Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Countdown to Christmas: Part 3

December is so nearly upon us!

While I'm sad about the end of National Health Blog Post Month (NHBPM) and the daily blog prompts (which I have mostly enjoyed reading, but ignored), I am excited about the start of my favourite month and the last run-up to Christmas.

I'm still working my way through the Christmas cards, and have wrapped all the presents that have arrived so far. There are a few still to order, but I definitely feel as though I've done the bulk of the shopping and wrapping.

This coming week is more about planning than doing:

  1. Planning the decorations for the house (Richard will execute the plans this weekend): I'm looking out for good deals on Christmas trees and boughs of evergreen to suit my theme.
  2. Planning baking that needs to be done nearer the time - do I need to bake cookies for Richard to take to work for his colleagues; do we want to take boxes of baked goodies to our neighbours? 'Bake, freeze and defrost' is a favourite technique of mine, but for things that really do need to be made near the time, I am ordering the ingredients this week. 
  3. Entertaining: Usually we host a big party around New Year, but we're going low-key this year. It would still be nice to have some friends round during the festive period, so we need to send out invitations and plan (and buy) food and drink. We also have guests coming to stay the weekend before Christmas, so I intend to come up with a provisional menu this week, so that I can order the groceries online.
  4. Planning my Christmas music for the iPod. Two playlists this year - on classical and one non-classical. Not only is this good for my personal listening, but we can plug the iPhone straight into the speaker dock in the kitchen when we have people round for drinks/nibbles/dinner.
  5. The advent calendar needs to be filled (or bought, if you're that type)
  6. Most people in the UK seem to get prescriptions issued for 1 month at a time. If you're one of those people, this week would be a good time to check what you'll need before the New Year, and order it from your GP.
  7. Food allergies: if you have a very restricted diet or food allergies, this week would be a good time to check with the hosts of any Christmas parties you're attending. Some of them will just need a reminder, but others might need more work. If you're going somewhere unfamiliar to eat, look online for the menu or ask for a copy. It's always easier to ask questions in advance, rather than grilling the waiter on the day. If you're very worried, or if your diet is very specific, you can always eat before you go out and carry a snack in your handbag. If your host is nervous about your dietary requirements, it might be a good idea to volunteer to bring a 'Jo friendly' dish that everyone can enjoy. If you have school-age children, now is probably a good time to make sure that you remind their teacher/school of any policies in place. Kids are often allowed to bring in goodies at Christmas, so make sure that your child is protected from any  potential exposure. 
Let's say that's all for this week. I'm sure that those of you in the US are still recovering from Thanksgiving, and will appreciate a quiet week!

As for me, this has taken me almost all day to write. I've been asleep the majority of the time since Saturday night. I think I've probably just overdone it, but my body is certainly protesting about something! Back to sleep now!

This post was written as part of NHBPM - 30 health posts in 30 days: http://bit.ly/vU0g9J

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