I'm not one for a Christmas tree in every room but I do confess to a large one in our "good" room and a smaller one in the family room. Colo(u)r co-ordinated so as not to clash with the decor, of course. Every year when I unpack the baubles, there seem to be less than I remembered, so I run out and buy a box more to cover up the bare branches. (Tree + shopping = 1 day.)
And then there's the Christmas card which takes a bit of time. I gave up doing the American photo/card thing when most of my British friends made ever-so-slightly snarky remarks about it being "very American". This year however, for our 20th wedding anniversary, we had some special family photos taken, one of which is being made into the card. That has been in the making since September so if you count the hours that I've spent posing,
And then of course, there's the shopping - which I do online when at all possible. Surprisingly, because of the mountain of catalogs I get through the door for the latter half of each year, that makes for a lot of perusing. Even when I think I've made my mind up, I go on line only to find they've added more "ideas". Sigh. Clock up at least 2 days for gift selection, and payment procedures (which never go staight through).
Oh yes, and this year there's the dog. Not that I'm sitting here making her a Santa outfit or anything, but simply making arrangements for her for the two weeks we'll be in Colorado is akin to a military operation. That would be because the kids desperately want her to come with us, and indeed, boarding a dog for two weeks isn't cheap. So first there was the research into which airlines would take dogs in the hold. Then there were the hours spent agonising over whether I really wanted the dog sitting on the tarmac for hours in sub zero temperatures. Then there was the discovery of Pet Airways (I'm not kidding) and the subsequent discussions with the Ball & Chain.
Of course, even after we pulled the trigger (so to speak) it doesn't end there. Here in the land of litigation- avoidance, I now have to take her to the vet and get her cleared for take-off. Not enough to ring the vet (who saw her about three months ago) for a clean bill of health. Oh no, it has to be more recent than that.
I think I'm already up to about 7 days of prep and it's still November.
How 'bout you?