What a Middle-Aged Woman Really Wants for Christmas

The predictable answer would be diamonds, but, failing that, there are a few less expensive, but equally precious things that would make my Christmas extra special this year:

Finland’s Government. Too much to ask for? OK, I’ll aim lower.

A Brilliant Box Set. It’s a quiet one for us this year, so I’m hoping for a bit of quality TV time. I want to binge on flawed characters, a mystery I think I’ve solved but haven’t, a bit of raunchy sex, and for it to go on for at least three series (the box set, not the sex).

Someone else to make Christmas Dinner. With crispy goose-fat roasties, almost caramelised parsnips, two hundred pigs in blankets and enough gravy to float a flotilla. You’re right, it’s too important to hand over to someone else, I’d struggle to be grateful if they didn’t do it my way. I’ll do it myself and they can wash up.

Free Calories. I would like to be able to eat the above dinner without putting on at least five unshiftable pounds.

A Cuddle from my teenage daughter. And not a standard cuddle, where I cajole or bribe her for measly bodily contact, which ends up as a reluctant kind of lean-in. I want the whole shebang, arms wrapped around each other, heads in the crook of the neck stuff.

I’m more likely to get diamonds.

No Hangover. I’d like to be able to drink two glasses of wine without being drunk enough to post self-aggrandising rubbish on social media and without waking up the next morning with a dry mouth and the kind of self-loathing hangxiety that should be reserved for people on death row.

Presents in gift bags. Imagine the joy of waking up on Christmas morning and seeing a carpet of brightly coloured gift bags under the tree. Everyone could lift out their over-priced tut without ripping, tearing and fetching scissors, do their oooing and ahhhing, and I could join in without glaring at the tiny bits of paper fluttering like Christmas confetti and being the killjoy hovering with the bin bag.

The gift bags could then be neatly folded and stored to be used again next year, because… the environment…

Photos with me in them. There are endless beautiful photos of my husband and daughters, but I’m always the one shouting, ‘stay there, I want a picture!’ (Full disclosure – my daughter reminded me I delete every photo of myself anyway because I don’t like it. She’s not wrong. Maybe I should change this to I want to like myself in photos, but that’s a whole other article).

No Niggling pains. I wax lyrical about the joys of middle-age, and I mean every single word, but there is, inevitably, a downside to ageing. The wear and tear makes itself known with an arthritic joint here, a frozen shoulder there. I’d quite like them to bugger off for the festive period so I can party like it’s 1999 without waking up knowing it very definitely isn’t.

A Time Machine. I came across a picture of my daughters when they were aged 2 and 6 last week and my fingers physically itched to get hold of them. I want to pull them onto my lap, smell the top of their heads, wrap myself around their tiny, squidgy bodies. I want a time machine to go back and live all the special moments again, because children grow so very, very fast.

I suppose I have a kind of time machine inside my head. I will always have the memories of watching my family grow, and, hopefully, the privilege of making more memories with them.

At this time of year, I would do well to remember not everyone has that good fortune, so, even if I do put on a few pounds and clear up a bit of wrapping paper, I am still the luckiest of souls.

Merry Christmas one and all.


Feature Photo by Jill Wellington on Pexels

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