November can be a bit of a "blah" month; the weather’s wet and windy, we’re all fighting off coughs and colds and the excitement around Halloween has well and truly subsided.
If you want to put a pep in your step and spend the run-up to the big day smugly eating mince pies snuggled by the fire, here are five Christmas prep ideas you can do in November that will mean you’re ticking items off your list faster than Santa.
Elf On The Shelf
While the big man doesn’t come until December 24, the little man (aka the elf on the shelf) makes his appearance on December 1. Whether his arrival is all-singing, all-dancing, or whether he simply invites himself to breakfast, your main mission is to find him in time! Last year I spent the night before desperately trying to remember where I’d put him. The only thing I could remember was that it was a safe place… This year I know he’s in with the Christmas decorations, however, I do have to buy a second elf as I’m sure my two-year-old will want his own!
Another thing that always takes me by surprise is how soon we need to whip out the advent calendars. One minute I’m wondering why they’re in the shops in October, the next I’m scanning every supermarket in the vicinity to see if any has some left. If you’re really enthusiastic and want to get creative, you could even purchase a themed wooden calendar with 24 empty drawers to fill. That will definitely keep you busy, but it’s certainly not for the faint-hearted… If you find Christmas shopping a chore though, stay clear of that version.
The Letter To Santa
One of the most anticipated tasks for children is writing their letter to Santa; flicking through the Smyth’s catalogue, picking their favourites and carefully writing their list is a huge part of the build-up to the big day. The great thing is that if they do it early, they’re *almost* guaranteed a reply from the man himself. To get your Christmas prep on in the letter-writing department, An Post has all the details you need to ensure their letter gets to the North Pole safely. Read all about it here.
'The Late Late Toy Show'
This year’s 'Late Late Toy Show' will be on Friday, November 26, so get the date in your diary pronto! It’s the one evening that we’d all rather be in front of our TV screens than anywhere else (well, apart from in the studio audience). Why not get planning the perfect evening in now? From matching pyjamas to marshmallow-topped hot chocolates, we all have our own family traditions for 'Toy Show' day - which brings us swiftly onto the tree!
Your Christmas Tree
I don’t know who came up with the "tree up for the 'Toy Show'" idea (answers on a postcard), but it has certainly caught on. Before I had kids, I used to think we were doing well if we got the Christmas tree up before Christmas Eve. This year, I already have the date set to get the decorations down and it coincides nicely with when Tubridy goes toy crazy. Now all that’s left is to get all the presents to put underneath it!