This is an example of the way that Mr X makes everything difficult. A simple thing like a divorce, you might think, could be run in a civilised way, with everyone making small-talk over the mince pies at Christmas. Nope. We have to have total apartheid of all relatives and friends, no-one is allowed to speak to the enemy (me) and there must be no mention of my name or doings to darken the festive spirit. Huh. Well, as if all that isn't bah-humbug enough, now Mr X has instituted a further layer of division between us. While the treasures' stockings are filled, at my house, by lovely Father Christmas (when the darling is not too busy cancelling my parking tickets at Southwark Council, see previous blog), at Mr X's house, presents are brought by the Little Mouse.
Who?? I hear you gasp. Well, quite.
Of course, Mr X still lives Abroad most of the time, in a country with a slightly different Christmas story from ours. I suppose our own version is odd enough if looked at cold - large fat stranger pushes through chimney - how? why? - after being transported through the air by horned beasts. But I think theirs, featuring a mouse lugging gifts through the streets, is just plain ridiculous. How on earth could a mouse lift an Abercrombie and Fitch hoodie? Those things are heavy, due to their fleecy lining and ginormous price tag. And why anyone would want rodents involved in gift-giving? Most insanitary.
Much of this, naturally, is beside the point to the dear treasures these days. Only the thinnest veil hides the true identity of Father Christmas from their increasingly knowing adolescent eyes. We have a lot of conversations starting, 'Mummy, where did you, oh, I mean Father Christmas, get that CD/pen/notebook ...?'
Or we did. Now we have chats like this. 'Mummy, I like that top you got me. Where did you/Father Christmas/Daddy/the Little Mouse get it .....?
You see? It simply isn't fair on the dears.
Dulwich Divorcee is a fortysomething mother of two blundering through the legal system, Dulwich Park and life, in search of True Love. She's just like you - but maybe a bit sadder and trying to get wiser. Her first novel, Hot Chocolate, is due out in Autumn 2009. You can also read her column, Diary of a Divorce, in The Times.
Photo credit: Darny