In years gone by, I’ve been a Christmas Grinch. I love the actual day, catching up with family over a big pile of hot ham and bubbles and sharing presents and laughs. However, the commercial overblown build-up really kills my Christmas spirit. Our local mall doesn’t help when it puts up all its Christmas guff in the last week of October when I’m not thinking about the festive season AT ALL.
The problem is, I have an almost three-year-old who thinks all this Christmas madness is very exciting. He recognised Santa well before I introduced him to the fat, jolly geezer. He knows about Christmas trees and presents and reindeers. “Quick” trips to grab essentials from shops now take forever as Henry stands wide-eyed, staring at all the red, green and gold glittery goodness.
So Mrs Christmas Grinch and Mr Christmas Nut need to meet in the middle. I want the kids to be excited about Christmas and I want to embrace all the magic of the season, I just don’t want to do it for 10 weeks before the big day. And I really, really don’t want to go from festive to flat broke in the process.
If you know me, you won’t be surprised to hear that I have a plan, people! I am going to use the ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’ idea to give the kids a magical build-up to Christmas without going totally bonkers.
I am sewing an advent calendar with 12 spots and I’m filling it with decorations and little chocolate Santas. We have a small tree, our very first, which I will put up 12 days before Christmas, three days after Henry’s birthday. Each day we’ll pick out a new decoration from the calendar and dress the tree over those days. I won’t go crazy buying baubles, tinsel and decorations, but rather we’ll collect them over the years.
This plan works well with the limited attention spans of my kids, plus it’s really just enough Christmas for me. I want to make sure I get to December 25 without becoming a bitter, twisted shell of a woman who doesn’t want to see another scrap of tinsel as long as I live. Now I’m excited about Saturday 13 December when the Burnie family Christmas begins. I’m less Grinchy already.