A nice quiet Sunday spent baking my Christmas cake whilst singing along to my favourite CD of Christmas Carols to get me in the mood. DH had gone to the final concert in town and I had the afternoon to myself so once the cake was parcelled up and in the oven I had another go at my Christmas card. I have so many varying Robins now but none are quite right and I am in two minds as to whether to ditch the idea and do something else.
On Saturday morning DH finished the shelving in the shed and today I remembered to take some pictures. He has done a fantastic job – plenty of hooks and shelving and the melamine from the old wardrobe will make the shelves easy to wipe down (and I am so pleased we could repurpose the wood and we didn’t have to take it to the landfill). All I have to do now is put the contents back – but that will be another day – as will painting the outside as it is still too damp for the paint to stick.
We can however tackle the next maintenance job on the list – re-staining the front door surround and painting the door as it is well protected under the porch roof. DH made a start this morning while it was both sunny and dry.
It was also completely still; no wind at all – the towels I hung on the line did not move an inch and came back in almost as damp as when I hung them out.I spent the day taking stock of what I have done and what I still have to do. After a few hectic days I needed to check up on our finances and other bits and pieces and generally have a little time to think.
I added a few more tasks to my list as they came to mind – this time of year there are so many little jobs to remember – picking things up, dropping things off, and plenty of decisions to make – trying not to overlook anything.
Following on from my previous list of initial preparations I have a further list (no surprises there!) that is more about cleaning and preparing the house ready to decorate with the Christmas trimmings and also to make sure I have stocked up with all the basics so I don’t find myself running out to the shops on Christmas Eve for batteries or loo rolls.
One of the first things I do is to check the basic stocks in cupboards and drawers of non food items such as toiletries and household items – shampoo, toilet rolls, greaseproof paper, kitchen foil, batteries etc. I have a reminder list of these items and I generally make a note to stock up with these things well before Christmas so I don’t run out or have to think about them when I am too busy doing other Christmas shopping.
I will then plan to eat up any of those odd bits from the freezer and clean it out. Once this is done I can prepare some meals like the Nut loaf for our Christmas dinner and restock with the basics like peas, frozen chips and bread.
This is also a good time to have a quick check to see that any evening wear / party outfits are in good order and drop them off for dry cleaning (though I normally only buy washable clothes these days).
Finally I have a quick check over the Christmas lights to see they are in working order.
I do like my home to be relatively clean for Christmas especially before all the decorations go up and it gets difficult to clean. I make a note of tasks that need to be done in each room and anything outside.
I like to give the downstairs rooms a good clean, knocking the dust off the lampshades! I find that adding a bit of polish to the white goods and small appliances gives them a bit of a sparkle and of course I include giving the oven a good clean. Once the main rooms look passable I can bring out the Christmas bits and pieces like my cute knitted Christmas pudding tea cosy and robin napkins that my daughter printed and made, my little Christmas china mug and plate and the Christmas candles and holders; by this time adding a few little finishing touches to the house it is beginning to look quite festive but not over done. The tree and staircase garland are not installed until much nearer Christmas.
During November I will have been clipping away looking for some fresh ideas for the Christmas trimmings. I have on the list to buy the tree and make a wreath and this I find is getting earlier each year.
DH usually decides where the outside lights are going to go – I leave this job to him and how many lights we have will depend on how much time he has to put them up and how much enthusiasm. We lost our tree in the front garden a few years ago but still have a number of large shrubs and a climber that we fix lights to but also two tall metal cones made of sturdy chicken wire that look like Christmas trees when decorated. I have made a note for DH to do the lights in November (thanks to Sadie from Notes from an ordinary life) in readiness for the switch on in December.
If we are having guests to stay over Christmas I will clean and prepare the guest room and check the bedding and also make a note of any specific dietary needs for any fussy visitors.
I have been doing quite a bit of the cleaning as I have decluttered recently so I feel I am well ahead but that could all change. On a blustery day I might even wash the cushion covers and throws too so they smell fresh.
Well those are the plans so I had better get started now – lots still to do. You would think after years of practice I must be getting better at this – but somehow it can still fee a bit of a rush to be ready on time.