Monday, 16 December 2019

Festive Panic

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.....


  1. Your post sounds like I feel, but the holiday will be wonderful, as it always is. Merry Christmas!

    Poor doggy, is he having a bath? Baby Mo the Pug had a bath today too and is looking gorgeous.

    How lovely to have a manicure, I wish!

    Happy birthday beautiful Bella!

    lizzy in NY

  2. Of course there is a lot less for me to do with just myself in the household during the week, but because of work being so busy and my seemingly endless trips back and forth between my home and O.K.'s, the hours of the day and the days of the week seem to be rushing by in a mad whirl, too.
    Like you, I try to get out in daylight and fresh air whenever I can; it makes a huge difference and is sadly so often underestimated.
    I love it that your son comes along on the evening walks to look at Christmas lights; I do that, too, but find my neighbours have considerably less lights in their gardens and on their houses than in previous years.
    My preparations are complete since I wrapped my gifts yesterday, but there is one that has not yet arrived.
    I love, love, love your Dalarna horse and the trees grouped together!

  3. Thirteen, how wonderful, I hope she has a fantastic day. Dogs do love to have a shower don't they :) I am in a bit of a festive panic here at the moment. I thought I'd ignore it for a while, but it turns out that wasn't a wise move. CJ xx

  4. Glad you are being a little easier on yourself this year. I like to read your Christmas posts selfishly and believe that you are doing the panic for us! I will just add that we have a paper token advent calendar like you had last year and the kids have loved it especially the one that said 'you can stay up until 9pm!' Jo xxx

  5. Another lovely post and sharing of your lives Gillian. Wishing you and yours a most happy christmas season and yes, don't forget to we all should. Ho, Ho, Ho.

  6. Happy Birthday Bella, thank you for sharing your mum with us, we enjoy reading her blogs, oh and enjoy your Christmas too, know you will 🎄

  7. What a milestone for Bella and you! Enjoy the teenage years - I absolutely loved them with my two.
    Your Christmas seems well under control - I will gaze at it and pretend it's mine.
    My personal IG has locked me out, so if you see a comment by Speyside Escapes on IG, that's me on my business account!

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  9. A teenager in the house! Happy Birthday to Bella, I hope she has a fabulous day. I am glad you are going easier on yourself this year. I'll be looking up your no-boiling fudge recipe, it sounds just perfect for some last minute presents. Over the years, our Christmas has become more and more minimal and a less hectic run up to the big day means more joyful togetherness on the actual day. I saved up some annual leave and I am selfishly enjoying two days all by myself before the kids finish. I am really quite looking forward to it all. Me and the dog chose a tree today and I am looking forward to decorating it tomorrow. Fingers crossed all is going well with big dinner preparations xx

  10. I related to your post, but way in the past....we are just two old fuddy duddys these days. We'll be catching up with our brood in the New Year, as the all live far & wide & Xmas time is doubly expensive here because it is summer holidays as well. Have a lovely Xmas, take care & stay warm.

  11. Happy Birthday Bella! I'm a December birthday too. The 29th...and the 27th is my anniversary...Lot's to pack in in 3 days time...then NOTHING the rest of the year for me...LOL!

  12. Hope you are enjoying this Christmas time...


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