Christmas is coming and the Waitrose goose is getting fat. Across the Cotswolds Smug Mothers are glowing with festive pride as they prepare for family celebrations Kirstie Allsop would be proud of, while the rest of us are drowning under never-ending lists of presents to buy, food to order, and work to finish before the kids break up. To help you spot and avoid Smug Mothers this holiday season, I’ve prepared this handy checklist:
Chocolate count-downs are a thing of the past; lighting candles is soooo last decade, and as for those quaint old-fashion picture calendars… oh pur-lease! The Smug Mother has created her own calendar from twenty-four sterilised olive oil bottles, twenty-four knitted stockings or twenty-four reclaimed miniature terracotta pots, and has lovingly filled them with organic raisins, home-made truffles, and slips of paper on which are written wholesome family activities promoting togetherness and joy. The Smug Mother has, of course, uploaded a photograph to Pinterest, where a thousand aspiring Smugs have repinned it.
BESPOKE TEACHER GIFTS
Nothing identifies a Smug Mother quite like the end-of-term gift. Eschewing the ‘best teacher’ mugs, bottles of plonk and child-spawned biscuits of dubious quality, the Smug Mother sources her gifts from Not On The High Street, breaking the unwritten fiver rule, and wrapping them in brown paper printed with snowflakes made from the silver fingerprints of her offspring. When contributing to the pre Christmas school gate who-should-we-buy-for? conversation, she’ll say firmly that only the class teacher and teaching assistant should receive gifts. On the last day of term she’ll waltz up with a basket of goodies for everyone from the Headteacher to the man who cuts the grass, because ‘we couldn’t possibly leave anyone out.’ Smug Mother will share her innovative present ideas on Facebook, but only when it’s too late for anyone to borrow her ideas.
HAND-MADE CHRISTMAS PRESENTS
The Smug Mother has a cupboard full of pickled apricots, knitted knee supports and air-dried clay bead bracelets. Never far from a crochet hook, she can whip up a present in less time than it takes you to log on to Amazon, and not only does her jam always set, the jars are dressed in hand-stitched jackets with raspberries embroidered on the lapel. As each gift is finished, Smug Mother Instagrams them under the hashtag #madewithlove, and half her followers reach for the gin.
When Smug Mother isn’t making Christmas presents, she’s filling her pantry with delicious food. It is with great reluctance that she books (in October) a Christmas Ocado slot – ‘for the bulky items’ – because she is passionate about supporting the High Street. Tripping into the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker, Smug Mother will fill her bags-for-life to the brim with organic, locally sourced food, looking askance at your Iceland carrier bags stuffed with two-for-one vol-au-vents and the bird-in-a-bird-in-a-bird you got because everyone always argues about whether to have turkey, duck or goose.
DOING HER BIT FOR CHARITY
The Smug Mother has impeccable timing. She’ll hold back until half-way through a Christmas Eve showing of ‘Elf’, before sharing a poignant thought on Twitter about all the poor children in Syria, whereupon everyone will immediately feel callous and shallow, and wish they hadn’t been such enthusiastic participants of #changeawordinasongtitletoelf.
Despite your best efforts to avoid them, you’re certain to run into a Smug Mother at some point over the next fortnight, but don’t let them ruin your festivities. Remember, that no body’s perfect. Behind every Smug Mother is a drinking habit and an over-reliance on beta-blockers: how else could she pull it off?