So the big race is over and while some of us are feeling a little dusty this Wednesday and perhaps a little lighter in the hip pocket, there really is no time to relax.
As it does every year, the Melbourne Cup signals the rapid countdown to Christmas – and the sense of panic for the less organised among us as the big day looms.
Before we know it, we’ll be confronted with the biggest deadline of the year – ensuring the Christmas shopping is done and arrangements for festive get-togethers are complete.
Melbourne Cup should spur us all into action. It should be the mental tripwire that gets us into high gear. The alarm bell that tells us we can no longer put Christmas preparation off.
If only it was that simple.
Despite the fact Christmas falls on the same day every year, many of us will confront the same stresses we face every year – the scramble to buy presents, the pressure to socialise, the juggling act trying to catch up with as many people as possible before Christmas Day and the rush to clear work obligations before the year is out.
As the first Tuesday in November passes, many of us are wondering why we hadn’t laid the Christmas groundwork before. We might also be looking enviously at the more organised among us who are already ahead of the curve, wishing we weren’t quite so last-minute.
In case you were wondering, there are 49 days from Melbourne Cup day until Christmas. More importantly, there are seven weekends – and let’s face it, that’s when we’ll do the most shopping – so the clock really is ticking down. It’s time to get moving.
There is a brief window until the real frenzy begins and those annoying Christmas songs start being played in all the shops. When the mercury is pushing 35 degrees and the humidity is at 100 per cent, and you’re in a frightful hurry, Bing Crosby dreaming of a white Christmas seems either wishful thinking or a little out of place. There’s still a couple of weekends before car parks begin to fill, lines at the checkouts grow and tempers start to fray.
And it’s the tempers we need to keep in check.
Christmas is meant to be a time of goodwill, of celebration. But that’s a hard expectation to live up to if we’re all running around like panicked chooks because we’ve left things too late.
So let’s get the party started – early.