I am writing this from a place of tiredness - and I had the most pared-back Christmas ever. Yet, as I head into the New Year I am flipping pooped. I see all these excited people posting with their "new year, new me" stuff and I'm finding it more than a tad exhausting.
So, before we dive into all that, can I tell you about something I read about before Christmas?
The holiday season's cheeky little secret that I've become a little obsessed by.
Nollaig na mBan, or Women's/Little Christmas is an Irish tradition, celebrated on 6 January.
In Ireland, where the craic is always mighty, someone had the idea to acknowledge that, hey, women are doing most of the heavy lifting during Christmas. So they're given a day off, where women don't lift a finger and the men do all the "women's work" for the day. Irish bars and restaurants are full of women celebrating a day off.
Women's Christmas is that one day when the unsung heroines of the festive season finally get a breather. Nollaig na mBan, born from the realisation that women carry the lion's share of the emotional labour during Christmas, is like a temporary escape hatch from the merry madness.
Behind the decorations and festive cheer lies a less glamorous truth – women often bear the brunt of all the work that fuels the holiday magic. From managing family dynamics, getting and cooking all the Christmas food, to ensuring every gift is wrapped with care, the weight of expectations can be downright exhausting. Women's Christmas is a nod to the emotional marathon that is often overlooked.
Sure, Women's Christmas is a welcome respite. Men temporarily take the reins, attempting to navigate the intricacies of holiday hosting and gift-wrapping, allowing women to step back from the tightrope they've been walking. It's a day for them to recharge, indulge in self-care, and perhaps even contemplate the emotional energy invested in making the season bright.
However, I can't help but wonder if a single day off truly captures the enormity of the time, effort and energy women put into the festive season. The truth is, emotional labour isn't a one off 24-hour shift – it's a marathon that starts well before the first carol is sung and continues long after the last ornament is packed away. Women's Christmas becomes a bittersweet acknowledgement that while a day of reprieve is appreciated, the emotional labour extends far beyond the constraints of a calendar date.
In a world where the festive season often feels like a high-stakes emotional obstacle course, Women's Christmas stands as both a celebration and a bit of a side-eye to the status quo. It's a day to highlight the emotional labour that often goes unnoticed, but it's also a reminder that maybe, just maybe, a single day off is a mere taste of the appreciation that's truly warranted.
So here's to Women's Christmas – an escape, a nod to emotional resilience, and an acknowledgement that one day off might be a tiny drop in the festive bucket. As the Christmas decorations are packed away, let's raise a glass not just to the day of reprieve but to the recognition that the effort put in by women deserves more than a fleeting moment.
Cheers to the women who make the magic happen, and may their well-being be celebrated beyond the boundaries of a single calendar date.
So, if you want to come and celebrate with us we're starting the Good Girl Rebellion Gang on the 11 January with a 12-week read-a-long and discussion of my new book, Good Girl Deprogramming and the founder member prices are £27/month or £299/annually (with a bonus 1-2-1 call with me) if you join before 11 January.