Wednesday 14 December 2016

Christmas... When Do YOU Start To Prepare?

We are all different and we all approach Christmas in our own way.  One question that crops up every year and one which I’ve yet to find the answer to is… when should I start my festive preparations?  After all these years I still don’t know!

As a crafter, and I’m sure you feel the same, the first thing I think about when it comes to Christmas is making Christmas cards.  In previous years, when the pace of my life was much  slower, I would make a start on my Yuletide cards in September or October.  I recall those cards were very often quite complex affairs that were time consuming to put together… but they would be finished in good time before I needed to write and post them in early December. These days though, spare time is much harder to find…
As for Christmas shopping, my eldest daughter’s birthday in mid October acted for me as a kind of mental bookmark; I wouldn’t think of Christmas shopping until that birthday had been and gone.

But this year, ever since I was lucky enough to land my marvellous new job at Create and Craft as a demonstrator, I find I’m constantly on the go; if I’m not in front of the cameras then I’m doing behind the scenes preparatory work or checking out new and exciting products.  I’m a card maker who doesn’t have enough time to make cards!  If that sounds crazy I guess that’s because it probably is a BIT weird!

It’s now the 14th of December and I’m ashamed to say I have made only three Christmas cards.  As if that wasn't bad enough, I’ve managed to find time only for two rather hurried shopping trips for Christmas presents. We ladies know the joy of Christmas shopping, which is to take a friend or two with you, hit the shops, but always find time for a coffee and a sticky bun in a nice café.  Sadly all I’ve managed to do this year is to go to town, grab a few presents, then come home again.  This is not a fun way of going about shopping!  No doubt about it, there has been a definite change of pace in my approach to the festivities this year.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining.  I love my new job so much and I wouldn’t change it for the world…but for someone like me who is usually so organised I need to adopt a significant change of mindset, and I need to be more flexible and more efficient when it comes to Christmas shopping… less browsing, more just going and buying, and sadly definitely no cake and gossip!

After mulling over making Christmas cards and doing Christmas shopping, my thoughts turn to Christmas decorations.  As a child I have warm memories of annually decorating the tree on Christmas Eve, and no earlier.  Even I can see now, all these years on, that I’d really prefer the tree to be sparkling quite a while before the 24th

So what’s the norm these days?  When exactly should people deck the halls with boughs of holly?  I recall one house along our street, five years ago, put up their tree and trimmings on 30th November.  People regarded this as Definitely Not The Thing To Do… there were dark mutterings in the Post Office queue!  But now putting up your tree in November seems to be quite commonplace, although it still causes me to raise an eyebrow.  Each to their own, and as I said at the top of the page, everyone is different, but some people seem to almost have a Yuletide panic, and think if they haven’t got their tree up by the end of November then the first weekend of December is an absolute must or Christmas is somehow totally ruined.  I can’t follow this way of thinking; when did Christmas begin so early?  I’m not a Grinch or a Bah Humbug, but I’d quite like my tree to be able to exhibit some signs of life come the 25th of December…

On 2nd of December hubby and I made the annual pilgrimage to buy our tree.  Being a typical man, he could not understand why we couldn’t just buy the first tree we came across, the one nearest the car park.  He also couldn’t see why his job was to hold up several Christmas trees so I could look at them from all angles until his arms felt like they were dropping off.  However, once I had made my careful and considered choice, he manoeuvred it into the car after telling me the tree would definitely not fit because it was far too big.  (It slotted in just fine by the way).

Then, after an inch of trunk at the base had been sawn off to make a fresh ‘wound’, the tree sat for a week out in the garden in a bucket of water so it could fully hydrate and all of the branches could drop back neatly into place after it had been trussed up in one of those restrictive nets. 

Last weekend, the tree went up.  This is a little tradition in our family; we had a Christmas tree visible in some of our wedding photos so I really wanted the tree to be decorated and in situ in time for our 22nd wedding anniversary on Friday.  Twenty two years… where has the time gone?

For me, the best Christmas present of all is the knowledge that my kids (now young adults) are coming back to the nest and will be spending some quality time with hubby and me. We’ll all eat too much, share a bottle or two of fizz, and there’ll be lots of smiles and laughter and happy memories.

Anyway, whenever and however you plan for Christmas, and even if you ignore Christmas altogether, I hope you have a peaceful, happy and healthy time.

And I hope that, unlike me, you’ve managed to make all your Christmas cards in time! 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.