Northern Mummy

General thoughts and wittering about all sorts of things

Get ready!

on October 21, 2012

Many, many apologies for the long silence.  The reasons behind this are numerous, but mainly:

  • My diet and exercise plan, which, whilst reaping reasonable rewards (nearly 9lb down in 6 weeks) takes up a lot of time between the 4x weekly DVD workouts and the meal planning/shopping extravaganza that is our new Sunday afternoon routine
  • Book group reading commitments
  • The Bookworm’s new weekly piano lesson, which takes place on a Saturday morning (my former blogging slot) – but we wouldn’t have it any other way and are profoundly grateful to Fiona and her husband for rearranging their weekend to accommodate the lesson!
  • Various family events and trips, including both girls’ birthdays this month
  • Last but not least, the start of the autumn TV schedule.  Although we don’t have “live” TV, we do watch certain programmes via catch-up facilities and this time of year often sees the return of many favourites, such as Strictly Come Dancing and Downton Abbey, in addition to new excitement in the form of The Paradise and the long-awaited return of Red Dwarf, all of which need to be squeezed into my week!

Anyway, I shall endeavour to carve out a new blogging spot in my weekly schedule before too long, so look out for the latest Cream Tea Award review (left over from the summer), as well as a post on the Northern Women’s Christian Convention which took place in Manchester last weekend.

In the meantime, I want to let you know about something I’m starting today.  As regular readers will know, I LOVE Christmas (if you don’t, or you’re one of those people like Southern Daddy who thinks Christmas-talk should be confined to December, it’s probably time to look away now and return for the next post!) and each year spend a lot of time planning food, invitations and gift giving to make the celebrations as nice as they can be.  For the past few years I’ve used a Christmas planner, with sections to record cards sent and received – with a place for addresses; gift ideas and final choices, with a pocket for receipts in case of returns; menu planners; shopping lists; etc.  When my second shop-bought one ran out last year, I began to search for a new one online and was surprised how expensive they’d become since the last purchase (the books last for 5 years so a lot of time is available for price inflation!).  During my Google searches, however, I came across Organized Christmas, who have countless different printable pages, dividers and covers – all free – with which you can create and build your own personal organiser, tailored to your needs.  All you need is a ring binder.

I used many of their printables last year, and noticed that they also run various planning programmes to help people prepare for Christmas.  So this year I’ve decided to get in at the start and I’m following the Christmas Countdown plan which begins today and aims to have you ready for Christmas in 6 weeks, finishing on 30th November so you can enjoy the festivities December brings with it (if you’re after something more heavy-duty, the Holiday Grand Plan began on August 26th and is already into Week 9… maybe next year?!).  One of the things which appeals to me about the Countdown is the emphasis on assessing your family’s Christmas values and creating a “do less, enjoy more” approach, because I’m always guilty of trying to create a “perfect” Christmas and loading myself with stress about how much everyone should be enjoying themselves.

To follow the steps (“assignments”) of the countdown you need to pay a daily visit to the message index where each day’s step will be posted.  They will stay there and build up over the 6 weeks so if you miss a day, the tasks will always be there.  Alternatively you can subscribe to the programme’s Facebook page or Twitter feed where links to each day’s task will be posted.  There’s an RSS thingy as well, but I’ve never really understood that and certainly haven’t managed to get it to work.  Take a look at the first day’s post if you want to find out more about that.

The tasks today involve laying the groundwork for the preparation, starting with “making the promise”! I’m going to try and spend a bit of time planning each day in the hope of being prepared by the end of November (although the “work expands” principle may well come into play here!).  There are different themes to focus on each week.

Next I have to designate a space.  This is going to be a problem as it was with the writing thing, as most of our spaces are either very cold and uncomfortable or in constant use, meaning I’ll have to pack away my things each time.  But that’s ok (most things are in the folder from last year) so I’ll go with my comfy Christmassy-red sofa.

I’ve printed my sheets for this week and I’m ready with my checklist… looking forward to Christmas!


*In the interests of those who don’t wish to be bored to tears bombarded with Christmas-talk, as well as my current lack of blogging time, I don’t intend to blog this challenge daily as I did with the writing one, but I’ll keep you updated from time to time!



2 responses to “Get ready!

  1. Alice says:

    Oh goodness me, this sounds AMAZING!!!!!!!!! Thank you so much for sharing!

    • northmum says:

      I’m really glad it’s useful! I’m excited about it (mainly because it’s a legitimate reason to think about Christmas even before we’ve got to half term!). I forgot to mention in the main post, but you might be interested to know that one lady who has followed it in the past has contributed some BIble study ideas based around the themes of the six weeks. It’s not hugely fleshed out (which is a good thing as people would want to do different things with it – personal devotional, housegroup, family prayer time, etc) but there are some ideas to start with. It was linked to from one of the pages I looked at yesterday, but I can’t find that page now! Nevertheless the Bible Study page itself is here: and of course you can use the search function to find any of the pages I’ve mentioned.

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