Thursday, 15 December 2011

How do you approach Christmas?

Assuming that you love Christmas, like I do, then how do you approach it? Some people seem to leave everything until the last minute - present buying, baking, planning, decorating, writing the cards, posting them at the last minute. Some people like it that way - I have friends who say that that is the best way to do it.

I am not like that. I like to start everything well in advance otherwise I get flustered and don't enjoy anything. I am a maker of copious lists and I start early - possible presents, possible food, possible guests. Dare I tell you that I even buy my second class stamps twenty at a time over the space of five weeks, so that I hardly miss the money!

Some people put up their decorations and their tree without doing all that much cleaning beforehand, arguing that as the tree will be dropping its needles everywhere and on the morning there will be wrapping paper everywhere, the big clean up should be after Christmas.

I am not like that. Pre-Christmas is the one time of the year when all the drawers get cleaned out, napkins get washed and put in their proper place, tables and my best pieces of furniture get a polish with 'proper' polish rather than the spray stuff and silver and brass get cleaned.

And only when all that is done do I think of putting up the decorations and putting round the cards. Last jobs include writing the menus (most food is already in the freezer or at least ordered) and a few days before I shall check that I have done all the shopping.

I hope this does not sound 'holier than thou' - it is not meant to - it is just that it is the only way I can keep my head above water throughout the Christmas season. And enjoy it.

One of the things I have polished today is the original brass from the last working farm horse on our farm. It hangs on our kitchen wall - I love it. The farmer well remembers it - they got their first Fergie tractor in 1948, when he was five.


jill said...

Oh I have to agree with you,I like to be organised for christmas and I am ready but I have to admit that I have only just written my cards today.I have done all my food shopping only fresh foods to get on christmas eve.Hope you have a lovely organised time.Love Jill xx

angryparsnip said...

I agree with you. I like to enjoy the season and not be stressed out.
Most of my presents were planned and bought early. What baking we do (except for the packages to Japan) is done a bit later in the week leading up to Christmas, when everything else is done and we just have have fun.
This year because of illness something were done later than usual but all will be finished by the weekend.
Love the horse bass. Beautiful.

cheers, parsnip

Rachel said...

I will leave everything until next week. I like it that way. I am organised in my own way. It is a good thing we are not all the same. My partner organises the turkey and vegetables and I do not have to get involved in that side of things. It all works out fine.

Everything Changes said...

You need to hire yourself out!

I used to do much in advance, but too much work and life catches up with me of late.

This year, with my hubby's surgery, I'm thinking . . . what! December!

Heather said...

I agree with you Pat, and like plenty of planning time before preparations get underway. I am a bit behind this year and only wrote my cards yesterday, bought stamps today and will post them tomorrow. The food is all organised apart from the last minute fresh bits, and presents dealt with. I have joked about just sprinkling the cobwebs with glitter but I like to clean everywhere before the decorations and tree go up - I will do that this weekend.
I love your horsebrass and used to collect them myself years ago. Mine were only copies I think and not the real thing.

Hildred and Charles said...

Oh, I used to be terribly organized, - calendars and time all neatly noted. Now I have few deadlines, - one for cards and letters and one for parcels, and now I start making shortbread early so that I can send it away or take it to friends. Apart from that I am quite relaxed, - the house is decorated and the Christmas music fills the house and everyone is welcome.

ChrisJ said...

Oh that is the way it SHOULD be done. But it's not like that in our house.

Eryl said...

The only thing I do well in advance is make the cake, which I do in October so I can feed it with plenty of booze before icing it. Cards will be written tomorrow and food will be bought next week sometime. I don't need to write lists because I do the same thing every year, and even if I forget somethings no one notices. So, for me Christmas is pretty relaxed. I will give the house a thorough clean next week and decorate on Christmas eve with holly and ivy from the garden. This year's tree will be made out of scrap wood earlyish next week, if I can find my glue gun. I don't have many people to buy presents for, so I'll do that next week too. I quite like a concentrated burst of activity and then to collapse after the feast. I've never been a great planner, but I do admire people who are, and who can be as organised as you. Have a lovely one.

Leilani Lee said...

We must have Christmas organized in advance because 99% of our gifts must be shipped across the country. So there is no last-minute buying here! I have had a problem in the past getting Christmas cards out on time though

Cloudia said...

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Von said...

Like you I always liked to turn out all the drawers, clean the cupboards, windows etc and ge tthe house spic and span before the decs went up.Shopping started early and was organised with lists as was the food and as much preparation done beforehand as possible.This year my beloved daughter announced she was doing Christmas!! I have been allowed to organise the pudding, the tiramisu, the platter of cherries and the essential accompanying items.It seems such a small task!! I have enjoyed it immensely and even got to do extras like ordering the turkey and ham, both fresh and the ham smoked by our Butcher in his smoker at the back of the shop.The day itself will be fun and I won't have to cook or clean up!! Perfect!

Emille said...

I'm mostly pretty organized for Christmas, and start with the presents in Oct., but this year it's different and have let everything slide, because in Oct. we came back from Holl. in Nov. Soon it was Thanksgiving, and suddenly it's a week before Christmas - I'll finally put up the tree this weekend!

Bovey Belle said...

I have a good tidy up of the bits to be seen, but since it is only "us" (family - husband, myself and three grown-up children) I don't go mad.

I'm with you on polishing the brass though - I love to see it winking and reflecting the firelight/lights in the room, and I am SO envious of the gorgeous cart brass you have there.

Today we are dressing the tree. Which will take my mind off the sadness of losing little Tippy yesterday.

MorningAJ said...

The really scary bit is that I start buying in the January sales and stashing presents for the next time! I do an awful lot in advance because I hate last-minute in anything.

Pondside said...

I like the prepared approach too, Pat, but find that full-time work forces some shortcuts. The brass and copper were polished and the furniture too, with the real stuff that requires a fair application of elbow grease! Because I have to mail most of our gifts, that business is over and done with by the end of November. Shopping I do at the last minute, with lists for everything. Baking? Not a cookie has been made, but the house will smell good next week when I book off work for 12 days!

Elizabeth said...

I like the preparing for Christmas --the delicious anticipation -- almost MORE than Christmas itself.
I do like everything to be clean and tidy before we decorate, but I'm afraid I'm still in the middle of making/sending cards and there is glitter all over the place.
You sound MUCH more organized.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Is it significant that everyone who has left a comment about organisation and Christmas is female? You bet it is!