I love Christmas. I love it like a child loves Christmas. Of course, it’s far more fun to box off a whole tube of Fruit Pastilles for breakfast and then spend the entire morning roller skating through strewn wrapping paper as a 7 year old than it is to be a grown up with responsibilities like putting those little crosses in the sprouts and paying for everything.
Each year the pressure seems to get a little bit more intense. I saw my first Halloween merchandise on sale in August this year, before I’d even been on my summer holiday, and predictably as soon as 1st November rolled around the witches and cobwebs were cleared to make way for all the Christmas stuff.
Starting too early can take the shine off it. Years ago, before everything was commercialised, people sent cards and put their Christmas trees up on 24th December, and the Christmas period itself was observed from then until the epiphany on 6th January.
Too much of a build up can add to the pressure to feel like you should be enjoying yourself. But is it really so wrong to get into the spirit of things early to brighten up the winter months?
Despite still having a ‘Christmas Sparkle’ cushion left out from last year in the living room, I’m weeks away from getting ‘The Christmas Box’ (technically three boxes and two bin bags) down from the loft. In part, because I find it all a bit overwhelming, and also if I’m honest because last year my mum bought my four year old a singing Christmas Dog toy and I’m not exactly in a desperate rush to hear another howling rendition of Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree.
That said, there’s no reason why I can’t get all cosy and enjoy winter in the run up to the Christmas season. So I made some concessions, and without getting the Christmas Box down, I allowed the following wintery items into my life:
‘Winter’ Pot Pourri – Sainsbury’s Home
Pot Pourri might scream Nan’s bathroom but there’s a reason why these festive dust catchers are still so popular. Safer than candles for a round-the-clock scent, and milder than reed diffusers, this wintry mix of cones and wooden stars smell lovely and looks the part too without being overly Christmassy.
La Coqueta Childrens Pyjamas
Adorable pyjamas in classic red and white tartan? Yes please. Freshly bathed and beautifully behaved angelic four year old to go in them? Perfect. ‘Away in a Manger’ on beginner’s recorder? No ta.
Online kids retailer La Coqueta has encapsulated that traditional winter cosiness with these children’s cotton pyjamas made in Spain that’ll last way beyond December (unlike the singing dog). They arrive beautifully presented too, so make an ideal gift (perfect for Christmas Eve – when it’s the law of Liverpool that every Scouser gets new pyjamas).
Marks & Spencer ‘Nativity’ Advent Calendar
Much like Easter Eggs, I often find I’m never quite organised enough to nab a good Advent Calendar in time and always end up getting something either really rubbish or really expensive. This year, as Spaghetti Legs has started in Reception class and will be preparing for his first Nativity play, I got in there early to secure this gem from M&S. Holy and chocolatey – what’s not to love?
‘Teddy Bear’ Fleece Throw – Robert Dyas
This cuddly bad boy was not only a bargain at under a tenner but is also machine washable and dries dead quickly – always handy when you rediscover the advent calendar chocolates and Celebrations that got lost under someone’s bum while they were watching telly.
Not exactly a cosy purchase in itself, but another year’s pricey-but-worth-it subscription to Amazon Prime means I can do nearly all of my Christmas shopping without leaving my house. Then – when the time is right and not a moment before – I’ll also be able to access a load of family friendly Christmas films with my cherubic child in his festive PJs, cuddled up on the couch under a fleecy blanket (with his sodding musical dog).
So there we have it. It is possible to get a teeny weeny bit festive for winter without going overboard. But do you think it’s still too early for the C word? When do you prefer to get into the Christmas spirit?