An Asda Christmas with Mum!

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I’ve been reading a lot on Twitter about the ‘outrage’ (said quite sarcastically from me there) regarding the Asda Christmas advert this year! It depicts a Mum organising the whole of Christmas with very little help from the rest of the family and at the end says something along the lines of  ‘Thank Mum for Christmas’. So some people have taken this as a massive sexist hit at women and the ‘how dare they’ brigade have been out in force…

Oh get a life. That’s all I can say! I’m grateful to the suffragettes, I really am. I can vote and I’m not treated like a second class citizen but that’s enough thank you very much and as for feminism and being a feminist, oh for crying out loud! That drum’s been banged, it bonged a long time ago! We’ve got it, we have equal pay, we have the same rights as men, now let’s just get on with life and life, for most families, is Mum doing everything for everyone else… Yes, yes I know not in every house! In some houses Dad does the buying, Dad does the wrapping, the cooking, the cleaning, the breast-feeding… Oh well perhaps not that last one but seriously? Why have some people got such a bee in their bonnet about it? The men in my life take a back seat when it comes to the day-to-day organisation of the house let alone Christmas. We’re different sexes, we’re built differently and different things appeal. DIY does not float my boat but it does for my husband; we’re genetically different and I’m not saying women can’t do DIY just that we’re less likely to want to. My Father  and my Father in law have both in the past complimented me on pieces of jewellery that they have bought me for a present. They didn’t recognise it because they didn’t buy it, they didn’t pay attention when they were shown it before it was wrapped and they probably wouldn’t have remembered even if they had. They, like my husband, let their wives deal with that sort of thing. I’d say this is normal. My husband doesn’t buy anyone a present apart from me, he doesn’t even write in cards, who cares? I’m good at it and enjoy it so why wouldn’t I do it? Asda is just mirroring lots of people’s lives! Not all, I KNOW that, but lots and why can’t they? You can’t show everyone all of the time or the advert would go on forever! Oh and it’s funny that another shop seems to have built its whole advertising campaign around ‘Mum having gone there’ yet they don’t seem to have the same reaction from people? Perhaps Chavtastics don’t care if Mum does it all and people with a slightly more discerning shopping penchant do? The words chip and shoulder spring to mind.

Anyway, I like the Asda advert. I haven’t taken it as them trying to portray a sociological study or make a statement – funnily enough. I found it humorous and light-hearted, tongue in cheek and enticing. Just as they intended I’m sure. And I like Asda in general really. I use them for not just my food shopping but loads of stuff. I think the clothes are often fab (for me and the children), they have a great selection of toys, household products and all sorts of other things and mostly they are all at exceptional value. I’ve had a preview of some of their Christmas things and I’m pretty sure it’ll be an Asda catered Christmas at our house. I often use things from there and find them handy. Me, a MUM, not a Dad!

I love my stacking set of four plastic mixing bowls for instance! They look funky, store inside each other and work as well as you would want them to as mixing bowls! Jonny even used one as a salad bowl the other day. Well, he doesn’t really know where our salad bowl is kept, if he even knows what it looks like… That’s mainly my domain you see – shock horror! He does cook but cause he doesn’t care too much about what goes where he ends up using random things for things you wouldn’t expect. Still, it was a bowl and it worked… (They’re only £4 on offer at the moment by the way – bargain and even better is that currently, with every purchase there is a donation of 20p to CHILDREN IN NEED)!

Jonny uses the wrong bowl for salad but it still worked, it’s still a bowl and a very colourful one at that too!

And Florence uses the funky mixing bowls for their intended use – mixing!

Another great thing Asda are good at, that people might not immediately think of as synonymous with a supermarket, is wine! They do really, really good wine actually and having been to a special wine event with them, I now know why! So last night I went wine tasting with them and met their Master of Wine, Phillippa Carr who was so informative and interesting to listen to. I had absolutely no idea that wine is sourced in the way that it is and had presumed that for a supermarket the wine would just be bought in bulk with price in mind and not really much thought to the content. Not so actually! Phillippa has over thirty year’s experience and says she absolutely never, ever compromises. For any given price the wine will be of the absolute best quality it can be and she not only buys the wine but she sources it, tastes it and chooses how it’s blended. She is personally in charge of the whole of Asda’s wine range and even gives her signature to the back of their own ranges. She has a pretty exciting job visiting countries all over the world and tasting up to 450 wines during every range change (she spits it out obviously or she’d be far too sozzled to make the important decisions she makes for us, the customers – at the event I didn’t spit anything out and I enjoyed tasting it all, just so you know)!

