5 Christmas Preparations for November

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.

1. Sleep

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.

Christmas preparation

Christmas preparationFor the past few weeks, this cute little face has been a feature of the children’s bedroom. It comes with a story to read at bedtime to teach the children not to get up until they see the sun.

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?

Christmas preparation

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.

2015-11-10 11.21.06-2 Christmas preparations

4. Memories

Last year, I created a Love 2 Read book entitled “Memories of 2014“. Throughout this year, we have regularly gone back to the book and read it, looked at the pictures and remembered.

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.

Christmas preparations Christmas Preparations

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.

Autumn - preparing for Christmas

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.



  1. Izzie Anderton
    November 11, 2015 / 1:23 pm

    I have to confess I’ve already made a start on the Christmas shopping. December’s going to be busy at home and I like the idea of being able to relax when the girls are back from university. Wow… the puppy has been an expensive addition to your home. I’m guessing you still love her though :o)

    • monsterid November 11, 2015 / 11:04 pm

      Oh you’re so organised Izzie, I need to pop round for some organisation lessons I think 😉 I can totally understand why you want to get everything ready before your girls get home though. Yes, Bubbles is a little pricey what with one thing or another but we wouldn’t be without her.x

  2. Debbie
    November 14, 2015 / 8:00 pm

    Hi Natalie, what a brilliant little device the Gro Clock is. Even if it just gives you half an hour extra in bed it’s something and teaches the children to entertain themselves for a bit. When my two were little someone gave us a couple of Advent calendars similar to yours (so much better than chocolate ones) and they still go up on December 1st.

    I do love Christmas and like to have most of the gift shopping sorted by the end of November, luckily I don’t have too much to do, but I do hate having Christmas rammed down my throat. We all know it’s coming, I doubt anyone has ever forgotten it (even if they wanted to), so I think Christmas should be a December only thing. And I agree we shouldn’t be wishing our lives away.


    • monsterid November 14, 2015 / 9:30 pm

      Thank you Debbie. That’s great news about your advent calendar, I hope ours lasts just as long!x

  3. @SarahAnneDG
    November 19, 2015 / 9:59 pm

    Love this! We need to get one of those clocks…

    I love the advent calendars. I’m hoping we can avoid chocolate ones this year. We use the Lego and Playmobil ones. Expensive, but worth it.

    • monsterid November 19, 2015 / 10:30 pm

      Ooh lego ones, that’s a great idea Sarah! That reminds me, I need to start buying the little gifts to go in ours, things like Lego would be ideal.x

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