Monday, November 02, 2015

Christmas Preparations: My 8 Weeks of Fun, Planning, and Getting It Done!




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, canap├ęs 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?

16 comments:

  1. Wow that's some good organisation right there, hope it all goes to plan!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Elise - it certainly keeps me busy!

      Delete
  2. Ohh you're so organised, I love it! I love christmas too but I'm never usually a planner, I might start making some lists this week though :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Join us on the list side, Rhianne.... :) I feel much better with a plan, leaves more time for fun!

      Delete
  3. Wow I feel exhausted just reading this!! I am a Christmas-o-holic too but I am not as organised as you unfortunately! My 4 year old has been writing (and making) her Christmas cards over half term though, so at least she's organised! Becky x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh that's so sweet, organised young lady! I love my little system - it's taken a while to finesse but it works well.

      Delete
  4. I am so not ready.
    For a lot of years we have been giving (very boozy) Christmas cakes as gifts. Ordinarily the fruit is in and soaking by now. This year for a variety of reasons it hasn't happened. It will. Soon. Ish.
    I need to adopt some of your discipline.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Love a good boozy cake! There's plenty of time to go.

      Delete
  5. I'm so jealous, you are so organised! I refuse to think about Christmas until after my birthday on the 15th then I will start thinking about it. I'm pretty excited about this year as my parents are coming over then we are all going to Gran Canaria on the 30th! x

    Jasmin Charlotte

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awesome! We're off to Gran Can later this month - love that place :)

      Delete
  6. You certainly are well prepared. I like the home made stockings, they're always nicer than shop bought ones.
    I'm ignoring Christmas until after my daughter's birthday near the end of November.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We all have our start point - thanks for the sweet comment about our stockings, I love them.

      Delete
  7. Gosh, you are so organised. I really need to start preparing. I am not a fan of November so throwing myself into some Christmas planning sounds like a great idea. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I find it's a great way to combat any November greys. Looking forward to reading all about your Christmas!

      Delete
  8. Wow, I might have to copy this plan myself. I'm so disorganised and never think more than one week in advance, but maybe today's the year to get sorted! #sundaystars

    ReplyDelete
  9. That's it. I feel totally ashamed! You are so amazing and organised!! I think it's a fabulous way to keep on top of things, and as you say, the more organised you are at the beginning, the more time you have to enjoy the festive season with your friends and family. You can't really get more perfect, don't you agree?! Thanks so much for linking up with #SundayStars. Steph xxx

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for your comment - I do read them all but it may take me a little while (a couple of days) to respond during busy times. I love reading what you have to say!

Have a wonderful day!

Hi, I'm Claire...

Hi, I'm Claire...

About Me

I believe in 80s pop, 90s teen movies, and proper thank you notes. I just like smiling...smiling's my favourite.

I write here about London, food, books & travel, and a lot more besides. I'm never happier than when having adventures, cooking for friends, or lost in a good book.

If you'd like to work together, or if you'd just like to say hello, my email is: countrymouseclaire@gmail.com

Please note that on occasion affiliate links may be used in this blog. All items received for review or paid posts will always be disclosed.

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