I’m gonna say it.
Sorry. I know it’s only October but the fact is that my desk looks like Santa exploded – it’s spawned far too many Christmas card-making materials. Christmas is, like it or not, in the air.
I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m starting to really think about Christmas, even thought it’s still a good few weeks away. I’m making Christmas cards for the first time this year, mostly to house the gift vouchers that I sell for my personal styling business (interested? Go here to buy one)
However after the success of my prototype card and the ensuing ‘ooo’ noises from various family members, I think I might start selling the cards as Things on their own, and not just along with the vouchers. Etsy here I come.
This hare-brained idea about making Christmas cards has led me to start looking at local Christmas craft fairs where I can peddle them, and one thing I’ve noticed is that the fairs are mostly in November, when a lot of people think it’s still too early to be thinking about Christmas.
Last year, I did a big local craft fair with a friend of mine and the footfall was terrible. This could have been because it wasn’t that well advertised, or that it clashed with another, even bigger craft fair elsewhere, but mostly I think it was because it was held when nobody was feeling particularly festive. The Christmas lights hadn’t been switched on in our town yet and even the shops weren’t really feeling the Christmas thing. I think we didn’t even make back the price of our stand, which was appalling. The lady on the stall next to us said she had sold hardly anything, which being as she makes jewellery was really surprising. We came to the conclusion that people weren’t being organised about Christmas, and seeing as it was only five weeks to Christmas at the time of the fair, that was a little baffling to my overly-organised brain.
Because I hate Christmas shopping, so I do it early. I really do detest it – everyone seems to go crackers (pun not intended) around Christmas time. People actively get nastier when they’re shopping, and I don’t like being out in town when people are willing to shove you out of the way and stamp on your foot just to grab a £1 box of party poppers.
And don’t get me started on the supermarkets. We order most of our food from a local butcher, so we only have to get cupboard staples like ready made pastry and various sauces. We pick up our roast from the butcher on Christmas Eve. Mum gets up at the crack of dawn to head over to the butcher and she’s home and preparing by midday. Round here the supermarkets go crazy from the beginning of December, so we’re thinking of getting all our veg from the local grocer this year so we can just walk into the village the day before and don’t have to go near a big shop and a ton of people.
I admit I’ve done most of my shopping this year – I’ve got all my family and friend’s presents bar two which aren’t even released yet but when they’re out, Amazon will deliver and both are due in November. There will be a few small gifts I need to get in town but I will be going to get those some time in early December when it’s not so busy. Plus seeing as I now work for myself, I can help out my Mum and go shopping for her when she’s at work and I’ve got time during the day.
We believe in a stress-free Christmas, which is why I’ve brought it up in October. We’re already making grocery lists, planning our table decorations and debating whether we’re going to have a tree (‘We have a cat’ seems like a good reason to continue not having one although he’s a Good Boy and not a climber, but still). We know what we’re going to eat and when I go on holiday with Mum in a couple of weeks, we will finalise that. Because of my ridiculous dietary restrictions, Christmas food has to be planned with great precision. I feel like it’s a faff sometimes but over the years we’ve pared it down to a fine art.
The best thing about Christmas though is knowing that I can make a batch of my gingerbread. It’s a recipe from the wonderful Nigella Lawson, and the stuff vanishes within 48 hours of it being made. It’s a real yearly treat, and I will share the recipe with you all in December. We have it with caramel sauce as our pudding on Christmas Day (I can’t eat Christmas pudding) and it always goes down well.
So, guys. Christmas is in the air. I’m sorry!