My obsession with keeping things organised and maintaining lists for everything is a standing joke throughout the whole of the year. But I really come into my own at Christmas. I am constantly surprised to find that not everybody has a ringbinder where they keep everything to do with Christmas. How do they remember what happened last year and what they wanted to remember for this year?
Every detail of last year's Christmas dinner has been carefully noted with improvements for this year to make it even better. So, the plates need to be a little hotter and the gravy will only come to the table when absolutely everything else is served, thus ensuring that it is piping hot. I also know that the indoor tree lights are not working so need fixing or replacing. I’d have forgotten these things if I’d not written them in my folder.
Little things that annoy me are written down so next year they can be avoided. Heckling my Father-in-Law whilst he delivers his heartfelt grace will not be tolerated. (Judith - it has been noted.) My teenage daughter must be carefully monitored to ensure that she is not wandering around the Christmas dinner table having a sip of everybody's drinks! Last year the poor thing had her first-ever Boxing Day hangover, although given her family heritage it’s probably the first of many.
The thing I like most about my folder is the storage system. As we all know Christmas begins with Advent. I don't know about you but we phase our Christmas decorations so they don’t all come out at once. Everything we need is divided into four separate phases and stored in separate boxes. Each weekend from Advent onwards out comes another box. It starts with the old Playmobil advent calendars (yes, even though they are 11 and 15), then come the outside lights and wrapping paper, and finally all the tree decorations, homemade garlands and other paraphernalia.
Part of the joy for me is knowing exactly where everything is and that way we don't miss anything. My teenage children think I'm a bit odd (in all sorts of ways) and they liken me to Monica from Friends, which I take as a compliment. Remember the episode when the others had upset her and she locked them out of the apartment? They were so desperate to get into the apartment for her Christmas dinner.
And I don't hear anybody complaining when Christmas is organised and nobody has to worry about anything. Who needs all that panic and mad rushing around looking for stuff? Not me my friend. You can imagine how delighted I was to discover the ‘from you to me’ Christmas Journals. What a great addition to my folder. Not an organisation tool but a wonderful memoir and keepsake. Can't wait to start writing down all those lovely memories.