So confession time: I am definitely not someone who has completed their Christmas shopping before December. I get annoyed at my husband for CONSTANTLY putting Christmas movies on for the years throughout the year, and I’m not really a fan of Christmas music. Yet here I am writing a post about Christmas, in October.
Why is this? Well, I have to confess that some things Christmas related do need an element of forethought and planning. Not everything can be left for advent or lastminute.com. I’d love to know how much you get done before Advent, but thought I’d share where I’m at with planning:
Christmas Eve Boxes
For the last two years, I’ve bought into the idea of Christmas Eve Boxes. We found that particularly with young children, a high volume of presents was just to overwhelming. We recognised we’re blessed to have many family and friends who like to spoil our children, but we needed find a way to manage that. It’s important to me that the kids unwrap and focus on each gift rather than having a race to rip everything open. Particularly if the people are there, I think it’s nice to thank the person and to spend some time appreciating the gift. We actually take turns to open gifts so we can concentrate on one thing at a time. This can however, mean that gift unwrapping can take a while!
The solution to this was for us to give some gifts early – on Christmas Eve! I like to put things together that link the kids together – so last year, Thomas received Snow Dog on DVD and Katie received some Snow Dog stickers to share. Katie had the ingredients to make cookies, but Thomas had the icing. I’m sure you get the idea!
So, for the past two years I’ve simply put things into a large box for each child. This box is usually subsequently destroyed or used to store something through the year. Essentially, I’ve not been successful in reusing the boxes. Each year I’ve intended to source more of a ‘keepsake’ but have always left it too late!
But NOT this year! My friend Niki pointed to me towards a great company run by local Edinburgh Mum, Lynne Munro. In 2016, Lynne decided to follow her dream of starting her own company and took the brave step to leave teaching. The result is CalEli Gifts – the go-to company for bespoke personalised gifts including Christmas Eve Boxes! Hurrah!
I’m now finally in the possession of personalised boxes ready for Christmas this year. Which leaves me the task of filling them… which admittedly, also needs a little bit of planning.
Katie was gifted a personalised star for her first Christmas and I just thought it was a really nice thing to have to look back on each Christmas. So the next year, I did the same thing but for all the children.
So many companies are great at turning personalised decorations out fast – CalEli gifts included – but doing this in advance does relieve the stress of worrying about it not being done in time!
I’ve also got my eye on personalised Emma Bridgewater mugs for the kids this year. Whilst they’re not exactly ‘budget’, I still use the Snowman mug I received for Christmas in the late 80s so know that these things can really be useful for years to come!
Obviously, PJs can be sourced at the last minute – but matching ones? Not always the case.
Last year, I needed to find matching PJs for an 18 month old, 4 year old, and 11 year old. Not many places actually do that age range. Worse still was finding cute jammies only to find they were sold out in one of the sizes! This one actually is MUCH easier to do in October. Loads of places have launched their Christmas line but haven’t got to the point of shouting about them yet.
Do matching pyjamas matter? Not really… but they’re super cute and means the kids look like they’re on a little Christmas team together!
This year I’ve got my eye on these co-ordinating ones from The Little White Company. Although I’m also wondering if I could get away with repurposing last years given that they kind of still fit. Also really not sure if Katie would find that acceptable behaviour!
Thus far, that’s as far as I’ve got! Have you done anything yet? I’d love to know if I’m missing something!