It’s time you know the truth about Santa…
You know those beautifully wrapped gifts that magically appear under our Christmas tree every year? No, babe, Santa didn’t bring them because, well… there is no Santa. I know this comes as a shock to you, but it was I who bought and wrapped all those presents all those years. (Please don’t tell the children.)
Oh, and it’s not just gifts that I handle every year. There’s decorating the tree, food shopping, cooking, baking, planning social events, holiday cards, thank you notes to the kids’ teachers, family holiday photos, keeping track of Christmas plays, helping the kids create nativity scenes out of popsicle sticks and felt etc., etc., etc. I have to be honest with you; this “creating holiday magic thing” is flat out exhausting.
But don’t feel bad, it’s not just you. Apparently a lot of husbands still believe in Santa. The latest survey by the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that wives typically do 50% more housework and childcare than their husbands even when they work full time out of the home. Here’s another fun fact, this one from the Bureau of Labor Statistics: If men and women were compensated for their unpaid labor, men would earn an extra $469.35 a week, and women would earn an extra $761.69 a week – which comes out to nearly $40,000 a year based on average US hourly wages. That’s a lot of unpaid labor. And the holidays just add to the long list of unpaid work women are expected to do.
I know what you’re thinking, “Why did I wait so long to tell you the truth about Santa?” Well, if I’m being totally honest here, I’d hoped someone would let it slip at the office. But there’s another reason. You see, I too have long believed in a myth. It’s the myth that homemaking, childcare and making Christmas merry rests solely on my shoulders.
Where did this belief come from? Well, certainly from persistent societal female stereotyping and oppression handed down from generation to generation for hundreds, possibly thousands of years. But personally, I blame women’s magazines.
I mean really, Better Homes and Gardens, who bakes 15 kinds of cookies, handcrafts wreaths out of gumdrops and makes snowman Christmas ornaments for all their neighbors? No one! Yet this is the lofty standard to which I have aspired. But you know what? Creating unrealistic expectations for myself exhausting too.
So. Here’s my proposal: Next year, I will stress less, laugh more and quit striving to be Martha Flippin’ Stewart. And you, dear husband, will take a more active role in helping with holiday planning and preparations.
Oh, and before I forget, here’s one more fun fact I think you’ll appreciate: According to the Journal of Family Psychology, couples who evenly split household labor have more frequent and higher quality sex.
Recipe for Nutter Butter reindeer cookies attached. Happy baking, sweetheart!