Christmas is almost here and despite the fact that I've been thinking about it, shopping for it and planning it since October, I still feel woefully unprepared. I am trying my best to quell a rising sense of festive panic, a feeling that there just aren't enough hours in the day, while at the same time having a quite a nice time at home and at work doing all sorts of things. We've reached that point in the calendar where every hour between now and Christmas day is full or booked or somehow accounted for. There are Christmas parties for the kids, Christmas parties for John and I, a trip to the pantomime, Christmas Jumper Day, all kinds of festive events and concerts at school. All lovely, just busy.
Here are some things I've done over the last couple of weeks to make myself feel better:
:: Sit and admire the tree. This never gets old.
:: Get out in the fresh air as much as possible.
:: Crochet. (More on this another day.)
:: Unpack the Christmas things.
:: Light the advent candles.
:: Admire the Christmas lights on our neighbours' houses. Angus has taken to joining me on my after work dog walks, just so that he can admire all the lights. It's lovely actually.
:: Pottering, arranging, cleaning. Tidy house, tidy mind.
:: A child-free morning in Chichester with John. We had breakfast out and did some shopping.
:: Sunday morning, pyjama-clad fudge making with this one.
:: Going to a wreath making workshop organised by our PTA.
:: Getting a manicure. (This is a once every couple of years event.)
:: Baking mince pies with this one while listening to Christmas music.
:: And this one always makes me feel better.
I am trying to go easier on myself this Christmas. As I mentioned before, I just bought the kids chocolate advent calendars this years, rather than making them. I'm sending half the Christmas cards I usually would and I haven't made any, I bought them all in Waitrose. I still wanted to make some gifts for teachers and colleagues and had planned to make lots of mini Christmas cakes, like I did a couple of years ago. But at the last minute I made a huge batch of gingerbread fudge (a really easy, child friendly recipe - no boiling necessary) which took about ten minutes and was significantly less hassle than baking and icing lots of little cakes. I think I have done all my shopping, but no wrapping yet. I know I still have time, but as soon as we break up for the holidays the madness starts. We have family staying and we're hosting Christmas lunch, so there is quite a lot to do - food shopping, menu planning, cooking. Mustn't forget to breathe!
Oh, and Bella turns thirteen this week.....