I love Christmas. I totally buy into all of those ideas of togetherness and goodwill - who doesn't want more of that in the world? Anyway, I have decided that I can't really wait any longer and am going to start decorating this weekend as well as make my advent calendar. I have an idea that I am pretty excited about! The tree will wait another week but I feel we are close enough to December to make a start.
Simplify has been a watch word with me this year and I am determined to apply this to Christmas. Here are a few ideas that I plan to follow:
Decorating - I love to do this and it is never a chore! The tree and greenery are always central to my Christmas home. I love the smell and they appeal to the pagan inside of me. Smell is central to Christmas - wood smoke, oranges, rich spices and fir are all welcome ones. I also like many a candle and a sprinkling of sparkle. My head is full of pewter and copper nestling against dark green.
Presents - I have actually found that one of the pleasures of having older children is that there is less pressure to become a mass consumer. They get it and never ask for madly expensive presents or produce a list long enough to paper the chimney with. They all understand the pleasure of opening just a few gifts that are carefully chosen and are given with absolute love. For me nothing beats the delight of unwrapping a beautiful looking gift and finding a pampering treat inside - however big or small. Truly, it is the thought that counts.
Like many other bloggers I will be applying the present mantra: something you want, something you need, something to wear and something to read.
Food - Long gone are the days of food mountains in our house. This year I am making a pudding but I haven't made a Christmas Cake. It won't get eaten and it brings me a lot of stress. I will make the usual Clementine cake from the Domestic Goddess herself, but that is it. I am constantly amazed by the amount of food people pile in their trolleys at this time of year. I am not being frugal here - we will have many treats and cocktail recipes are occupying perhaps too much of my time - but I do not want to eat leftovers for a month and I hate throwing food away. That sounded a bit angrier than I intended...
Giving - It is, without doubt a joy to give and I love buying presents for family and friends. However I am going to try very hard not to get stressed about it. It is so easy to isn't it? I have had years when I have tried to make everything and have ended up practically (OK actually) crying as I tried to get everything done and looking perfect. It is absolutely fine to admit defeat and go online. There are some wonderful sites that sell beautiful things; they will be my refuge this year.
I guess that brings me back to what I said at the start - Christmas is the season of togetherness and goodwill. The rest is just noise.