Christmas prepping in November

My friends, there is no escape.

Whisper it, but Christmas is coming.

This year, I have decided that I will not be getting frazzled about Christmas. It is mid-November, and I am happy to report that everything is on track and I will be done with my Christmas prep way before the big day.

I’m lucky in that my mum sorts out the food for Christmas. All I have to do is bake my signature ginger cake (recipe soon!) for Christmas Day and that’s basically my contribution. But I do have other things to do – I have my social circle of friends and colleagues, and they need gifts and cards.

I’ve set myself the goal of having all my cards written, addressed and stamped by the end of November, ready to post on December 1st. Likewise gifts – they will all be bought by the end of November and wrapped by December 1st.

If I don’t set hard deadlines for something like this, I turn into a flailing mess of last minute panic. This year, I don’t want that. I want to actually feel in control and not be freaking out that I forgot a present or a card for someone.

The solution is lists. Lists and lists and lists. I’ve got myself a little whiteboard that has the names of people who I need to get gifts and cards for on one side, and when I buy their gift, I wipe off the name from the ‘gift’ column. Same when I get round to writing the cards. I admit at the time of publishing I’ve not even bought my cards yet, but this weekend is going to be Card Time. I intend to buy and write them all over the weekend, with plenty of tea to assist.

Aside from being organised, the main driving force behind doing all the Christmas stuff in November is that I still have to be very careful in crowds, and December is very crowded in our town. Covid isn’t going away and because I’m high risk, I try to avoid busy places. I’m usually in town by the time the shops open, and back home before lunchtime, which is when it starts to get busy. I don’t intend to go into town in December if I can help it.

December is also the perfect month to just… wind down… and if I’m honest it’s been a bit of a Year, which is why I’d like to end it on a more zen note. Planning and prepping in November is an attempt to do that. Admittedly I will still be working, but knowing that at the end of the day, and at weekends, I can just shut my laptop and chill out without worrying about shopping or wrapping presents or writing cards, will be bliss.

As an aside, Food Network is running their ‘Novembermas’ again this year, so there’s tons of Christmassy cooking shows on that channel. Perfect to watch while I’m getting my own Christmas sorted, right?

Is anyone else trying to get everything sorted in November so they can have a chill December? Let me know if you are!


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