Throughout my journey of changing my approach to the festive season, I have, at times, felt like others are laughing at me for organising Christmas from January to December.
And, judging by the number of heartfelt comments I received when I asked about this on social media, I’m not alone.
Lots of you said family and friends say things like: ‘Christmas is only for December’, ‘it’s too early to think about Christmas’ or that you’re ‘overthinking it’.
Others said you have partners who don’t understand why you’re organising Christmas early and resist any involvement.
I think some of these comments could stem from people’s dislike of Christmas ‘starting earlier and earlier’ in the shops, with Christmas songs and festive adverts popping up as early as August.
This provokes strong negative feelings in some people – they think it makes Christmas more commercial or less special because it goes on for so long.
For some, they might not want to do anything Christmassy at all before Halloween or even Bonfire Night.
I think it’s okay for the shops to be full-on Christmas for about six weeks before the big day.
Even though I buy presents throughout the year, there are always Christmas-specific items I need to stock up on – and it’s great if I can do this before the December rush!
Do what’s right for you
It seems many of us enjoy having the special Christmas feeling around for longer – and it sounds like lots of you do a great job of sticking to your guns, despite what others say.
One of you said: “I tell them that if I didn’t start early, they wouldn’t get a present.” I bet that makes the naysayers think again!
“People know I love Christmas – and I have the last laugh when I’m not running around like a crazy woman in December,” another of you commented.
I couldn’t agree more – I love Christmas and enjoy it so much these days, but I didn’t when I was tired, rushed and stressed.
Some people are averse to the concept of planning ahead altogether. This is probably something that’s deep-rooted in them, and not actually anything to do with Christmas or with you.
Be clear about your reasons
I think the best thing to do when people criticise us for our Christmas-related activities is to explain why you do it.
I would also try to give examples of how you – and the person criticising – benefit from your efforts. This approach is already working well for some of you.
One Christmas fan said on Instagram: “They think I am a bit mad – but they are the ones saying Christmas wouldn’t be the same without the homemade recipes.
“They leave me to get on with it and all goes well.”
“The fact is I love Christmas and giving presents to people, and I love spending time planning it so it can be as good as it can be,” wrote another.
“I don’t really get the attitude that we should put off thinking about it for as long as possible, as though it’s something we all have to endure every year!”
Christmas means fun!
I noticed that lots of people joined the ‘early Christmas club’ last year, putting up their festive decorations much earlier than usual to help cheer themselves up during the pandemic.
I welcomed this phenomenon and thought it was a brilliant way for people to help themselves get through what has been a difficult time for everyone.
Not only does planning and ‘doing’ Christmas early help save time, money, reduce stress – it’s also fun and, for many, evokes happy memories from childhood.
And that’s what it’s all about for me – being able to enjoy it! So good on all of you – don’t listen to your critics.
Simply explain why you do it…and keep on Christmas Organising!