I remember as a child that Christmas was not allowed to begin (i.e. talking about it, shopping for it, getting excited about it) until after Dad's birthday (20th November), which held back the craziness nicely. We have a similar rule here chez Inkspots - Hubby's birthday is the 29th November.
Not quite that easy though. Here are the things that thrust Christmas earlier onto our conscience:
- THE SHOPS. Yes, the Christmas things came out as soon as the Back to School things went away, shoulder to shoulder with Halloween delights. Now that Halloween is out of the way they can go at Christmas with gusto!
- MAIL ORDER. Many of us now do the bulk of our Christmas shopping on-line, preferring an evening with the laptop and a glass of wine to the hot shops/ cold outdoors crush of pre-Christmas shopping (except maybe as a one-off to buy a couple of things and smugly sample the Gluwein at a Christmas market while raising your eyebrows at the antics of the non-mail-order shoppers).
- CRAFTING. Anybody who plans to make gifts for Christmas, table decorations, Advent calendars and so on
willshould already be well underway with their endeavours to have any hope of getting it all done in time.
- SCHOOL. If you're a parent you may well be aware that the children are already practising Christmas songs (that's me doing that!) and the Christmas play - all that starts straight after half term. If your school is one of the many that sells Christmas cards designed by the children themselves, then your child will have designed their card weeks ago and you'll probably already have had to submit your order. Teachers are right now planning what Christmas delights they will be making to send home with the children so that they can squeeze it all in with the Christmas play, carol concerts and maybe even a bit of reading and writing.
- FAMILY PLANS. I've had the message from one sister asking for ideas for the children's gifts, to which I have duly responded, keeping a few ideas back for when my in-laws ask the same question nearer December, and one or two for me too. We've made our plans of when we are visiting each part of the family over the Christmas period and where we'll be on Christmas Day, and have also got another invitation to reply to.
- preparing the Christmas songs to inflict on the children at school,
- contributed to the ideas for the Christmas production at school,
- planning the school PTA Christmas fair,
- making a list of what I am going to gift each member of my family, highlighting things that need making,
- planning our Christmas, including trying to work out when the best time will be to go to the supermarket... too early and the food will go off while we're away visiting the in-laws, leave it until we get back and it's OMG CHRISTMAS EVE AT THE SUPERMARKET!
- plan what and when I'm going to cook or bake,
- actually do something to help with the Christmas fair.
- Sing the Christmas songs with the children at school so that we don't deafen the old folks at the residential home we are visiting at the beginning of December.
- make stuff on my list,
- buy stuff on my list,
- write Christmas cards, and oh... everything else.... jingle, jingle... Christmas is a-coming!