I wrote this post in January 2020 on tips to get ready early for Christmas. I’d just had a wonderful, but stressful, Christmas and I didn’t want another one like that in December.
Now, I know you’re all side eyeing that date aren’t you.
Oh how different the world was then, huh? I remember watching this strange illness being reported in China and, as I wrote that post, reports from Italy were starting to become alarming. But who knew that a year and a half down the line we’d still be in this Covid dominated world?
I don’t know what Christmas will be like this year; will we be able to travel? For those of us who are expats that’s more concerning; nevertheless I don’t want to face what we faced last year.
My husband, who was desperate to keep some money rolling in, had gone to the U.K. to try and open a pop up shop. He was thwarted by constant changes in the restrictions and then there was uncertainty over whether he would make it home at all.
Those who follow the blog regularly know that I’m deeply involved in renovating our period, French home. I was desperately working late into December in the front hallway (exhausting, but worth it) as well as decorating the home for the holidays, buying gifts etc.
I was left, once again, on Christmas Eve wrapping last minute presents.
It’s got to the point that I dread Christmas. But this year, this year, that’s not going to happen. I’m using the thoughts from that previous post and making a plan of action to be organised this year.
For me that still involves decorating targets (definitely finish the kitchen, touches to the sitting room and hopefully the back hallway), as well as Christmas crafts along with the presents, cards etc.
So we have about 14 weeks to go and I’ve started to put my plan into action.
I thought, along with my usual diy and living in France posts, I’d start a weekly post on what I’ve done this week to prepare for the 25th. it keeps me on track and may inspire you.
So what I have done this week so far?
I went to lunch Sunday with my folks and brought my Christmas book with me. Time to go through the addresses and make sure they were all up to date, as well as adding any I may have overlooked.
I was in our local brocante and bought these beautiful oil paintings. I’d originally intended to give them to both my folks, along with some other little gifts; they don’t follow the blog so I’m free to post about them here.
I love this brocante so I’m planning on going in there during the next few weeks to get some wonderful Christmas presents.
Then during the week a little miracle happened. My mother has been searching for a childhood book for 30+ years. We found the author’s name, but the book was proving difficult to trace. You guessed it, I managed to find a copy. It’s been ordered an I’m waiting for it’s delivery. So excited.
I wrapped the paintings, obviously not the yet to be received book. I’ve also ordered some brown paper as I’m thinking of doing natural wrap from Father Christmas himself this year.
Start to outline a detailed plan
As my previous post suggests I’ve got an idea of what I’m going to do. However I still need to add to it. For me this includes my list of who I’m buying for, DIY plan, house cleaning plan etc.
Opening a list in notes that I intend to add to over the week has really helped. I’m slotting in activities that make sense for each week as targets. As I remember what I need to do I’m adding them to the list.
Bought extra decorations
I’d previously written about monitoring and thinking about what additional decorations you need, and I bought a few this week. Next time I buy something it will be exterior lights as I know these are needed from the previous year’s notes.
The gift list has not only got who I need to buy for, but I’ve grouped them into the kind of presents.
I buy for small, generic gifts for neighbours, our local store owners etc and these can be bought early on. I then have my family gifts that I’ll be spending a little more time and thought on, and my English family gifts. These will be bought on Black Friday using English sites so I can have them wrapped and delivered straight to them – unless something amazing comes up at the brocante in the meantime.
Talking about grouped together presents I always buy bottles of sparkling wine for our neighbours. Here in France the shops always have a foire de vin or wine faire. In our local market our faire is next week. As I’m already aware of Christmas buying I knew this would be a perfect opportunity, so I’ve preordered them.
I’ve started writing my Christmas cards. If I do a few a week I should be able to avoid hand cramps!
I sat with my daughter today putting wax seals on the envelopes. She loved it.
If you’re preparing early this year let me know in the comments below. We can share organising ideas ☺️.