It’s an annual moan that the build-up to Christmas gets longer and longer every year. Whilst the idea of any festive-prep before Bonfire Night gets a distinctly raised eyebrow from me, from November 6th onwards I am as guilty as anyone. Hopefully in a low-key ‘let’s-gently-build-the-excitement-and-make-the-most-of-Christmas-for-more-than-just-a-day’ sort of way. The idea is to add to the fun not bring on a nervous breakdown.
But this annual moan is slightly misplaced. It’s nothing new. The Victorians – who pretty much invented our notions of what makes a traditional Christmas – were all about the build-up. Their households spent considerable time in the weeks and maybe even months before Christmas making together the decorations for the house.
If you can squeeze in the time during November and December there’s a lot of pleasure to be found in doing similarly. They don’t have to take long – drying oranges into pomanders involves about half-an-hour of rather satisfyingly jabbing cloves into the fruit. But it’s half an hour well-spent with family or friends.
Or you could make a Mistletoe Kissing Ball. Some gilded walnuts. Hang sweets on the Christmas tree. Make gingerbread snowmen. A holly wreath. Paperchain garlands or angels. There’s a long list of possibilities to choose from. Maybe one of them will appeal to you to do – and there’s nothing like a bit of doing to oil the conversational wheels and create some shared memories.