The One Where Alison Scares The HouseKeepers!

Warchrist

Oh I know! But darlings, the minute September comes a calling, this HouseKeepers mind turns to Christmas. So I thought I'd get carried away and scare you silly in August! 

I don't know about you, but until I got organised (ish!!), Christmas took me my surprise, year after year. Christmas Eve was never the blissful day I visualised, but the day I finally gave up the ghost and accepted that it was too late to do anything more...

But not this year. Housekeepers, this years , Christmas is going to be different for all of us. It isn't going to be the great big Mommy headache it alway is, it is going to be the stuff a wonderful life is made of. With a pretty little Brocante Fairy on top.

But what can we do now, I hear you ask? Now when the kids haven't even gone back to school? When the house is awaiting the seasonal scrub and our scrumptious shoulders are still gloriously brown?

We can plan, dear Housekeepers, we can plan!!

1. Get yourself a notepad: something ludicrously pretty and small enough to fit into your handbag, but big enough to hold a whole host of plans, ideas, list and inspirations. (Look Mimi- a stationery opportunity especially for you!!!)

2. Get the calender and your diary out and work out just how Chrismas is going to fall this year. Work out when hair and salon appointments will need to be made, what the Christmas shopping hours are likely to be according to how Christmas week fall,when the Christmas tree will need to go up, last postal days, when the kids are likely to be finishing nursery/school, and by which dates any necessary travel plans/hotel rooms will need to be made and booked.

3.  Start a cleaning fund. This is my yearly gift to myself: to have the whole house cleaned by the professionals, the day before the Christmas tree goes up. If it seems like to big an extravagance, start to put away a pound or two towards it now, and get it booked!

4. Get your mission lists out and work out what DIY jobs HAVE GOT TO BE DONE before Christmas. Make it clear to anyone else involved there will be hell to pay if they are not (Ha!Ha!).

5. Make any bookings you can now: with popular hairdressers, organic food suppliers, carpet cleaners, theatres, pantomimes etc, etc. No, it isn't too early. You want to catch the worm don't you?

6. Start to think about a decorating theme. Dig out all your Christmas edition magazines, and read them by candlelight, while you sip a hot chocolate and pretend it's Christmas Eve. Think about what colours you want, what you will need to buy, what will  Christmas smell like this year? How will you adapt your signature scent seasonally? How will you create a decorating theme that reflects  everybody in the house?

The next night do the same again with your cookery books. How will you ring the changes this year? How can you make it extra special? What can you do over the few months? Start the cake? Bake the mincemeat?

7. Allocate two gift homes: one secret place where you can stash gifts for prying eyes and another space for other family gifts.

8. Start your Christmas food shopping: buy one luxury, unperishable item every time you go to the supermarket and store them away from Hungry Horaces....

9. Make your gift and  lists. Check addresses. See how many cards/ giftwrap items you've got left over from last year. Start any Christmas crafty projects you've always meant to do, but have never got round to before...

10. Stop buying things for the house and let the next few months be dedicated to clearing a space for Christmas. Use the money you would normally spend on the house on teeny gifts in the end of summer sales, so you can get a head start on your shopping...

As soon as the seasonal scrub is over, the countdown to Christmas will start in earnest on the puttering programme, so if you haven't joined up, nows the time! There is a mini Christmas scrub two weeks before Christmas, but the fabulous festivities are up you Darlings.... 

It's going to be wonderful. I promise.