Getting into Christmas

Usually by this time of year, I’m feeling really, really Christmassy.  For some reason I’m not this year.  But I am trying to get into it!  My cards went out about a week and a half ago, the children have their advent calendars (chocolate ones on their doors and paper ones on the mantelpiece).

Calendars
Calendars

This week we’re planning to get our tree (although I’m not sure where from – the last place we got it from has been turned into a Meat Liquor).

Christmas cards

On Thursday evening, I wrote out my Christmas cards.  I know it’s really early but we’re now past Thanksgiving so it isn’t obscene.

Cards and address book
Cards and address book

This year I rather did a cull of my card list.  This is something I’ve always resisted but I realised that I was sending out nearly 120 cards (insane and unsustainable level of wifework).  So people I haven’t seen or heard from in over 5 years aren’t getting a card – this is against the spirit of Christmas, I know.

As it is, I’m sending 62 cards within the UK and 7 overseas.

Stamped and ready to go
Stamped and ready to go

The thing is, I really want to just put them in the post now but don’t want them to arrive before 1 December (even that is a bit early).  Perhaps I’ll post them on Tuesday.  Or perhaps today.  I use second class stamps (why does second class exist?  I can’t work it out) so they should take a bit longer to arrive.

Yes, I read this.  I am middle aged.
Yes, I read this. I am middle aged.

Putting away the Christmas decorations

So yesterday, we started putting away the Christmas decorations.  The greenery I’d decorated the house with went in my compost bin and we took the decorations and lights off the Christmas tree.

Christmas tree decorations
Christmas tree decorations

My son said “Poor Christmas tree; it will be lonely” so I told him that the Christmas tree was happy because it had fulfilled its Christmas destiny (which I think I pinched off Friends but it did the job).  I hope he doesn’t find it too upsetting when we cut the tree up later on today.

I must take down the cards.

Christmas cards

Yesterday, I posted all my Christmas cards (except for three, which I’ll hand out to people over the next few days).  I love doing my Christmas cards, although I often find it rather bittersweet.  It’s the time when I go through my address book, crossing out old addresses and updating it for new ones.  Sometimes I’ll come to a name of someone who I haven’t spoken to for a while – and then I’ll realise that it’s actually been five, eight, ten years.  I don’t like culling someone from my Christmas card list; I don’t think it’s in the spirit of Christmas, which is probably why I send so many cards.

My Christmas cards - I wrote them out the night before last
My Christmas cards – I wrote them out the night before last

From time to time, I will decide not to send someone a card.  It doesn’t mean that I don’t think of them fondly – there are plenty of people who I would love to catch up with, even after so many years – but there are lots of new people in my address book to whom it makes more sense to send a card.

My address book is a bit messy these days – there’s been so many (various) house moves that it’s become a bit of a mass of crossing out and corrections.  I’ve bought a new address book to replace it – but I probably won’t get round to filling it in until next Christmas.

New address book
New address book

One of the great pleasures in sending out Christmas cards is actually going to the Post Office and buying a load of stamps.  I think this comes from when I was little – sending letters was what grown ups did.  In particular, I get quite a thrill from sending a lot of letters abroad.

Today, I had quite a long chat with the guy behind the counter (instigated by him, I’m not completely batty).  I don’t think he was all that impressed by my stamp buying (he does, after all, work in the Post Office) but he did tell me a long, rather rambling story about how he was going to teach the world to be at peace and harmony with itself.  I think he’s just about to retire.

I love posting letters
I love posting letters
The postbox has been painted recently - it looks great
The postbox has been painted recently – it looks great

Having done my Christmas cards this year, I found this article in The Pool – it basically says that this sort of thing counts as “emotional labour” and that it is left to women far too often.  This is true.  I remember a friend complaining that, whenever a colleague’s partner had had a baby, she was always the one asked to buy the office gift as she was the only woman – even though she was childless at the time and hadn’t the faintest idea what to get.

However, as I am the one who actually, really cares about the Christmas cards, then I think I’d better keep hold of this job.  Until I decide I’ve just about had enough of it.

Woohoo! Everyone’s getting ready for Christmas!

One thing I do like about Covent Garden is just how Christmassy it gets.  The Christmas light switch on is today AND they are having a mulled wine festival this weekend.  I love mulled wine.

The decorations are up
The decorations are up
So is the giant Christmas tree
So is the giant Christmas tree
Covent Garden
Covent Garden
This is a great spot for drinking mulled wine
This is a great spot for drinking mulled wine

I had some good news yesterday – Truprint emailed me back to say that, as a goodwill gesture, they will refund my credit card to reflect the discount they offered a few days after I put my order in.  I’m really glad I got in touch with them about that.  Although our Christmas cards have now arrived, it is still MUCH too early to start writing them – I usually do this in the last days of November as cards really shouldn’t arrive before children start opening the windows in their advent calendars.

Ordering Christmas cards

I KNOW I am insanely early but last week I ordered our Christmas cards.  The shops have got their Christmas displays up and it’s putting me in the mood to start getting stuff sorted.  Also, quite a few of my cards go to countries overseas and some of them have incredibly early last posting dates – basically, I need to get those cards in the post by 7 December.

Getting ready for Christmas
Getting ready for Christmas

However, today I got an email from Truprint to say that personalised Christmas cards are 50% with the code “STARGIFT15”.  Argh!!!  I emailed them today to see whether I can still use the code but I’m not holding out much hope.  This will teach me to be so insanely early.