I’ve agonised over publishing a Christmas gift list in November. There are a few pretty amazing things that I can recommend ready for Christmas but I just can’t bring myself to do a gift list just yet.
But still, I know most people are actually starting to get ready for Christmas right about now so I’m going to meet them half way and write about things that actually do need a little bit of time to prepare.
Here are my five Christmas preparations that it is acceptable to do in November.
Back in the days before I had children, Christmas was a time for staying in bed. Really, really late.
Fast forward to today and I can only manage to have a mini lie-in if my husband gets up early with the children. And since his accident, he can’t look after the children so I can literally only sleep while the children are in bed.
As I generally work until around 1 am most days, I needed to do something about that. Enter the Gro Clock.
Both girls have got the hang of it quite quickly but surprisingly, it’s more effective with Lia at 18 months old than with Libby who is 3.
Libby totally understands that she can’t get up until she sees the sun on the clock, but she gets up to go to the toilet. The benefit to us since having the clock is that she now goes back and plays in her room until it’s time to get up.
This doesn’t mean hours and hours more sleep, but it does mean we get a snooze which is much needed at the moment. Lia (who is still in nappies) is much more inclined to shout “star” and roll over and go back to sleep.
I would highly recommend that any parents get one of these before Christmas to get into a routine in time for a few festive lie-ins.
2. Advent calendar
I’m not really a fan of the standard chocolate advent calendars. So last year, I made a fabric version. It was rubbish but it did mean that I could put nice little, useful presents into it.
It also meant that when Libby slapped her dad in the face (true story) she got a little note from the elves the next morning telling her that she couldn’t have a present because she had hurt him.
This year, my friend has come to the rescue and made me a wonderful home-made advent calendar. It’s made from felt with little felt shapes cut out and wrapped up so the girls can decorate their Christmas tree as advent progresses.
Isn’t it beautiful?
3. Letters from Santa
Libby believes that the Elves put the presents in her advent Calendar, so a letter from Santa just adds to the excitement. I like to get these sent out to arrive on the 1st of December to tie in with her advent calendar.
The letters can be personalised to the individual child to make it really feel as if Santa has read their letters to him.
Every day, Libby grows up a little bit more and I know it won’t be long before she doesn’t believe in Santa. So for now, I’m going to make it as magical for her as I can.
I think it’s important to understand that for a three year old, a year is 1/3 of their life. Remembering the little things is important.
So this year, I’ve created another Love 2 Read book. I intend to keep going with them for as long as I can. I think that memories are important and these are a lovely, personalised way to keep them in the front of our minds.
5. Enjoy Autumn
Last but not least, I have to remain a scrooge for just a little while longer.
I love Christmas. Since having children, it has become something really quite magical. I love to see their faces when the elves or Santa have paid a visit.
But I also love autumn. And one of the things that winds me up about Christmas starting so early is that we don’t take the time to enjoy autumn.
Collect conkers, walk in the leaves. Gather nuts (not that sort), take photographs of the beautiful colours. Be cold, put on coats, enjoy being wrapped up warm in front of the fire.
It’s not Christmas yet so make the most of autumn and don’t wish it away.
Please note, some of these items were sent to me free of charge to feature on my blog. The puppy was not. So far she has cost me two internet cables, two laptop chargers, 11 right shoes and 17 left shoes (of various sizes) one swim fin, four pairs of glasses, two jumpers, six pairs of trousers, four duvets and three toy doctors kits.