Ok so we are finally in November and I am already finding myself filling my Pinterest board with Christmas crafts, wrapping ideas and homemade gifts to yet again try and save more money at this very expensive time of year.
For some reason the Christmas countdown in my eyes starts with the launch of X Factor, I think it’s because it ends around Christmas and tends to mark the dark nights, Saturday nights snuggled up on the sofa and the evenings waiting for that first Coke a Cola Christmas ad (they never fail us do the, oh the M&S and John Lewis adverts do follow up closely behind.)
So back on to the matter in hand, the countdown, for me the organisation tends to fall in to a few categories:
What the F* I am going to buy/make/find everyone
How I am going to wrap said gifts
Christmas cards and taking out a ban loan to pay for the postage
New decorations I can make for the house
The new tree decoration we add to the collection every year
And lastly and probably most importantly what the hell my Christmas day outfit will be (yes I know it is worn for 3 hours and then replaced with a set of fleecy reindeer pyjamas for comfort)
Ok so let’s start with point 1. What the F* am I going to buy/make/find everyone This causes a lot of stress every year. I hate the idea of buying friends and family ‘token gifts’ that have very little meaning or thought put in to them, so rather than heading to the pre-packaged toiletries isle in Boots, try to come up with an individual, personalised gift idea that doesn’t take too much skill, time or resources to make (yes this is literally gold dust and not that easy to do when you have a big family with very differing tastes). In the past we have had personalised house name signs, homemade aprons and tea towels, cookie jars (you get the idea) Most of the ideas I have come from the internet, late night trawling the search results for ‘cheap and easy homemade gifts’ (FYI if you search this you will come up with a lot of food which given we are still 2 months from Christmas is not very practical at all.) all I will say is keep scrolling you will find some ideas, or even something that creates a train of thought to create an idea! I like to have everything made and wrapped before the beginning of December so I can enjoy every day in December without the constant worry of what the hell am I going to get Auntie Jean!
Point 2. Wrapping This is almost as important as the damn gifts, I do not have the joy of leaving my neatly wrapped presents under the tree for two reasons 1. I have a 5 year old who would 100% not be able to control her urges until Christmas day. And 2. We have three dogs (two of which are puppies and a kitten) so basically the presents have no hope. But still having them beautifully wrapped under other people’s trees is still important (I think!) so most years I make my own paper, I bulk buy the plain brown paper and then either make or buy a stamp but then there is the ribbon and the tag (what a palaver). So basically, this search begins early because I have to get it right, though lay safe in the knowledge that once everything is neatly wrapped I will do my absolute best not to look at any more inspiration, find something I love more and then feel the need to change the whole theme on the 3rd December.
3. Christmas Cards Ok let’s not beat around the bush here, cards are expensive, and postage is ridiculous so I have become very selective about who I send cards to. This is another huge dilemma which I didn’t even fulfil last year. I made and executive decision to just not send cards and instead sang a rendition of ‘Rudolf the red nosed reindeer’ with Arabella and uploaded it to Facebook as a ‘I’m sorry I didn’t have time to send you all cards, so here’s a cute homemade video’ actually went down really well so may well happen again this year. So basically, if you are going to send cards, buy them early, post them early (so you can go 2nd class not 1st for 5 million pounds per card, I love to over exaggerate) or forget it all, grab a video camera, dress your kids up in something cute and sing a Christmas carol for everyone.
Point 4. Is my absolute favourite Homemade decorations. This for me is some of the enjoyment for Christmas, making things and filling the house with the smell of Cinnamon. Again, back on Pinterest and searching absolutely everything I can make (or try to, a lot does go wrong!) this year as an example we are going to make (and by we I mean me because I can’t let Arabella help at all) Christmas garlands made solely from dried oranges, cinnamon sticks and lemons. Door hangers, the door wreath and whatever else I can find to realistically make before the 1st December (without making too much of a mess in the house, we all know how ridiculously OCD I am).
The new decoration (point 5.) Our tree tends to be fairly traditional and most if not all of the decorations have either been kept for years and years or were homemade so keeping it that way is really important to me. I spend a bit of time every year either online or browsing round the local garden centre or John Lewis looking for a really special decoration to add to the collection. We don’t change our theme every year, I’s pretty much the same year to year, traditional, simple and in no way overcrowded. And let’s face it we are in November now, so the search has commenced!
Point 6. may sound and absolutely ridiculous thing to work about but in my house it’s a really worry, Christmas day is a picture opportunity, the most festive day of the year and a time when for me it’s really important to feel special (not necessarily because of all the presents either) Looking nice on Christmas day and having an appropriately festive outfit is key (and no I don’t mean a full on Mrs Claus outfit) normally something red, sparkly or tartan. The pyjamas are whole other issue, It is a pretty childish tradition but who cares, it’s one we are going to stick to. On Christmas eve every year we spend the evening watching TV, Christmas eve sale shopping and generally just chilling together. But it has to be done in matching pyjamas.
So there you have it our annual Christmas countdown, which realistically posting this on the 1st November has already started. And to drop a real bombshell I have also been playing Buble in the privacy of my home and car for about two weeks already (judge away!) Fully self-confessed Christmas addict here!
Thanks for reading