On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me....
A notebook to write everything in.
I love lists at Christmas. I write everything down and tick it all off. For a few years my Christmas notebook was a plain red one, which is unfortunately looking rather battered and worn now. So, this year I treated myself to a new one from Paperchase. It is A5 size, lined and full of thick, good quality pages. I am a pack-rat and I don't throw out Christmas notebooks so it might as well be good quality and act as a memory book, too.
So far, it has all the lists I need each year, having spent a happy two or three nights writing them out (again).
Yes, I know I could store them on the 'puter and just print them out and stick them in, but I like something about the way a neatly written page looks enough to make it worth the effort. I have my presents list, my cards list (including addresses), the list of things to buy, make and bake, a calendar for December listing all the dates that I need to know, some of my favourite poems and quotes about Christmas and a full set of my yearly Christmas recipes.
It also has pages full of my favourite decorating ideas and inspirations, some I already do and some I intend doing. I don't like changing all my decorations every year, for me part of the joy of Christmas is that the place looks the same apart from tweaking & additions, so I can probably tell you what will be on my mantlepiece now.
Christmas countdown for me really starts now, when we have under ten weeks to go and keeping count of how many days are left becomes easier. Knowing that I have 63 days left today means I can really feel the need to get organised! I always think it takes about 12 days & nights of work and preparation to put Christmas together, so I plan accordingly. Between now and Christmas I will spend time on writing cards, wrapping presents, decorating the house after a thorough cleaning and, of course, baking ahead. And the first day of my Christmas preparations is, of course, the planning day. Hence the notebook, hence the lists and hence the time spent looking into a (very pretty) monochromatic control journal.
I like getting things done in November, so that when December comes I can sit down a little and relax, or concentrate my efforts into building happy memories for my three.
I want them to remember the videos by candlelight, the everlasting supply of tangerines and the advent traditions we have as they grow older so that, hopefully, the magic will never disappear. I am the Christmas Fairy, and I love to make their Christmas dreams come true but I need to be professional about this, too, otherwise the trick just doesn't happen..... so, unromantic as it may seem, this is probably the heart of my Christmas.
The Page Headings in my Notebook (so far)
Calendar Dec 2007-Jan 2008
Presents 2007- immediate and extended
Things to Make
Things to buy
Childrens' presents to each other
Christmas Countdown; 22nd Dec to the Big Day!
Decorating Ideas and Inspirations
Crafting rundown to Christmas 2007
Alternative Gift ideas
Christmas House Clean Up
Nearly 100 Stocking fillers
Christmas Card lists
Shopping list; through the year
The Christmas Shop
Christmas Day Menu