I felt the first tingle of Christmas this weekend and such was my fright I went into festive overdrive and anybody observing would have imagined that Christmas Eve had taken me unawares and found me midst of the kind of Mummy madness described in adverts that have many a feminist/male brow a-bristling. Heck yes: this weekend I have spent much time dithering over the kind of detail men would not miss at Christmastime until we ladies failed to deliver it.
I have made lists, checked them twice, created a wrapping station, bought presents, wrapped most of them, and arranged them out of the way of prying fingers and paws. I have watched made-for-television Christmas movies on Christmas 24, sat down with my planner and put in as many dates as I already have arranged, burned Christmas scented candles and collated festive recipes. I have in fact submerged my entire being in all things festive because this year I am absolutely determined to have the kind of Christmas dreams are made of…
You know it simply isn’t possible to begin planning the Christmas of our dreams if we do not know what the Christmas of our dreams looks like…
The Christmas Countdown.
I have long believed planning is the key to a beautiful Christmas. That while the moments we might treasure in years to come will happen spontaneously, it is because we have already set the scene so beautifully, that they strike us as precious.
When we decide to CREATE Christmas instead of allowing it to HAPPEN to us, we can set in motion all manner of seasonal loveliness.
We can browse the local papers with our calendar at our side noting down dates of fairs, markets and panto’s we might otherwise have missed. We can throw open houses and give those who need it, enough notice so they are guaranteed to attend. We can gather festive recipes from around the globe, incorporate new traditions into the holiday and choose gifts that really mean something for those we hold most dear. In short we can arrive in December certain of what each day of the Advent will deliver and hopeful that this is the Christmas we will keep our sanity in check.
Yes planning matters, but so I think, does choosing to keep things simple. The internet has raised the bar for many of us when it comes to ritual and celebration, offering us a world of intricate, complicated, gorgeous solutions to everything from gifts to decorations, but we don’t have to feel obliged to make Christmas any more difficult than it already is by committing to crafty, extravagant fancy ideas long before we have got the basics in place. Yes it is wonderful to go to town with your Christmas wrap, but when there are seventy five or more little giftees to wrap, a person can get mighty tired of the fuss and the frippery to be found on Pinterest!
So we must decide to get all the basics in place BEFORE we start fussing: we must get the most essential ingredients for a blissful Christmas ordered before we start dilly-dallying with the unknown. We must have every gift wrapped in brown paper before we start losing many an hour to creating velvet ribbon parcel corsages or designing our own stamps and we must be certain that last years lights are still in perfect order before we blow the decorating budget on vintage baubles…
Most of all enjoy the very ritual of focusing your mind on the Christmas of your dreams. Light a
candle. Nibble a piece of chocolate. Start testing mulled wine recipes as you putter in your Christmas book. Make it lovely. Make it your very own kind of fun.
The Christmas Countdown
Christmas can, you see, be blessed with good food, the quiet hum of carols and the bliss of candlelight. We can choose to bless those we love with one perfect large gift instead of thirty teeny tiny bothersome ones and we can spend money on things that will be savored instead of wasting it on fancy wrap that those without our eye for all things scrumptious will glance at before ripping and throwing away.
Our lives as orchestrators of Christmas will be much easier if we resolve to plan every aspect of the holiday starting NOW. If we choose simple over fussy, and concentrate on all that makes memories instead of working ourselves into a frenzy at the last minute over that which doesn’t matter…
Let’s get this party started Housekeepers!
P.S: In just FIVE DAYS my thirty day countdown to Christmas starts in earnest. Don’t get left behind will you?