I was so impressed with her knowledge and her recommendations. I now know exactly what we’re going to buy my husband’s parents for Christmas. They always ask for a bottle of wine but they, unlike us, really know what they’re looking for and spend a lot of time at their place in the South of France drinking good wines. I usually (not my husband) choose them something which should be fairly pricey but comes out at around the £8 mark on an offer and I have no idea if it’s any good or not. This year I am buying them, on the recommendation of Phillippa, Vinalba Malbec Syrah from Patagonia. It’s a really heavy and full on red, Phillippa called it a ‘real boy’! It wasn’t my cup of tea as I’m not wild about deep reds but I know my in-laws will love it and I wouldn’t have known that before or presumed I could get them a bottle of something really good from the supermarket? Even better is that full price with no offers and it’s just £7.48.

Personally I usually like very sweet wines and my favourite taste of the evening was the Moscatel Valencia which is a desert wine but Phillippa recommended it to go with Sushi which is one of my faves (and the wine is totally yummy). I was also really surprised to find I liked the Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough Sun with its cheeky naked men on the front! From New Zealand its crisp and fresh and Phillippa says to eat it with something salty as it changes the acidity, dampens it and makes it even more palatable. She definitely knows what she’s talking about as I tried it with some really salty cheese and crisps and it completely changed the experience. I usually buy wine based on price then pretty much drink it whether I enjoy it or not but I try to avoid anything really dry. It’s great to know I can now choose something I know a little bit about, know I like and still at a really great price. I had a fab evening learning about it and could have listened to more of what Phillippa has to say, she really cares about her job and it makes me so much more confident buying wines at Asda! Phillippa is a working Mum and her eldest turns 18 soon, she’ll be having Asda’s Extra Special Prosecco (which is delicious by the way) at her birthday party not only provided by Mum but chosen by her too! How cool is that! Phillippa has two daughters and juggles her important job with her even more important role at home as ‘Mum’! She’s also married to a Master of Wine, wonder who out of the both of them finds the time to wrap the presents, decorate the tree and cook the Christmas lunch? My betting’s on her!

Well, to the Ms (Not Miss or Mrs of course) feminists – you want women to have it all? I guess pouring the carefully selected wine and cooking the roast on Christmas day is just part of that all wouldn’t you say?! I’m pretty sure Asda have hit the nail on the head with their fun Christmas advert! Bah humbug to those who have a problem with it! And for me, my Mum and Mother-in-law, who will be like the women on the advert, bring on the wine! The Asda wine thank you very much! (And if my husband is reading, I wouldn’t mind some more kitcheny bits like those bowls for a present if you don’t mind – after all, I use it so I want the best – Oh and perhaps some perfume and make-up so I smell and look pretty for you too darling ;-))!

Sorry about the quality of my pictures, I forgot my camera. The wine I didn’t think I’d like but it surprised me on the left and Phillippa talking about her passion on the right.

6 thoughts on “An Asda Christmas with Mum!

  1. Oh yes! Thing about extreme feminism is that is has a warped view of equality. Those moaning and outraged have also missed the point of the ad. Surely it’s clear at the end as she scans the room that she wants it no other way. Let’s face it- can you imagine sitting quietly while a man did it!

  2. Well, I saw the advert tonight for the first time and only one word sums it up. Disgusting. As a single (working) dad of a few years, everything to do with Christmas is my doing. Shopping, cooking, washing, tidying, presents you name it. I enjoy Christmas. But, to once again be segregated for being that lost minority “the single father with custody” is totally abhorrent.
    In my years of single parenting I’ve been shunned by the cliques because my situation is different. Not that it makes much difference, ASDA, will be getting none of my Christmas money. I’ll shop somewhere that appreciates the family unit is a thing of the past.
    I hope when you and your partner are getting your celebrations ready, you give a little thought for a dedicated, devoted parent, 7 days a week who is doing it alone.

    1. Single dad, yours is a completely different argument. One not fuelled by feminism but by a sense of isolation- something that is of course not acceptable. But asda will be advertising to the majority. I took a real sense of family from it, ok a stereotypical family but I’m sure when Christmas day is over you feel like the women in those ads, overwhelmed, tired but content.

