I’m not one of those people who starts getting excited about Christmas in September. The sight of cards and decorations in the shops in September frankly makes me feel a bit stabby. As does any sort of Christmas countdown on Facebook in October or November. Or anyone dressed as Santa in November or anyone wishing anyone Merry Christmas in November… I could go on, but I’m already working myself up into a Scrooge-like frenzy.
But I’m not stupid. I realise that Christmas does come round every year without fail on 25th December. And that somebody has to do an awful lot of shopping and organising in advance to make it a day which keeps everyone happy.
And in our house, that somebody is me.
I used to take two days off work for Christmas shopping every year. And my husband took one of them off too. That became one day off every year. Without my husband.
But there’s two days a week when I don’t actually work!
Last year I decided I would just take no days off whatsoever. Because I have all that ‘free’ time when I don’t go to work. With only the housework and the school governors’ meetings and all the other stuff which fills those two days every week.
Well, it didn’t work. It just meant I was really stressed right up to Christmas because I was buying one or two presents here and there and wrapping them at stupid times. We even took the ridiculous decision to shop for my in-laws after Christmas, which really backfired when my husband got flu
So this year I decided to revert to plan a) – a day off to do Christmas shopping (I did have to have the discussion with my husband about why actually I don’t have time to do it on my two days ‘off’ a week). But I didn’t really have any leave to spare because I’d booked it for the house move which didn’t happen, but then sort of did.
My original plan was to take a week off after the move to do stuff like painting and generally getting the house organised (although organising houses is far from my strong point) and use one of those days for Christmas shopping. But when the move didn’t go to plan, I thought I’d better actually go to work and save my days off for when the move finally happens, but still use one of them for Christmas shopping.
Well, you won’t be surprised to hear when you’ve spent a week in moving mode – from not knowing if you were moving and where you were moving to, to then actually moving into a rented house – you take your eyes right off the Christmas bauble ball. My life might have been on hold, but Christmas was still creeping up on me.
I was devoid of Christmas inspiration, but there was nothing for it but to get back in the festive game, get out to the shops and blitz it. Because I wouldn’t have any more spare time in December to do it.
And I’m pleased to say I just about managed it. There’s still my husband to do, but he likes to choose his own present anyway, plus the dreaded wrapping and card-writing, but on the whole I think I did OK.
Do you love Christmas shopping or do you see it as a massive chore? How do you manage your time?