When you are busy making Christmas magical for everyone else, there is a real danger of missing out on the sparkle for yourself. For so many years, I spent the whole of December getting myself into such a tizz and it has taken me a couple of years to get here but I think I might have finally cracked it. I used to think that being organised for Christmas somehow sucked the fun out of it but I was wrong. I have spent the whole of November getting quietly organised this year so that I can actually enjoy my December. It’s a revelation.
There is no escaping the fact that there is a lot to organise for Christmas on top of everything else and you somehow have to cram this all in to those few short weeks of December where you spend half of it squashed into the back of a packed school hall listening to Little Donkey. Again. And the other half at home nursing at least one poorly child. Anyone with school aged children will know that it is prime lurgy season. When you have as many children as I do, at least one of them will be ill in December. Usually on that one day you have pencilled in to get all the shopping done.
So this year, I have given myself an early Christmas gift of time. Precious, precious time. Somehow starting to think about Christmas in November instantly makes it feel less stressful. I had time to make lists and everybody knows that you are ready to take on the world if you have a proper list. I had time to put real thought into what gifts to buy for everybody. And it was nice just to spot things as I went along that I knew people would love. There is nothing like shopping in packed out shops in December to bring out blind panic buying. None of that for me this year.
I started wrapping as I went along too. I love to take my time over wrapping with string and bows and washi tape but actually, I have very small windows of time when I have the house to myself these days with my two teenagers coming and going all day every day and basically never going to bed. But doing it in small bursts meant that it all got done over the month. Oh, and when you run out of gift tags in November, it’s no big deal. Running out in the third week of December? Catastrophic of course!
Christmas is also the busiest time of the year for one of Mr Mostly’s businesses and we hardly see him for the whole of December. He usually leaves for work before we wake up and gets home after the little ones have gone to bed. I’m not going to lie, I run a much tighter ship when I am solo – mainly because I have to or we would sink! Looking after (never mind synchronising December diaries with) four children on your own is bloody hard work! Flying solo means that the whole Christmas organisation thing falls firmly on my shoulders. The only thing Mr Mostly has to do is buy me a present (if I’m lucky! Ha!) I’m not complaining. Not at all in fact. I love making Christmas happen. But I figure why make it harder than it has to be when December is a tough month for me as it is?
If Christmas feels like a chore, then I am sorry but you are doing it all wrong. Being quietly organised rocks. I am so looking forward to this December knowing that the lion’s share of work is done.