pretty much suck, are 5 “Pinterest vs Reality” holiday scenarios:

1. Pinterest: You turn off your alarm the night before day 1 of the holidays, smug in the knowledge that you don’t have to be awake at some ungodly hour to make school lunches and grit your teeth through school run traffic.

Reality: You’re up at 5am anyway, because your body clock hates you. At 5.05, you’re joined by your youngest, because he can smell despair. He asks what you’re going to make him for breakfast. 

2. Pinterest: On day 2, you’re Googling yourself into a coma, searching for “free and fun things to do with kids in Cape Town”. 

Reality: By the time you’ve reached page 10 of your Google search results, you’ve lost the will to live, because every one of your 23 suggestions have been rejected by the kids who’d much rather be playing Sims, thank you very much.

3. Pinterest: You cajole the kids into continuing the family tradition of decorating the Christmas tree, so you can take photos that you’ll happen upon in years to come and relive this charming memory.

Reality: Your eldest refuses to participate because “it’s lame”, so after taking photos of two out of three of your offspring, you cry softly into your wine.

4. Pinterest: You ask the kids to make their Christmas gift wishlists...

Reality: ...and then, after reading through them, you burn them because who has that kind of money anyway?

5. Pinterest: You gather all your recycling bits and bobs to lovingly make bespoke advent calendars for the kids, because you have the time to do these things now. Also, those shop ones are nasty and the chocolate is cheap.

Reality: When you’re up to your elbows in craft glue and wondering why you thought this would be easy, the kids ask you please, in the interest of your mental health and theirs, not to make another one of your crafty advent calendars because they love those store-bought abominations. You dutifully go out to buy them, but they’re all sold out because you’ve left it too late.

We don’t live in Pinterest, fellow parents. Just grit your teeth, buy the cheap chocolate, and nap when you can.

Soon, it’ll be January again.

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Have you found yourself in similar situations? Do you often find yourself struggling to live up to the picture perfect moments you see online? Tell us by commenting below or email us at chatback@parent24.com and we may publish your comments. 

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