When I was single and younger, preparing for Christmas started much later in the season. I enjoyed last minute shopping and spontaneous purchases for the people I was buying for. I had oodles of time to make things the week leading up to Christmas. Now, with 2 kids, I realize planning and fitting in festive activities before the Christmas holiday officially starts (Dec 22 in my old world?) works a bit better. Other years, we have scrambled to get a tree, made last minute advent calendars, made ginger bread trains and homes the day of Christmas, w/ an anti-climatic end.
This year we have already started our home made gifts, vanilla extract. Well, I had to start that early, in order to let it steep for 2 months. It's doing well and getting full of flavour.
Yesterday we made a ginger bread house. Fun for all of us and now we can admire it for a longer time and build up the excitement to other winter festivities.
Christmas cards, I never did that before. Then one year, with one child, I felt inspired. Sent out cards for several years, but this year, I'm not sure if I will. I'm not feeling the need or desire. Could it be the ease of keeping in touch via social media outlets?
The tree, we've tried several different venues; hardware store, corner lot, chopping down our own and our neighbour tree farm owner, who hauls in a bunch of his from the catskills. That's my favourite way, close and easy and the trees are really fresh, lasting a long time. That, or chopping down our own. But last time we axed our own we over estimated and it barely fit through the front door and took up half the living room. Will stick to the neighbour's tree farm.
Shopping, well I have a list but not ready to commit and buy anything yet, you know, in case people change their mind or I get a better idea. Online shopping helps so long as I mind the processing and delivery time; its hard to Christmas shop for two kids, with the same two kids in tow.
Lucy was extremely anxious to build this cute looking house she found and Chaz was happy to join in and decided its the best one we have built. And he is right, we are getting better each year, maybe next year we can enter the Ginger Bread Gallery at our local museum.
I decided to follow their lead, let them indulge rather then wait for the "right time" to start Christmas things. Perhaps its not too early, but rather it is the kick off to the beginning of holidays and activities.