As you know, I'm doing a weekly Project Life-style journal this year, so I haven't done much crafting yet but I've been thinking about the prompts and taking pictures so I have plenty to choose from.
The First Signs
The early signs of Christmas around here are messy and unphotogenic. I am not lucky enough to have a spare room, or even a spare cupboard, so cards, wrapping paper, presents are hidden all over the house in boxes and bags. I started shopping in October so by now the house is looking very cluttered. I hope to get my tree up this weekend so then I can start wrapping presents and putting them under it. Cards will also be posted soon so the chaos should look better.
When I was a child, of course, the Christmas planning that involved me started much later. The class Christmas party, and then later the school disco, was the first celebration of the year. I remember writing cards for my schoolfriends and I have fond memories of going with my dad to choose a Christmas tree. We always had eyes bigger than our living room so he had to saw the top branches off before we could take it inside. Subsequently, most of our trees were a slight stunted squat shape, but I didn't care. I adored taking the precious glass baubles out of their eggboxes and placing each one with great care. There was a tatty robin which came out every year, and Christmas cards from my great-grandparents who died when I was 3 or 4.
I asked my mum recently if she still had any of those old decorations, since she doesn't bother with a tree anymore, but sadly I had left it too late and they were all gone.
If you've been following this blog for a while, you'll know I'm a great one for planning. I have lists of lists at Christmas: gifts to buy, cards to send, teachers to give to, crafts to make, costumes to find, recipes to try, end of term jobs to do at work, photos to take.
I love it, and I love ticking things off but at this stage (nearly end of term, halfway through the shopping) I am finding that every task completed spawns 2 more to be done and I'm looking forward to finishing teaching next week so I can focus on family stuff.
We are hosting Christmas day, but we are still planning what to serve. M and I love turkey, but P doesn't think it a treat. He loves Beef Wellington but we've had that for the last 2 years.
I have several treats planned over the next few weeks - I prefer to give experiences rather than unwanted presents or unappreciated money gifts so I've bought pantomime tickets for my niece and nephew.
The Perfect Present
Sad to say, although I have had many lovely surprises over the years I must be quite difficult to buy for because I don't remember the receiving the 'perfect gift'. I think I'm easy to buy for - I could buy myself loads of things when I'm Christmas shopping! but my nearest and dearest need very specific instructions. I usually do buy myself what I want and tell P how much it was. He hates shopping so everyone is happy that way, though it takes away the 'oooh, you shouldn't have' factor!
I do remember- with some shame for being such a materialistic teenager - the year my brother was given a Vic 20 computer (state-of-the art back in 1984!) and I got a pair of green pixie boots. The computer must have cost a fair proportion of my Dad's salary and I think it was meant as a joint present. However, my brother thought it was just for him and I didn't appreciate that at all. Despite having wanted the pixie boots and despite wearing them with pride for the rest of that year, I was still jealous of the financial disparity between my gift and my brother's.