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So is Christmas women's work then?

(254 Posts)
Katisha Wed 22-Dec-10 15:38:54

Following on from my thread here in which in would appear that left to their own deives most, (not all), men would hardly bother with Christmas at all, I would be interested to know why this is.

Is it because women do it all for them? Is it because only women want all the traditional food, decorations, visiting, card sending and frenzy of present buying?

Are women propping up some ridiculous commercial christmas industry and men are right to despise/ignore it?

Or what?

Katisha Wed 22-Dec-10 15:39:28

..own devices ...

BlingLoving Wed 22-Dec-10 15:42:53

Interesting. I didn't actually go to that thread although I saw it a few times.

There is no doubt that I take on the bulk of Christmas planning responsibility. But that's because I take on most forward planning responsibility in our house. I am much better at it. Dh takes on the bulk of day to day tasks. So, at Christmas, he will do all the last minute shopping that's required, organise decorations, do the required tidying up etc. We have family staying with us and he's spent the last week trying to work out how to sort out the strange smell in our guest bedroom which is something that would not even have crossed my mind until the day.

So in our case, no, Christmas is not women's work. but I can see how it would easily be seen as such as a lot of men do just kind of drift along.

LynetteScavo Wed 22-Dec-10 15:47:13

Christmas involves forward planning, which men tend to be less good at than women.

If Christmas was left entirely to men to organise, things would still be the same, but there would be a massive surge of people in the shops a couple of days before Christmas. It would be ridiculous.

snowflake69 Wed 22-Dec-10 15:51:46

I dont do much really. I have bought some presents for our daughter and have bought booze. I ordered a few little bits online and then amazon gift wrapped them for me and posted them out. Other than that the only think I have done is bought some primark crackers.

I dont cook and would never even contemplate cooking something complicated like a Christmas dinner shock. I dont send cards even though I get loads cause I dont see the point in them personally.

notjustapotforsoup Wed 22-Dec-10 15:53:28

I wonder if these men would get away with the "not a good forward planner" excuse at work. Or if their bosses give them leeway because of this clear and accepted handicap they have. Or if women's skill in this area is recognised and rewarded by their employers given that forward planning is essential in a business context.

FFS, Lynette.

Katisha Wed 22-Dec-10 15:54:22

But snowflake I would say that you are not typical really. It seems to me to be women, not men, who attach a lot of emotional signifcance to Christmas and I really want to know why. DH likes and organises the food, but that's all really.

snowflake69 Wed 22-Dec-10 15:56:08

I absolutely love Christmas. I am the biggest kid going. I just dont want to be the one organising it wink

msrisotto Wed 22-Dec-10 15:56:09

I dunno, I think in my family, it's more just that it's always been my mum's job and dad has always taken a back seat, except for where manly things were called for such as extending the table or fetching and dragging the tree in the house.

I wouldn't say men generally despise it! My dad loves xmas and the family time it brings with it. But then he's never really had the stress of cooking for 14 people. I'm not contributing anythng intelligent here.....

snowflake69 Wed 22-Dec-10 15:59:13

My dad always cooked Christmas dinner growing up as he is a chef. I dont see the point in spending Christmas in the kitchen when you could be eating and getting drunk, my mum thinks the same so we just left it to him.

As we have got older we usually go to hotels so no one has to do it but this year my dad is cooking it.

Rhian82 Wed 22-Dec-10 16:04:10

DH and I are very similar to my parents really - I sort the cards and presents, he buys and cooks the food (and loads the dishwasher after). It was exactly the same growing up, Dad did food, Mam did presents.

I'm not fussed on food, he doesn't really see the point of cards and doesn't plan ahead enough to do the presents. Works for us.

dittany Wed 22-Dec-10 16:06:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BlingLoving Wed 22-Dec-10 16:06:42

Oh, and yes, DH loves CHristmas more than I do. And takes the whole thing very seriously. He just doesn't think about the food we'll eat or where we'll eat it as he never thinks about that.

Growing up, my dad cooked christmas dinner, and still does.

NineNieciesDancing Wed 22-Dec-10 16:07:17

DH is self employed so yes he does get away with lack of planning at work and then ends up shockingly busy in December and January (he's an accountant). I despair sometimes although in his defence, he is often waiting on the owners of other businesses, who are also often men, to provide him with information so that just compounds the lack of planning!

It does mean that I have to plan and do most of the work at Christmas. I care more about it though. DH would be happy with a few pressies for us and the children and a nice lunch. He wouldn't bother with the decorations and the cards and presents for wider family although he does appreciate the effort and certainly enjoys the little oasis of peace inbetween busy working months.

