Christmas Planning

The nights are drawing in and there is a definite chill in the air. We have celebrated Halloween and Bonfire night has been and gone, so Christmas is round the corner. I love the magic of Christmas. Without exception Christmas is one of those time that can so easily become out of control. I can feel the excitement beginning to build already and with all this extra excitement it is inevitable there is an element of stress, especially with children around. As I have mentioned, I love Christmas and I am not having stress spoil any of it!

Over time Christmas has evolved and I choose the parts I want to enjoy. I have devised my own little strategy to making Christmas as magical as possible, it is a working plan so always open for improvement.

I like the history of celebrating winter solstice, lighting a candle (or tree lights) to encourage the sun to shine strong again. The evergreen tree reminds us in harsh winter, that crops will grow again. Father Christmas dates back to around the 4th century as a figure of generosity, the sharing of Christmas gifts.

Don’t get me wrong there is also room for more traditional celebrations, I look forward to the school play for the infants at school and the Church Carol service at the end of term.

If there is one thing I have come to realise forward thinking and planning is the key. So our Christmas will start early there is too much to enjoy for just the one day! I want to enjoy the decorations and so will put them up early in December.

For children presents are Christmas! My son in particular in very good at wanting something until the day before Christmas Eve and he announces he has changed his mind. The Christmas list is not always predictable, in the past we have stuck pictures from a catalogue to make a list. This year we have moved onto writing it on the PC, pictures of snowflakes etc. have been copied and pasted. On the list must be your very favourite things and Santa will not be able to bring all of them. Once the list has gone to Santa it cannot be changed! It is one of the few times they do help each other and all work together.

When it comes to shopping for presents the internet really comes into its own. A little time searching for the best price. Much more choice than our local town and post and packing is money well spent when I think of trailing around with a small child in tow, the cost of petrol and parking and the time saved.

Before the school term ends I like to make a gingerbread house (templates are easily available on the internet) A few sweets and some icing and they are entertained for sometime, giving me some precious time during the holidays.

For the past couple of years we have had our Christmas Dinner on Boxing Day. Simply because Christmas dinner is a big meal, it takes time to prepare and I want to enjoy it. For children they are too excited to sit and eat a big meal on Christmas Day and I don’t feel I am missing out if I am in the kitchen.

For the last couple of years we have met with friends on Christmas Eve in a park for a run around, we wrap up well, it has been thick ice or pouring with rain and muddy. But there is nothing like a mug of hot chocolate in the car with sausage rolls. It certainly beats sitting at home getting over fraught!

The most important thing at Christmas is enjoying time together

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