The Advent calendar - my made-by-me, chocolate-free, re-usable felt wall hanging advent calendar, is no-where to be found. Seriously, I have no idea what I did with it.
The tree - first haul it up from down in the garage, next find the box of decorations...realise the tinsel and lights are not in the box which you were SURE had everything in it...tell the kids they can't decorate the tree till you find the lights...2 days later give up and let them decorate the tree anyway...if the lights and tinsel turn up we'll worry about it then.
Christmas cards - gave up on these a few years back because we were seeing everyone we'd be sending cards to for some form of Christmas celebration anyway and the perceived redundancy was a great excuse to avoid writing them. This year I'm noticing that we're getting cards from people we won't be meeting up with. Time to put this one back on the list. Bother.
The Christmas party - every year I promise myself that I'll get the invites done early and every year I find myself inviting people in a completely random fashion that invariably leaves several people copping a very short notice "OMG! So sorry! Of course we're having a party this year and of course you're invited!" (Tom and Barb, I put the invite in your letter box this afternoon!). The next week will be dominated by me stressing out over getting everything ready, I sat down with my diary this afternoon and tried to work out what I need to do and when I can do it, I suspect I'm at least one day short :P
The outdoor lights - these go up ready to be turned on on the 1st of December. Unless that clashes with daughter's dance concert, hubby's travels and torrential rain whenever it seems like you have a few spare hours. As long as they're up by the 15th I'll be happy, we'll find the time somehow (see Christmas party preparations above).
The scent of Christmas - mangoes, I bought my first case of mangoes today, that smell along with the vanilla and cranberry candles makes the house smell like Christmas to me. Mmmm mangoes..... :)
Christmas stories - The Night Before Christmas takes pride of place on the bedtime story list, I'm working on putting together a collection of other books too (need to scour the bookshelves, I KNOW we have plenty I just can't instantly lay hands on them) and may well steal Chris's idea. For myself, I re-read Connie Willis's Miracle and Other Christmas Stories and intend, yet again, to track down all the movies and books on her Twelve terrific things to read and Twelve to watch lists, maybe if I stared to do this in January I'd have a better chance of having them on hand come December. Hmm, that may well be a plan there....
The gingerbread house - why, oh why did I allow this to become a tradition? The kids don't even like gingerbread very much, but I DO! So very dangerous to have around, it smells so good but if you eat too much you feel so sick. But the decorating? An unadulterated pleasure :D It's like the cake decorating, very satisfying to create something that looks so good and the kids can pretty much do it themselves now. I've scheduled this for the 22nd, I'll cook the gingerbread the day before.
Fruit mince pies - I make LOTS of these in two shifts, the first lot is for the Christmas party, the next batch goes as gifts for the kids teachers and for Christmas day supplies. I'm a fruit mince pie snob, shop bought just doesn't do the trick (not that I make my own fruit mince or anything, I just like my pastry best).
The Christmas Day negotiations - who we're seeing, where, when, are we exchanging presents? This part I don't enjoy, why does it have to be so damned COMPLICATED?!!! Anyhoo, it all seems to have sorted itself out ok for this year, we're seeing most of my side of the family at a picnic on the 23rd and then hosting Christmas lunch at our place for any of Adam's family who care to show up. Then we'll go to my mum's place in the evening to see my Grandma and aunt and uncle. And I'm giving presents to people whether they like it or not!
So, there you have it, the stuff of Christmas. Well, some of it anyway.
5 hours ago