Alright, lads. Your lady is out celebrating Nollaig na mBan (Women’s Christmas) with her girlfriends. Traditionally, this is your turn to take on a larger share of the household chores. Here are a few ideas to keep you busy:
1. Spend time with the kids.
Obviously, if you have children keeping them safe, happy, and fed will be your primary task for the evening. (Most dads today are well used to these jobs, but I imagine that it was a bit of an adventure for our grandfathers on Women’s Christmasses gone-by!) Why not enlist the kids’ help in some of the chores? For a few golden years, they can even be convinced that cleaning is fun! Maybe you’ll have time to pull out a board game or read a favorite book together, too.
2. Take down decorations.
Now, this is a traditional task for men on Women’s Christmas, but it’s a dicey proposition. Some of us ladies have a Christmas decoration organizational system that requires our personal attention. The bottom line is, know your lady, and know your limits. Talk to her ahead of time and determine which items you should tackle on your own, and which ones will be better handled by a team effort. Here are a few cheap hacks for putting away decorations:
* Store ornaments in egg cartons, or plastic cups within a box
* Wrap Christmas lights around clothes hangers
* Use a sliced loo roll (toilet paper roll) around wrapping paper rolls
* Store a wreath just like that powder blue tuxedo: Slip it over a clothes hanger and cover with a dry cleaning bag or garbage bag.
3. Clean something.
Choose a task your lady finds particularly awful: cleaning the oven, or bathrooms, or maybe doing the ironing. You could tidy up a part of the house that tends to get neglected: dusty ceiling fans, the laundry area, or mud room. If she’s only out for a few hours, don’t try to tackle everything. Pick one or two jobs and do them well.
Remember: This is a “thank-you” for all the effort she has put into making your family holidays merry and bright. Your goal should be that, when she gets home she doesn’t feel that taking time for herself has resulted in the household falling apart!
** Disclaimer: For some women, the concept of Women’s Christmas reinforces stereotyped roles for men and women. Perhaps that’s true. If your household has “progressed” to the point where the household and holiday chores are equally shared, and you don’t need a night-off – congratulations! The rest of us will enjoy a cup of tea or a glass of wine in your honor this Nollaig na mBan!
Tell us how you will celebrate Nollaig na mBan (or why you won't) in the comments below.