Don't worry, this won't be one of those posts where the writer/blogger boasts how they are all ready for Christmas one month before the big day. I am not one of those people who start shopping for Christmas in July, or even September. For me, Christmas preparations begin in November. That's part of getting in the holiday spirit. I shop, I decorate, I watch crappy movies on the Christmas24 channel (by the way, I am totally addicted to the latter, don't judge me). Then in December we get and decorate the tree, and attend lots of fun Christmas parties/events. So, I thought I would share some of the things I do in November so that December doesn't feel too hectic.
I find that if you visit Santa too close to Christmas Day, there's a chance that your child will change their mind by then and it will be too late to get that gift. This weekend we'll be visiting Lapland UK. We've never been before, but it looks amazing, especially with the huge amount of fake snow they've brought in (top photo). First of all, the children receive a personalised letter from Father Christmas, inviting them to Lapland UK. Once there, there's a toy factory, ice-skating, biscuit-making with Mrs Claus and of course a meeting with the big guy. And Santa looks nice and fat. Last year we had two visits to Father Christmas (not counting one at pre-school and one at regular school). Both Santas were young and skinny, and I think one might have been a bit drunk.
I try and do at least half of my Christmas shopping in November (though many shops have great sales on the week before Christmas, which is when I buy any clothing gifts). But I try and get all the kids' presents in November. Not only does it spread out the cost, but it makes you feel happy buying gifts for your loved ones, which is great for getting in the Christmas spirit. We also try and buy things like mince pies, Christmas cakes and biscuits, panettone and alcohol in November to further cut down the costs in December. The only issue is that you must hide these things away or you will eat/drink everything before you get the chance to shared them with your loved ones. November is also a good time to order your Christmas grocery delivery, if you shop online. We once went grocery shopping on Christmas Eve as I heard you could find great deals. There were no deals, just a lot of frantic people. Lesson learned.
If you're thinking of getting photo Christmas cards, or if you want to have photos to send to family with your Christmas cards, take the photos now. Either with a professional or on your own. Even if you don't do anything with the photos, take them. Christmas Day always ends up being so busy that often we forget to take a family photo. *Photo credit: Memory Gate Photography
Yes, it would be good to sort out your Christmas party outfit ahead of time. But I'm thinking about the kids. Last year I really wanted to get the kids matching Christmas pyjamas. This is not easy when you have children of the opposite gender, four years apart. Anyway, the cute pjs were out of stock last December, so I had to take whatever I could find in their sizes. Same goes for Christmas jumpers. Buy them NOW.
That's it for my November Christmas Checklist. Anything you'd add? Are you all ready for Christmas? Or maybe you haven't started? Or else you're almost halfway done like me?