There is a tradition in Ireland (the Emerald Isle where Mr fhb was bought up) that on the 6th January a woman’s hard work over the festive period is recognised in that she is given a ‘day off’ from any domestic tasks/caring duties.
Traditionally this has involved women meeting together with friends, maybe in a pub (where for one day they were allowed) the women might enjoy a corned beef sandwich and drink stout, there was much laughter and merriment – as you left your troubles at the door (a phrase that I heard my mother in law using). Today the day is more likely to consist of women meeting in a wine bar for lunch, having a spa day or sharing a meal that they have collectively cooked.
You may consider that all of this is outdated and sexist, the phrase alone might be considered patronising; ‘little christmas’ implies a more modest meal then that typically enjoyed by the men, and that it overlooks the fact that today many men contribute to the cooking, planning and preparation involved with Christmas. I think there is some validity to this argument, however, I maintain that the majority of domestic and caring work in the home is largely undertaken by women, and that they also typically shoulder the burden of the emotional labour too.
I do find Christmas exhausting. We have just packed away all the decorations and got rid of the tree. I have spent the last couple of days since the kids have been back at school clearing up the house. Over Christmas we had family to stay, and we also hosted the day at home. I feel like I haven’t spent very long out of the kitchen and I am tired, really tired.
If I want a day off I have to go out, and occasionally I do, but maybe not enough. (I tend to miss them when I do) but I love meeting up with friends and also enjoy some time alone for a walk, swim, or simply to go to a concert, watch a film or read a book somewhere quiet and free from interruptions.
I guess what I like most about this tradition is the fact that the work that goes into Christmas is acknowledged and valued. But I don’t think this should just take place at Christmas time, I hope that the whole family, older children especially can recognise and appreciate how hard women (and many men) work in the home, 365 days a year.
Here’s to all of us, and, whatever you are doing tomorrow it would be nice to think we all have chance to relax at some point during the day…
Have a lovely weekend,
Do you like the idea of a day of fun and downtime for women post Christmas? How would you like to spend this day? Is this just not an option for you because you are a lone parent and don’t have anyone to help with the childcare at home? Do you think this day is outdated and sexist in the modern world? Do you think it is anti-men, implying they don’t help around the house? What about a dad’s little christmas? Is this just sexist and patronising? Do you like the idea of a day to yourself, you feel exhausted after all the work of Christmas and would appreciate your other half acknowledging and facilitating this?