BeattieBow Wed 22-Dec-10 16:14:40

I don't think it is - at least not in my house. dh is more into inviting lots of people round and making it a big event. If it was down to me, I'd have just my children and we'd eat whatever we want. He wants the whole turkey thing. he has done the food shopping and we planned the menus together (if I have to have a big lunch, I want it to be nice!).

He doesn't buy cards or presents for his family, but neither do I - so they do without! we both buy things for our children.

Katisha Wed 22-Dec-10 16:17:38

Sorry to harp on, but WHY are men generally not very interested in presents, cards, the wider social implications beyond their own immediate family?

Same with birthdays to some extent, where the remembering and sending of cards/presents falls to the woman.

I just wonder if women should just stop some of this and see what happens.

AMumInScotland Wed 22-Dec-10 16:18:27

I didn't go on the other thread as DH is more organised than I am, and it looked like a thread for smugly saying how wonderfully organised we are, compared with them.

DH does as much of the present buying, card writing and decorating as me, and considerably more of the shopping-list writing and actual shopping. He does less of the cooking, but that is down to a physical disability, and he does what is realistic of the preparation.

AbsofCroissant Wed 22-Dec-10 16:20:34

Can't comment on xmas, but generally anything involving forward planning falls under my remit as DP is so freaking useless at it, whereas I am a forward planner extraordinaire (and have had same experience with many male friends - they just don't seem to think that way). However, he is coming around to the joy of having an idea what's coming up and paying less for things as you got there first. We've planned all our trips for the next 12 months. Genius

SlightlySparkly Wed 22-Dec-10 16:22:39

In our house, it is mostly me that organises/buys everything, but in all honesty that is more of a control issue. DH would do the shopping etc if allowed asked, but it wouldn't be right and he would then be faced with me doing a cats bum mouth at the 'wrong kind of turkey' / 'unsuitable presents'.

I like doing it all. I get to have it my way and be the christmas martyr grin

AbsofCroissant Wed 22-Dec-10 16:23:07

What I don't get is all these women who take responsibility for remembering and organising stuff for his family's b'days. What happened before you came along? My ex expected me to remember his DM's b'day hmm so one year I dumped him in and wished his mother on my behalf, but didn't tell him.

My mother is the extreme example of remembering everything that ever happened and turning it into an anniversary. She'll call you on some random day and go "do you remember what happened today 15 years ago?" "um, no." "well, it's the anniversary of when your great aunt bought her first car". <<confused and underwhelmed silence>>

dittany Wed 22-Dec-10 16:23:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

madwomanintheattic Wed 22-Dec-10 16:24:19

dad always cooked. dh cooks now. he and i have done all the major present shopping together (and he is responsibole for ideas for his side of the family) - i've bought a few bits and bobs when i've been out on my own when i've seen them, and he has too.

normally i put up our tree and get the lights on with one of my girlfriends though - it's an annual ritual involving a lot of wine, a few mince pies, and background carols, whilst she confesses her many and various secret exploits from the year past. grin i get to live them vicariously, it's the highlight of my year. grin the decorating of the tree is done the following morning with the dcs, whilst we nurse hangovers. dh is always away with work, somehow... (careful timing)

that said, my girlfriend emigrated to oz this year, so i had to do the tree with dh. there were no carols, no mince pies, no wine, and he extended military engineering precision to the affair. it took about twenty minutes, instead of four hours of slightly hysterical bumbling. i love him dearly, but next year i'm back to organising that little tradition. grin

women's work? only if you make it that way, i think. it's the same with anything going on in the home - both parties are culpable if they swallow the cultural status quo, not just the men.

AbsofCroissant Wed 22-Dec-10 16:25:06

Exactly dittany. If women run around and do all these things (and I know I run around and do a lot of stuff taking on the martyr mantle) men will continue to expect women to do it. And anyway - if it was reversed and you knew all this stuff would be sorted out without you worrying about it, would you?

TrillianAstra Wed 22-Dec-10 16:25:12

The 'what would Xmas look like' thread did sound like it would be one of those horrid 'look how crap men are' threads, so I avoided.

DP and I were fairly equal on decorations, I am in charge of food but that is because I am always in charge of food (by choice). There's not much else to be done.

madwomanintheattic Wed 22-Dec-10 16:26:29

oh abs, not here lol. dh is responsible for remembering everyone's birthday. we've been in a right state since he got blown up and can't remember when they are. grin we've had to resort to a blooming birthday book, of all things. if only i could remember where we've put it...

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