(*Pictured is last years' brand new Christmas Organiser Book. Within ten minutes Clarke decided to use it as a coaster. ‘Twas an early Christmas miracle that he did not sleep in the garage that night.) The first week in November: Historically one of my most favourite weeks of the year.
The decorations go up in all the shopping centres.
And in my mind, that makes it an acceptable time of year to start my Christmas planning!
I fix myself a massive hot chocolate, resplendent in a gaudy Christmas mug.
Break out the first festive tin of buttery shortbread.
And get busy with my Christmas Organiser!
There's not a single thing that will take place over the next eight weeks, that won’t go in this book.
Every event. Every present. Every moment. They are all noted in these pages.
Three of our children have their birthdays between now and the Twelfth Night.
So it’s important their birthdays don’t get overshadowed by the rest of the festivities.
Plus, with five children and a huge extended family, budgeting is super important.
Not just for presents. Food costs could quickly get unmanageable if I didn’t plan in advance.
None of this planning ahead is a chore, mind you.
l love every single part of it.
Love it, l tells ya.
Unpacking every decoration and seeing what has survived another year in the garage.
Deciding where everything will go, when we do put them up the first week of December.
Making prospective present lists.
Noting down Yuletide activities in the local area.
Even planning and carrying out the Christmas Deep Clean of the House brings me joy.
But none of this is happening this year.
And not even solely down to Boris’ announcement.
But because we are between houses, as it were.
So any semblance of a regular Christmas, is out of the question.
This is absolutely not even in the same ballpark as the hardships so many have endured in 2020.
But I’m sad about it. Really quite sad, actually.
It's our daughters first Christmas, yet we won’t be celebrating it in the traditional sense at all.
A friend of mine has a phrase he uses to descibe folk:
”They are the kind that look at the hole instead of the donut.”
I don’t want to look at the hole. I want to look at the donut.
l can’t bear the thought of eight weeks of not seeing the donut.
So I’m going to come off social media.
That way I won’t be bombarded by people with their trees and decorations.
And, you know, houses.
For me, that’s the hole.
The donut? Oh that’s my family.
My lovely husband and babies.
The miracle that we are all alive and well to spend it together.
That's not the sort of thing l ever have to plan for.