(Angel candle holders available at www.vintagevic.etsy.com)
Have you started your Christmas preparations yet? I have, but only just. There is always such a lot to do in the run up to the big day. This year, let's do it together and hopefully we will avoid last minute panic!
As I write this, it is the 19th November. So, what should we be doing by now? Well, writing lists, if you're anything like me. I write lists for everything, often losing them and having to write them again! A few years ago, I started filling in a Christmas preparations note book for the next year, just after the end of each Christmas. This means that everything is still fresh in your mind.
I include pages on decorations. Where they have been stored, where the Christmas tree stand is.
(Handmade Christmas card available at www.vintagevic.etsy.com)
I write a list of 'special' cards to prepare for people such as my husband, children, parents, brother and his family etc. Next I write a list of all the people that we, as a family received cards from that year, so that we don't forget anyone next time around. Then I write a list of all the people I wish to buy gifts for and leave a gap for notes. During the next 11 months, any ideas I have for great presents, I jot down for later use.
(Handmade card available at www.vintagevic.etsy.com)
Then I write a to do list. This is mine for this year,
1. Book pantomime tickets
2. Find out last posting dates
3. Buy stamps
4. Stock up logs/ coal for fire
5. Get tree, candles, crackers, holly wreaths, tv guide, wrapping paper, sticky tape, ribbons, gift tags etc
6. Wash and press Christmas table cloth, napkins etc
7. Get Christmas crockery out of storage, wash and pack away other crockery.
8. Clear storage space in cupboards, fridge and freezer for food
9. Make time plan for cooking Christmas lunch
10. Do baking and make any handmade gifts
11. Make table centrepiece
12. Check when rubbish and re-cycling collections are
13. Prepare everyone's outfits for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year's Eve, New Year's Day.
14. Prepare thank you stationary
I'm sure I shall have to add to it as I go along, but it gives a general plan to work to.
(Vintage story cards available from www.vintagevic.etsy.com)
Next I write out my menus and from those my shopping lists for food and drink, throughout the festive season.
The rest of my notebook I leave blank, so that I may make notes as I work through the tasks.
So, now that we are over half way through November, what should we be doing?
Well, obviously, if you are celebrating Thanksgiving then this takes priority right now. I am in England, where sadly, we do not follow this lovely tradition. So, here is my advice for things to get done now.
1. Buy or make advent calendar.
2. Check address book is up to date.
3. Decide when to make or buy Christmas pudding and Christmas cake.
4. Start buying or making Christmas cards.
5. Begin looking for gifts for people.
I am a huge fan of the on-line shopping community of Etsy and not just because my shop is on there!!
Take a look at some of these as an alternative to high street shops...
Make your own, by using a downloaded ten-plate purchased on-line from Scotland based Etsy shop Happythought,
Keep a countdown with this cute ceramic tile and marker, from Etsy. Maryland USA based ShadyLaneCeramics
I love this advent calender from London's '2d Scrumptious', who are based on Not On The High Street online shopping community...
There are of course lots of very nice chocolate filled versions in all of the High Street shops if that is what you prefer, including this one from Thornton's
Suggestions for Christmas cake decoration
(Taken from Your Home Magazine 2010)
Obviously, your first stop should be my shop, Vintage Vic's! There you will find a large number of unique cards, handmade from the artwork of vintage cards and illustrations. (Not reproductions.) Also, unused vintage Christmas cards, vintage wrapping paper, decorations and gifts.
Take a look on Etsy for lots of 'make your own' Christmas card sets, such as this one from allsfairyvintage
Or try Not On The High Street On-Line shopping
Once you have ticked that little list off, you will have made a good start. Put your feet up and have a nice cup of tea!
(Print available from marymillerveazie on Etsy Click on link below)
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