Those of you who've spent more than a few moments chatting to me, or reading here, will likely know that I am a liiiiiitle bit obsessed with Christmas and all things Christmassy. My family joke that I am part elf - nothing makes me happier than singing carols, trimming trees, buying presents and spending time with loved ones!
|Cosy cosy Christmas sofa - bring on the Christmas moviefests!|
Obviously, we are still miles away from Christmas as we speak, but this is when I start my Christmas planning in earnest. I used to start way earlier but now find the eight week lead up is perfect - a few jobs each week makes the preparations such fun and means there's ample time in December for parties, carol concerts, pantomimes and other diversions. I guess being a former teacher planning ahead is in my nature.
|Making gingerbread cookies for friends :)|
There are a few things I've done already (buying a few new decorations and a super new tree; a few gifts I saw and couldn't resist, buying supplies for crafting; booking travel for any away days), but these are all things done more efficiently and more cheaply in advance!
|Badgers everywhere, as you'd expect!|
So here's how my Christmas preparations look, week-by-week.
|Beautiful Oxford Street baubles. They got switched on yesterday, so the season is truly here! Click here for details of other 'switching on' ceremonies in the capital.|
Week beginning 2nd November:
Admin-tacular - I'll make our master list for cards, gifts and any entertaining/events. Requests for postal addresses and email addresses as required happen now too! I'll also look into booking a few of the events I like to attend each December, whether it's a fun panto, a classic Christmas movie at the PCC or a pleasant dinner somewhere fabulous for a meal I don't have to cater! I'll also try to make sure that I've built in some volunteering, some random acts of kindness, and some charitable donations to this plan. So important, especially at this time of year.
|Our simple, pretty Christmas table. I might do something smarter this year - as ever, Pinterest offers a wealth of options and inspiration!|
Week beginning 9th November:
A fun one! Any invites for festive entertaining will get sent this week (December diaries fill fast!). I'll also be doing some baking, making our Dundee cakes (a yearly tradition) and experimenting with any other food things I want to make in advance (chutneys etc) or to test ahead (cookies, canapés etc.). I've also decided that this year I want to make our Christmas cards and tags, at least in some part, so the cats and I will be embracing the glitter.
|I have so many Christmas outfits and accessories, and yet I still want more.|
Week beginning 16th November:
I'll be looking for gifts online and in shops from the start of the month, but this is the week to get things finished. At the weekend we'll decorate the whole house - usually I'd do this on November 25th but as it's become a bigger and bigger production it's lovely to have Matthew to help! We'll spend a morning tidying, an afternoon decorating, and then kick back with a roast dinner and a glass of wine to admire our handiwork!
|Brown paper packages, tied up with string....|
Week beginning 23rd November:
The mammoth task of writing our Christmas cards! Fun, and lovely to send a little note to the people we love, but a decent amount of time is required. This is also when I'll plan menus for Christmas, New Year's and any entertaining, and schedule our food orders to be delivered.
|Our kitties even feature on the tree - a sweet gift from a former pupil.|
Week beginning 30th November:
Wrapping gifts, mailing cards, and enjoying all the lovely Christmas festivities! We'll also make an overnight trip to drop off presents to my family and soak up a little Scottish Christmas cheer.
|There will be lots of Christmas meals in December. Bring on the leftovers, my favourite part!|
Week beginning 7th December:
Mailing gifts (this means they are dispatched well before the last posting dates - 10th Dec for airmail to New Zealand; 15th for US/Canada; 19th for 2nd class UK; 21st for 1st class UK, fact fans!), getting parties planned in full now numbers are confirmed! It's also my birthday this week so we'll do something, and Matthew is on elf-duty to deliver the gifts we've bought for his branch of the family.
|Love our stockings - might have to hang some for S and H, our houseguests, too!|
Week beginning 14th December:
Making, baking & visiting, and ordering flowers for the family members we send them to. Love a festive bouquet!
|Leela's favourite things about Christmas? Snuggles, turkey, and PAPER!|
Week beginning 21st December:
Enjoy, man. It's Christmas.
|Bacon sandwiches and Buck Fizz. Perf.|
|So lovely to celebrate together.|
|Board game fun.|
How early do you start your Christmas planning? Do you do the same thing every year or change it up?