Another dark dreary day today and cold with it – light is in short supply at the moment but I did manage to get my selection bags finished and ready to go. The only cost to me was for the fun size chocolate bars inside which I bought reduced at Halloween, the gift wrap was some left over from a previous year and the tags from old Christmas cards. I will take pictures tomorrow as the light has gone altogether now.
I made Mushroom soup today and extra for the freezer. It has become my favourite lunch at the moment – perhaps you can tell! We had freshly baked rolls too from Sainsbury’s – a kind of Ciabatta bread with cheese and shaped like a boat – should have taken a picture. They were reduced to 4 for 60p – so a bargain as well.
I have started my initial preparations for Christmas, I use the same checklists each year so I don’t forget to do things. This is the first of a series of lists that I have developed over time and serve me well:-
Getting prepared and organised – step 1 – initial preparations
- Begin a Xmas inspiration notebook or wallet – a definite must – I collect all those usually annoying leaflets, adverts about events, recipes, decoration ideas or anything Christmassy that catches my eye.
- Look at what didn’t work last year (see my notes HERE from last year of things to avoid or do better)
- Do something different this year – I like to plan something new each year and this often ends up as a new tradition the following years.
- Decide on any entertaining we might do and set a date – prepare invitations – knowing if and when we might be holding a party or get together is crucial to knowing just how busy I am going to be.
- Find the decorative Xmas box to hold incoming Xmas cards as they arrive – believe it or not we have received our first Xmas card but it is far too early to put it up so I usually hold them all in a pretty box.
- Review finances for last Xmas and set a new budget – I keep a note of our past Christmas spending and plan a new budget based on this.
- Arrange the family Not so Secret Santa draw
- Prepare the Christmas Calendar for December – I like to put everything down in one place so I have a calendar that I can see at a glance what is planned for each day in December.
I start by putting down any dates that are fixed like birthdays, then schedule appointments, and then decide on any events we might like to attend if we can fit them in.
- Add birthday dates first and any anniversaries (we have quite a few in December)
- Reschedule any unnecessary appointments for after Christmas (this might be a dental check up or the like if it is non urgent I will move it to after Christmas)
- Establish everyone’s movements (otherwise known as who is going where with whom)
- Schedule / book appointments for hairdressers, massage etc (a little ‘me’ time)
- Make a note of any discount nights or late night shopping
- Schedule time with the family – this might be a night out at a restaurant or a night in with a Xmas film – something we can all do together.
- Schedule any religious activities – Carol singing, Crib service etc
- Schedule a theatre night or Christmas event (this year we are going to see the Winter Wonderland lights at Dunham Massey and probably go to the Living Advent event in Saltaire)
- Add dates for making Christmas food gifts (I usually make a few food gifts for my friends and these have to be made closer to Christmas so I need to leave a clear day or two)
- Add last posting dates for Christmas (I have already picked up the leaflet for this year whilst I was at the post office)
This is very much the planning and plotting stage – deciding on what to do and where to go and when. I have already done some of these things on this list – but have I missed anything?
There is a lot to fit in now into four weeks. My next task will be the cake on Sunday and getting back to doing my lino cut Christmas card.
I was chatting with my daughter about a present for Little L for Christmas and I mentioned the subscription boxes you can order for children that come by post once a month with activities. I signed up for something similar years ago that was run by the Early Learning Centre before they had shops and my two girls loved it when the parcel arrived each month, a box full of surprises. I am not sure they are such good value these days but the idea is still good and we are looking into it. She has so many presents on Christmas day that it would be nice to spread it out a bit. Has anyone any experience of any on the market?
Tomorrow we are going back to John Lewis – it is one of my Christmas treats in itself – I love to look at all the lovely things and get ideas. What a shame I don’t have another free hot drink and cake voucher unless one arrives in the post in the morning!
How are your plans coming along?