I’m not sure how it happened but over the last few years, I have turned into one of those terribly smug people who gets organised for Christmas in November. Yesterday I bought the very last present on my list. I know, like I said, smug. But actually, being this organised does not come naturally. I’m generally much more of a fly by the seat of my pants kind of girl. But I love Christmas and want to actually enjoy December not turn into a complete stressball.
If Christmas feels stressful then I’m sorry, but you must be doing it all wrong. And it took me a while to get there but I worked out that for me, the doing it all wrong bit was the whole leaving everything until December thing. Anybody with school aged children will tell you that December is the shortest month of the year. And then of course there is the fact that you spend what feels like half of those few short weeks being squashed into the back of the school hall watching nativities and carol concerts and going back and forth for parties and fairs and the like. For the first few years of being a parent I missed out on a lot of the school stuff because I worked full time. One of the best things about stepping off the rat race is having the time to be there for every single school event. I love it. And I don’t want to be sat there worrying about my to do list, I want to enjoy every minute of it all.
This year my children finish school ridiculously early on the 15th – yes the 15th – of December so I knew that this year I would have to be especially organised. I started out by making lists of the people I had to buy for then started to come up with ideas of what to buy them. Sometimes easier said than done of course. But then buying bits here and there, I managed to get everyone ticked off. I had a vague aim to finish my present shopping by the end of November and by jove I have gone and done it with almost a week to spare. Hooray for people paying invoices on time! It truly is a Christmas miracle!
I haven’t wrapped any presents yet but I have ordered all the wrap I need and it’s winging its way to me as I type. Of course, I am bound to run out of sellotape because that is the law or something. But running out of something in the first week of December isn’t nearly as stressful as midnight wrapping with days to go. I’m actually looking forward to marathon wrapping sessions while they are at school next week. I might even dig out my Nutcracker CD. It’s not too early, is it?
We are hosting this year so I put my big food order in with Marks and Spencer at the start of the month so that is done and dusted. I have also been buying little extras with my usual weekly food shop to squirrel away. Just things like crackers and chocolate biscuits but it all adds up. I have quite the little stash of goodies building up. Although there is a very real danger that the lebkuchen won’t make it until Christmas. Nor the Lindt teddy bears *cough*
I have my little Christmas notebook full of lists and a calendar full of dates and I am coming around to the idea of being one of those organised people because do you know what? It feels great to be looking forward to December knowing that the lion’s share of the work has been done. It takes a lot of behind the scenes magic to make Christmas happen when you have a large family but I have loved every minute of getting secretly organised in November again.