Monday, November 22, 2010

Christmas Prep - How You Doin'?

I've just read that the Sunday Times reckons women spend the equivalent of 38 working days in preparation for Xmas. My first reaction was - "Well some silly damsels need to get a life", and then I started wondering how much time I put in.

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, arguing with the kids that they had to be in it, reviewing, selecting etc, the photos, I'm probably already up to about 5 working days.

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?


  1. One day at least for recycling all the mags that get pushed into the mail box.

    A couple of days to prowl internet then realize I can get it all on Amazon, including the dog toys! Pressed the Buy Now button this morning!!

    At least 3 trees in the house (but I do work for 2 months straight right up until December 23rd in a Christmas business ) to decorate and all the stuff to go with it, so that is another couple of days.

    Food shopping in the middle of the night, hours of present wrapping and a bloody partridge in a pear tree!!!

    But I do love it all.

  2. Its true actually when you sit down and think about it. I start my Christmas shopping about June as I have 9 birthdays in December to think of as well so it gets very expensive but if I were to clock up all my hours shopping around for ideas. I take ages over my Christmas cards as I normally write a little note in each one but having just moved I have decided to write one letter and include a copy in each card this year, so that should help cut down on time. This year is the first time in 11 years we have been living in the same town as my family so I (stupidly) got all excited and have invited my parents, and brother, wife and neice to have Christmas dinner at ors, so I am already thinking about how I am going to do this and what to do for starters and pudding (I love flicking through recipe books). Its all fun though and with a nearly 7 year old and 4 year old I think this could be a very excting Christmas and possibly the last we get with my 7 yr old 'believing' still. Can't wait x

  3. OMG I'm far too scared to add up how much time I have already devoted to what is actually only one day of the year!

  4. One tree - plastic, always the same. Same decorations. New wreath for the front door to be bought this year.

    3 packages to send to overseas - finding stuff to put in them takes the longest.

    Don't send cards... don't cook anything specific... don't buy many presents for the kids...

    All in all a total Grinch :)

  5. Not much so far - unless of course you count the days I put in on the school pre-Christmas craft fair, in which case, well, I'm up to about 40...

  6. Well, I have top admit, since living abroad in countries with postal systems that wd make Mr Bean look efficent & about as honest & trustworthy as a Kray Twin, I have resorted to doing most of my xmas shopping in the summer when back in the UK, & yes I wrap & deliver/post everything then too! Crazy but every yr I just love it come nov/Dec when I realise I have nothing to do (on THAT front at least) Also as xmas is such a non event here in Albania, we are goign skiing in Sarajevo over Christmas. I am goign to check out whether what Pants says about skiing there is all true!

  7. As I'm heading off to England the day after Thanksgiving, I actually feel quite organised - although the last 2 weeks have been crazy. No queuing at the post office in early December getting parcels off to the UK for me!

    I'm tempted to do the photo card this year - oh dear - don't want my UK friends to mock me.

  8. I think I am the one who's making up for the days you are short of the average...

  9. Nope! Definitely not. I do a little bit of shopping, and maybe one evening's decorating. I'm a real scrooge, though. I don't even bother with cards.

  10. Choke - no cards!?! Good grief. I don't think I would be able to sleep at night. Minf you, I'm longing for the day when an elctronic one would be universally acceptable.

  11. That should be a "d" where that "f" is. Obviously.

  12. Well so far, I've spent a good few hours doing Christmas cards!
    A bit of Christmas shopping too.That is as far as it will get for a while.Everything else will be last minute.
    My daughter can do the shopping and cooking when she gets over here! LOL!
    I believe both my children are going to do the cooking. So that will be great. We will wash up!
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

  13. We go to mom's for both holidays (she insists and I don't argue)so no cooking for me really. (Sis makes the green bean casserole by the way.) I buy the Xmas cards and post, then we put up a 4ft tree and I buy Ian's gifts online, (hubby and I don't exchange but I do get parents something like gift cards) so on a bad year, I figure two days. My Christmas motto? K.I.S.S. (Hate me now?)

    I watch women in my office get so wound up about the holidays and trying to make everything perfect. They have an image in their heads that they will never live up to. Instead of enjoying the holidays they're lying on the floor when it's all done from a nervous breakdown.

  14. I know what you mean about these women who get themselves really worked up about it. Believe it or not, back in the day when all my kids were in bed by 7.30pm (excuse me while I pause in remembrance for a second) I used to enjoy myself in the evenings hand-stencilling the wrapping paper, personalising the gift tags and the like. But I'm a bit of a crafter and it was my relaxation.

    Obviously now......

  15. Did my xmas cards for England a couple of months ago and sent them home with Ma in Law to post for me come December. I get lots of shopping done where I work because we are in a Mall and I decorate the house; upstairs in the living room and downstairs in the family room and of course outside. Love it. Don't bake and can never seem to get the online shopping thing done. It doesn't work for me. Except I do M&S for some family at home.
    I Love Christmas. :-)

  16. I've just done cards and calendars so far - so about 2 days worth of internet time. No shopping yet (oh apart from fire truck and Thomas train set for the bath) and we won't get the tree for another week.
    PLEASE write a blog about Pet Airways when you get back. I'm intrigued. X

  17. Ha, so true! I'm sitting here reading blogs while procrastinating about making my twee American photo cards!

    At least I can do most of my internet shopping at the office!

  18. Two christmas trees! I'm impressed. I'm lobbying for one of those uber-face silver metal ones one year, but so far no dice.

    I don't even want to think how much time I put into it, but I remember my mother always making Christmas so magical, so I guess I just believe it's worth it.


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