      1. And I also take mild offence that you think women like me and others who run their homes would naturally be the ones to shun you.
        I would whole heartedly welcome you because the acceptance of difference is not the sole reserve of the single parent!

      2. I wasn’t insinuating that you would shun me. I was speaking of the experiences I’ve had. It’s shocking how little recognition single fathers and fathers in general get.
        Are you aware that for the last couple of Fathers days, the government has released statements about fathers who are absent from the family unit? Not any other day, Father’s Day! Talk about undervaluing the job we do.
        When Christmas Day is over, I’ll feel like the amazing DAD, that I am. I put many mothers to shame.
        For the record, I’m bringing up my daughter who is 11. As I write this, I’m suffering from a bug that has raised my temperature and made my joints ache. In the morning, I’ll have the school uniform ready and packed lunch made. Then go to my 43 hour a week job.
        Hopefully this gives you a small insight into why I feel so disgruntled over the whole thing. I’m not attacking you personally, just the furore this advert has started.

        You might like to have a read of my blog.

  3. Martin,

    I’ve had a read of your blog and I have to say I feel for you, I really do. Sounds like you’re doing a fantastic but lonely job and I admire anyone, woman or man who does this on their own. I can’t imagine how hard it must be to have no one to share the day to day with, share the load and just enjoy a glass of wine together at the end of it. Being with a child all day and all night and having no adult company and I’m not surprised you’re lonely. My Mum did it for me and I know what a struggle it all is, juggling all the responsibilities including the financial. I do however, think you may have missed the point of the advert and indeed my post for neither have anything to do with being against the single man. I did of course mention that I know it is not EVERY family unit where Mum does it all. Yes, I believe the family unit comes in all shapes and sizes and you shouldn’t cut yours short by not considering it a ‘unit’. When I grew up it was me, my Mum and my Grandparents. When my beloved Grandma passed away the MacMillan nurse said to my Mum ‘You may be a small family but you love each other and that’s all that matters’. And that’s right, love is all that matters. If you and your daughter have each other then you are a family. I wasn’t trying to take away from that but just to point out that the majority of families do have a Mother at the helm, that’s not me just being argumentative, that’s fact. Asda was depicting the majority, it doesn’t mean they are slurring against anyone else and the main element that has been missed by lots of people complaining about it, and I think by you, is that it is very tongue in cheek, is meant to be humerous and taken very light heartedly. There are so many bigger things to get het up about and jump on than this advert which is largely correct (not that it’s even intended to be) but can’t be an absolute projection of every single family in the UK. As I said in my post, I don’t believe they are trying to make a sociological statement but just a hint at what lots of women get left with, don’t mind being left with and showing the funny and the contented side to it.

    With regard to your own personal situation have you tried going to your local SureStart groups. I know it can be daunting to go to a group where there are lots of women and you’ll think they’ll be looking at you wondering why it’s you and not your daughter’s Mother but I can say from my own personal point of view we’ll be looking at you thinking ‘well done him’. Women do nt have problems with men bringing up their children, they really, really don’t. I think it’s easy to get into a mindset, especially if you are particularly worried about something, and make the thing you are worrying about seem even more real in your mind. Can I suggest going to your local groups, all of them and just having an open mind. Don’t assume anything about what the other women are thinking and just chat, get to know them and let them get to know you. Going to SureStart was a lifeline for me, I met all my local friends here and one of them is a Dad!! He looks after his daughter, on his own, every single day. He said it was really hard at first but he forced himself to go and now he chats with us all, holds our babies while we run our toddlers to the loo, has met all our husbands at the birthday parties and has exchanged numbers with some of them and even goes out for beers occasionally with some of them. He had a fireworks party at his house and we were all invited. He’s forged friendships he might not have done through immediate choice but is glad (as are we) that he did. I know you are lonely but you don’t have to be, you just have to be master of your own happiness though and make it happen. No one will come to you. If you don’t have SureStart try any group or join the PTA. Just something to meet others. Dating websites are probably not offering the type of friendship you’re after.

    I know it’s hard to not take things personally, especially when you’re emotions are running high with certain topics but some things should just be taken for what they are and not read into more in depthly than intended. I know, I absolutely KNOW Asda are not shunning you. I am not sunning you. I don’t know anyone who would. Have a lovely Christmas and for the record I will give a thought to other people working on it just as hard as I am. Be that man or woman.

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