I like to get an early start. Don’t hate me for it.
September is when I typically start preparing for Christmas.
I’m not talking about elaborate home decorations—I don’t do that. It takes up too much time, and too much storage space for the rest of the year. I’ll leave the fancy decorating to the department stores. When it comes to decorations, I have only the basics.
And no, I am not really that organized—although I certainly strive to be. If I were that organized, I probably would have finished this post in September—the same month I started it. Instead, I became distracted…for a month.
I start my holiday preparations early because I want to avoid unnecessary stress. Being so easily distracted, I need that extra lead time to stay on top of things so I can have a peaceful holiday.
December is a hectic month for many people, and there is even an urban myth about an increase in suicides during the holidays. (For more information on this myth, visit the snopes.com: Christmas Suicides page.)
“Hectic month” is the key phrase here. I know that some people actually enjoy a good adrenaline rush, but I am not one of those people. Instead, I like to stay serenely ahead of the game. I do things gradually.
So, in September I start shopping, in October I start addressing the holiday envelopes, and in November I start wrapping. I use gift bags as much as possible, because they save time and can be easily re-used. I aim for small, practical, meaningful gifts. If they don’t take up too much space in my home, they won’t take up too much space in the recipient’s home.
The plan is to have nothing to worry about when December rolls around. No shopping in crowded stores, no searching endlessly for parking spaces. I don’t want to be forced to listen to three different versions of Jingle Bells while standing in line to buy whatever the store put on sale that day.
In December, I can relax with a mug of hot chocolate and enjoy the twinkling lights. Now that’s what I call a holiday!