It has come to my attention that some people some aren’t feeling festive this season. In light of this news I thought I’d dedicate this blog post to the topic of how to create some Christmas cheer in your home.
Now I’m about to talk a lot about Christmas, but in a way that’s less about Jesus’ birthday and more about family, the spirit of giving, carols and celebration. I’m not especially religious but I am quite fond of this particular event, but if Christmas doesn’t feature in your calendar, I’d still love you read on.
Rule 1. Start thinking about Christmas in January. Don’t groan, I have some valid reasons. If part of your Christmas spirit is about gift giving, switching on your gift-giving radar early allows you to find things when you least expect them. It is more economical too because it evenly distributes expenditure throughout the year and can take advantage of the opportunity to buy items when they’re on sale. With any luck half your presents will be bought before November. Admittedly, these will usually be the people who are easy to buy for, but it is still less you will have to do in December and that means less stress and more joy (with practice, this radar will help you with birthdays too).
Rule 2. Own some Christmas decorations. Real tree or fake tree, homemade, school-made or bought decorations, classy or cliché, string some lights along a bookcase, I don’t mind. They just need to be festive and joyous and make you smile when you look at them.
Rule 3. Buy a box set of Christmas carols in your favourite genre. Mine is the more traditional choral-type carol but if Susan Boyle, Perry Como, Michael Bublé or One Direction is your flavour, go and get it! You’ll need them for Rules 4 and 5.
Rule 4. Get your decorations up no later than the beginning of Advent. Why? Because taking them down is always a dud job, and if you only put them up the week before it’s even more ‘meh’. If you’ve missed that opportunity this year, you’ll know for next year, right? Right.
Rule 5. Find someone who has JingleBell-itis. There’s one in every family. My family has two and I’m one of them (and that’s just the adults – children are a sure thing). If you need that extra bit of inspiration this Christmas, invite that insane person around to help you with your decorations. They’ll bring cake and/or wine and they’ll wear an elf-hat and make you wear a reindeer antler headband. They’ll crank up the volume on the Christmas carols and pop an unused cracker from the year before and tell you a lousy joke. Hypothetically.
Rule 6. Get organised. Write a to-do list in November. Start wrapping those presents you bought as soon as you can.
Rule 7. Get perspective and relax. The world will not explode if you forget to buy cranberry sauce, or if Uncle Patrick’s designer T-shirt didn’t arrive in the mail 1 day before Christmas.
Rule 8. Have a very merry Christmas and/or holiday season.
Rule 9. Rule 8 is non-negotiable.