Call me a grinch but I firmly believe that Christmas and all it’s associated trappings belongs firmly in December. I’m not adverse to a bit of present buying in preparation throughout the year but that is where I draw the line. I cannot stand the appearance of mince pies in our shops in September, carols in October and trees decorated as soon as Guy Fawkes is over. So no one is more surprised than me that this year, in the middle of November, I am writing a column about Christmas.
Really, I blame the Royal Mail. If your child is planning to send a letter to Father Christmas and wants a reply, then it must be be sent in time to arrive with him by the 9th December. Realistically, that means it needs to be written and in the post by the 7th December. Although I could wait until we’re into December before getting the kids started, I know if I do that a week will pass, distractions will arise and we’ll be too late. So, in the week commencing 21st November, I have found myself telling the kids that we’ll be writing our letters to the big man in red. Of course there is the added benefit of knowing what they’re hoping to receive but still, it’s a bit early…isn’t it?
The problem is that now we’re thinking about this, the floodgates have opened and I’m starting to consider what I’ll be cooking (I’m hosting Christmas dinner this year for my parents and sisters), whether I need to order the meat, where I’ll fit everyone, whether we should have a real tree or drag out the fake again, when we should put up the decs…. the list is endless. I think it doesn’t help that I’m absolutely exhausted of late. The boys have been tag teaming in the wee hours and if I’m lucky, I’ll know what’s on the cards for the next 48 hours but beyond that, I’ve got no chance! The idea of tackling all of this at the moment is a little, overwhelming, to say the least.
But despite my grinch-like protestations, I do absolutely adore Christmas when I’m in the midst of it so I’ve got a plan. We’ve started night weaning Eli (a little late but better now than never!) so I’m feeling confident that in a week or two I might be feeling a little more rested. Plus, the children’s enthusiasm is contagious and at the end of the day, I know that once we are in December and I have my first mince pie and put on the Christmas tunes I’ll be positively oozing festive cheer, ready to embrace the busiest season of the year. So my advice is to continue to ignore the impending arrival of Christmas for another 10-14 days and then you can let loose with the tinsel and mulled wine, safe in the knowledge that you haven’t started too early and won’t suffer holiday burnout!