Preparing for Christmas

As I write this post I may well be shoving a mince pie in the my mouth. . . Ok. I am. It’s true. I’m eating a mince pie.  It’s December now, it’s all fine!

half eaten mince pie

Planning for Christmas in our house starts around about July.  Well in my head it does anyway, Dave on other hand ignores it till the last possible minute (by which I mean November when he can’t get away with not thinking about it any more!)  My excuse for starting to plan for Christmas is July is mainly that the bulk of our family birthday’s are done and dusted so it makes sense to start thinking about the next big financial drain . . . buying Christmas presents for three kids plus associated family takes planning -financially and otherwise.  (You can check out the TSB Christmas Guide for tips to help you budget this Christmas)  I like to have made a good start on the shopping before November with only the big items left to buy.  It’s also important of course to budget for all the extra outings and parties which come along in December.

Christmas, as I’ve mentioned before, is all about routine and tradition for me.  Dave takes the mick and thinks that Nic and I are crackers but we’ve steadily worn him down over the years and now he just goes along with it all.

Obviously Amy is too little to have any memories of Christmas but I’m loving seeing Ben and Chloe remember things and get excited this year.  We got all the Christmas decorations out today and it was so lovely to see their little faces as they found things they’d made over the last few years or the special Christmas cuddly toys we get out each year.  I’ll never forget how upset I was the year Mum decided to colour co-ordinate the tree and throw out the toilet roll Father Christmas I’d made when I was about 5 – he had topped the tree for most of my life!

Father Christmas bench at Housing Units

December is full throttle festivities for us starting with a visit to Father Christmas at some point in the first weekend of the month (watch out for a post tomorrow night!) and we usually put our tree up in the middle of the month however this year we’ve gone in early after finding ourselves at the mercy of the weather and having to cancel our plans to take the kids to the Christmas Markets.  Over the next couple of weeks we have our local town light switch on, a trip to Liverpool and a party with friends.  Dave’s also looking forward to his work night out next weekend.  I must admit that is something I miss, I’ve not been to a proper Christmas “Do” since I was pregnant with Ben.  Perhaps I’ll have to have my own little Christmas party with the kids!

When do you start planning for Christmas?  What traditions does your family have?

* Disclaimer – This post is in collaboration with TSB *

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