Long-term followers of this blog will know that a couple of years ago, I got fed up with November and decided to start a new annual tradition: Christmas Weekend. Our youngest loves Halloween, so we make a big deal of that, but the weeks between then and advent seem to be filled with rainy days and restless anticipation of the bright twinkles to come; so we now follow the Americans’ suit and have a highlight to look forward to on the last-but-one weekend in November. I pop up into the loft and get a few Christmas bits down to stave off the festive hunger – it’s less Black Friday, and more Sparkle Saturday.
This year is a bit different though. I’ve noticed that the festive appetite is even more ravenous than usual, and not just in this house. Christmas trees and early decorations are popping up all over my social media feeds –in Lockdown 2, and at the end of a most remarkable and for many, disastrous year, people are turning eagerly to the things that usually give them joy and warmth in the depths of winter.
In a normal year, my Christmas Weekend would involve a foray into the loft for the specially-packed box from the end of last year’s celebrations, which contains the following:
- The wooden advent calendar – down, dusted and prepped for the 1st
- Last year’s leftover Christmas cards, so I can see how many more I need to buy this year (this practice has saved me a fortune in unnecessary purchases over the last few years)
- Wrapping paper – ditto and ditto
- Christmas jumpers and socks for size sorting, hand-me-down arrangements and washing
- Last year’s received Christmas cards, for cutting up into gift labels – I used to do this with my Mum 40 years ago and I’ve always done it since. It’s green, it’s thrifty, and it gives you a whole range of label styles and sizes you could never buy in the shops!
- The odds and ends of festive paraphernalia that I missed in the New Year clear up, and which skulked around the spare room until I gathered them all into a bag and pushed them up into the loft some time in March – such things as wind-up reindeer, activity books and odd socks.
This would all come down to be leapt on by the children, pulled excitedly from containers, exclaimed over and delighted in for several hours. It’s lovely to see, and gives me that early hit of Christmas joy that I’ve been looking forward to.
But this year – and sh! Don’t tell Mr RLC, because he’s not yet aware of this plan – Christmas Weekend will be MUCH bigger this year. I want a bigger hit – I want more. I want some of that early sparkly joy that I’ve seen so many friends and family enjoying early this year. I want lights and candles, festive baking tins, Santa tea towels, pine cones and a whole wind-up reindeer army. I also want to see how Bertie Pup reacts to the singing stuffed dog.
I may not go as far as the tree – it depends how the dog reacts to the rest of the stuff, for one thing! – and I do want to save some of the excitement up for actual December. I’ll hold back on the banners, the garlands and the artwork from Baby Christmases Past, and savour them in a couple of weeks’ time.
This does give me a challenge, though – I’m not entirely sure where anything is, outside of the specially-packed Christmas Weekend box. I may be up in the loft for some time this Saturday…