Whilst browsing the 'Ultimate Christmas' book by Jane Newdick tonight in search of an inspired recipe for cranberry sauce (don't ask) I came across Ms Newdick's countdown to the festive season.
Firstly, I should point out that the countdown started six weeks ago, so already I am off to a very poor start and may, in fact, have to cancel the holiday. However, with just over four weeks to go, this is what we should all be doing:
Printing gift wrap. Yes. Printing it. Already I am glad I live so conveniently to a major UK retailer who does this for me. Every little helps.
Make gift boxes to fit gifts. Well, if I do this now, I will have to buy gifts to fit gift boxes. Just let me see.... ah yes, gift shopping was to be completed two weeks ago. Epic fail.
Start using Advent calendar and let children write to Santa. Point of order here. My children don't write to Santa. It's a little known fact that Santa is indeed telepathic and does not actually require a letter to know what goodies to supply for Christmas. However, he does like a little note every so often that just says hello and enquire after the reindeer.
Plan theme for dining table and make festive decorations, such as crackers (you'd need to be to make them) and painted glassware. Well, on the theme issue, I'm thinking this year I might go for a Christmas theme. What do you think?
Make decorations using dried fruit and artificial ingredients, such as wreaths, door swags and garlands. Uh huh. My family are going to be so deprived this year.
Plan lighting, such as lanterns or twig chandelier. I get the feeling Ms Newdick has inside information of a massive power failure over the region on Christmas Day. Anyone with shares in Northern Ireland Electricity...sell, sell! SELL!!
Oh hold on, that's me...
Order special food as necessary, such as turkey, goose or fish. Oh yes, I see. I was supposed to have made that menu decision four weeks ago. And the only reason you are to order these foods is because they are the only foods you do not make yourself from scratch. Unless you live on a turkey, goose or fish farm of course.
Hold on, I've just thought of something: how do you cook your turkey, goose and fish with the expected electricity outage? Hmmm...need to order more gas for the BBQ
Anyone else thinking Ms Newdick has too much time on her hands?
Right, off to read page 127 to see how I should paint my Tyrone crystal wine glasses and then to find those NIE shares...