The tree is all trussed up, my living room looks like Santa's grotto and my waistline is getting thicker by the minute thanks to overeating mince pies with a dollop of extra thick cream. The festive season is well and truly approaching and I'm getting excited, how about you?
This week has seen me embark on The Great Christmas Tree Hunt of 2011. The past few years I've had a real tree, carefully chosen and cared for at home but after three years of paying £60 for a real tree that has shed most of its needles before Christmas Eve and then takes three days of hoovering to get them all out of the carpet, I decided that this year I would go back to artificial, and what a palaver that was. I never actually realised just how expensive Christmas trees were. Or how ugly and flimsy many of them are. A search of John Lewis and Marks & Spencers was pretty fruitless (ones I wanted/liked were out of stock) and so the search went on to local garden centres (all ridiculously overpriced), Homebase (if I blew hard enough I could probably knock them over) and finally B&Q.
I settled on a 6ft 6inch tree with "dewdrop" effect. The dewdrop effect made me itch a bit, it's a little out of my comfort zone but I figured I could live with it as the tree was actually quite bushy and reasonably priced at £60. I decided if I hated it, then next year I could get something different as it had only cost the same as a real tree would. I wrestled with the large box, got it home, tasked Mr M with putting it up and what happens? Of course. The wrong parts are in the box. Another 40-50 minute round trip to B&Q the next day and I am with fully-erected (*fnar) Christmas tree. I spent last night puzzling over the conundrum that is tinsel (to tinsel or not to tinsel that is the question), lametta (who knew it had a name!) and covering all 6ft 6 inches of tree in baubles. Lots of them. I also reached the controversial decision of using coloured lights this year and so far, I'm not loving them, I'll be honest.
Anyway after the rigmarole that has been the Christmas tree and the incredibly hectic week that has seen two different Christmas plays x 2, plus a school trip with 180 3-5 year olds, I'm ready to move onto the next stage of Christmas. No, not the getting blissfully merry in front of repeats of Only Fools & Horses (kidding, I flippin' hate that programme) - planning the FOOD. Ah, one of my favourite parts of the holiday season. This evening will be spent poring over a stack of Christmas food magazines and my entire collection of Christmas cookbooks so I can formulate a plan of attack. Dessert (well one of them) is pretty much sorted thanks to a sordid and seedy exchange on a darkened street last week where I took possession of a Heston Blumenthal Christmas pudding from Waitrose. Lets hope that it's as good as it sounds and I don't regret not flogging it on Ebay!
The presents are wrapped, the cards are ready to send if I ever get round to buying stamps and the children have one week left at school which mainly consists of school trips and parties. All that's left is for me to get the Norovirus or Swine Flu and it truly will feel like Christmas!
How are your Christmas plans coming along?
love & kisses
Mrs M x