Cooking dinner at home: “Mum, book lists for next year are here. They want them back in by November.”
Staff meeting at work two days ago: “….And finally, guys, have a look at the leave calendar and get your leave applications in ASAP, we need to be organised over Christmas and New Year.”
Christmas decorations and food were on the shelves on the first of October. Even before the Halloween insanity. Mayday, mayday, the black hole of the Christmas Season is sucking me in! Beam me out, Gandalf!
Thankfully this year I’ve been more slightly proactive in my planning. ‘Slightly’ in this instance meaning book marking some brilliant blog posts on gift ideas and advent activities (this October and last December, respectively), and by buying books and t-shirts when I got my tax return (in August). I’ve kept the loot buried in the exhausted, heavily taped moving box which has traveled over 2000kms/1242mi with me in the past five years. I’ve walked past its shaggy edges countless times this past fortnight as I unpack into my new house, fingers trailing over the warp and buckle of the top flaps. Oh, right, I’m still signed up to the card making place – phew! has flitted through my head at these times. I hope the camels made it I’ve prayed, half wincing at the ache I may be facing in finding out in just a handful of weeks. Once, dodging around the box yet again on my way to the laundry, I stopped dead – WHERE am I going to put the tree this year? Then, shrugging, I continued on realising Anywhere you want, babe. Anywhere you want.
I want a slightly different Christmas; therefore I’ve made an agreement with myself. The clauses and details are as follows:
- I will not be Christmas shopping in December. For food, yes. Presents, no way. (Camels not included – see Clause 4).
- We will put the tree up sometime around November 25th. Because I want to.
- The chest freezer will be stocked with our favourite mango ice-cream bars, and I’ll splurge to buy a whole box of cherries and lychees in the week of Christmas.
- I’m going to buy myself another camel (if I can find one appropriately awesome) to add to my Nativity collection.
- Our Christmas Advent house will be used, bare wood or painted, “ready” or not.
- I will search for five new Christmas carols/songs to add to my collection.
I hope my kids will like their books and couple of presents (I’m actually positive they will). But mostly – and the whole point of my agreement – is so we (so I) can deliberately, joyously, laughingly and enthusiastically celebrate Christ’s birth. I’m even going to bake Him a cake (and eat it, too!) Sometimes the celebration really is in the planning. Even if that planning is six items long.
Are you thinking of Christmas yet? Are you a precision planner or Christmas Eve shopper? What are you changing – or definitely keeping – in your Christmas this year?