The Wednesday Wondering – Christmas is Coming!


It’s a Wednesday which can only mean one thing … time for the Wednesday Wondering. Last week we took a slight break while we launched NaNoWriMo for the Write Romantics and caught up on the writing aspirations of those not participating but, this week, we’re back to the usual format.

It’s Christmas Day six weeks today. That may either scare you or excite you depending on how you feel about Christmas and where you are with your preparations. With this in mind, this week’s question was posed by Rachael:

How are your Christmas preparations going?

Which of The Write Romantics are early birds when it comes to Christmas shopping and which ones are rushing around in a panic on Christmas Eve? Let’s find out …



I’d like to think I’m an organised person but I could never be one of those people who start shopping in the January sales for the following Christmas. Where would you put everything for a start?

I tend to see post-Bonfire Night as an acceptable time to start shopping and have actually done about half of mine already this year. This is very early for me but the reason behind it is simple: I’ve started working 7 days a week. Sadly I lost my job in July and haven’t been able to find work since so a friend suggested trying to get a seasonal job. I managed to secure 2 and work in a local garden centre (with the most amazing Christmas decorations grotto ever) on a Thursday-Sunday and Thorntons Café on a Mon-Wed so I had to start early. From this point forward, though, if it can’t be bought in the garden centre, Thorntons or online, it’s not going to happen!



Christmas preparation and shopping has so far consisted of one shopping jaunt to London with youngest daughter to see what’s around. Eldest daughter wants a Macbook Air (in your dreams) and Youngest daughter wants a puppy (yeah right!)

Sadly my brothers and sisters live too far away to even see them at Christmas (Wales, Dubai, Sydney, Chester) unless there is a reason for a mass family get together. This does make Christmas present buying easier, though, as we gave up buying presents a long time ago unless we do meet up.

I normally end up having a frantic ‘Big Spend’ a few days before Christmas, realising I’ve left it far too late and throwing caution to the wind.

Hopefully Christmas will be at ‘Nanny Jacks’s’ house this year (mother in law) as she has just had a super duper, ‘John Ladbury and Company’ kitchen fitted (I’ve not even seen it yet) But we’ll all bring food along as there are now fourteen of us on that side of the family.

Last Spring I found a big bag of Christmas chocolates and stocking fillers that I’d forgotten about, so note to self is to remember where I’ve hidden things this year.



I’m always a bit last minute about Christmas.  Every year it has a tendency to creep up on me and then I go into a last minute buying frenzy. I do genuinely like shopping on Christmas Eve as it can be quite festive, the shops are fairly empty and the panic focuses my brain!  This year I know I’ll be as last minute as ever.  So far all I’ve done is buy an advent calendar for my nephew.



We have a few family birthdays in November so Christmas always takes a back seat until they have passed. However, I did just order the Santa letters for my daughters and my aim is always to finish all Christmas shopping before the end of November before the shops become unbearable.

As for the food plans, it’s always a full roast for us even though we live in Australia where many people have buffet lunches. I can’t get my head around that! I must have my turkey, my gravy, my pigs in blankets, my tacky crackers to pull!

Last year we made a gingerbread house but this year we’re thinking of a yule log. And there’s nothing quite like eating the huge feast and listening to Christmas music whilst drinking champagne! Then it’s time for a dip in the pool…fingers crossed it’s nice weather this year as last year it rained all day 😦



Christmas? Don’t get me wrong, I love it, but right now the mention of it sends shivers down my spine.  Life is crazy busy at the moment, but I have promised myself that I will start thinking about Christmas properly, and getting stuff organised, once my daughter’s 12th birthday is over and done with this weekend.  She has nine friends sleeping over on Friday night and the amount of One Direction merchandise I’ve been forced to buy must mean that I am responsible for at least ten percent of their collective wealth!  Wish me luck and roll on Monday, when I’ll start the Christmas shopping, honest…



I read today that it is just 42 days to Christmas!! I never mind cos I usually do my shopping both early and late. In order to manage our frugal budget I’ve already done my present shopping. I raid the summer sales for goodies to put away till Christmas. This year at the very end of her sale Emma Bridgewater reduced some lovely mugs to £5 each post free! I bought a dozen. They are seconds, but I barely notice the difference. I also got some lovely girlie things from Joules. It ends up there is often a theme for my pressies and everyone get similar, but as long as its good one, I don’t mind.

Food wise we wait till Christmas Eve to go to Waitrose, when they reduce all their fresh stuff to rock bottom prices. We are well aware that this could go either way, we could either find that its all gone and we’re left raiding the freezer for whatever is at the bottom. Since it’s just Andy and I (our daughter goes to her dad’s) it’s ok. We wouldn’t dare risk it if we had children at home. It’s quite fun. So far we’ve struck lucky and had some nice things that we would never have bought at their full price but so far, we’ve done well.

That done we’ll raid the woods when we’re walking the dogs for holly & ivy, polish the brass and copper so it shimmers and gleams in the candles we’ll also light, and job done, so they say!



When it comes to Christmas shopping I’m a starter/stopper. I had a mini-blitz in early October and clocked up several complete pressies, even got the wrapping paper out of the loft intending to wrap as I go along (I hate wrapping!) and now, typically, I’ve come to a standstill.  Nothing is wrapped, of course.  Mind you for my ‘boys’ I do rely on them sending me lists and those won’t come until the eleventh hour if I know them!



All year I save towards Christmas, so that it isn’t that painful hit! Then around October I set to and make Christmas puddings and cakes. This is as far as my planning for Christmas stretches.

Without warning, it creeps up and I find if I don’t pull my finger out, I will miss those overseas last posting dates. Once that panic is over I go into denial again, until the first Christmas card drops through the door and I really do have to write mine. It’s also when I drag the decorations from the loft and put them up in their usual places. Each year I tell myself to get new and exciting ones – but it doesn’t happen.

After that, well it’s major panic as I hit the town, trying to get all those gifts. I guess, deep down, I just love the panic of Christmas!



Hmn Christmas shopping. Every year I’m full of good intentions and say I will start early so I don’t have a last minute nervous breakdown and do I? Nope, I have however bought a few gifts but not nearly as many as I would like. I have five children and a granddaughter to buy for plus nephews, nieces, mum, dads and on and on it goes.

I really envy those people who are organised and those who don’t have to buy for lots of people.


Hope you like the festive photos taken at my house last year. I absolutely adore Christmas decorations and we actually have 3 trees! This may sound greedy but our lounge is at the back of the house so we have a main tree in there but I love to see trees in windows so we have a smaller one in the bay window in the dining room at the front of the house. Then Ashleigh has a pink one that she decorates. I make wreaths and flower arrangements each year and generally go completely overboard with festive teddies, fairy lights and niknaks. Takes me hours and hours!

Do join in and let us know your plans … 

Julie xx



5 thoughts on “The Wednesday Wondering – Christmas is Coming!

  1. Lynne, I especially enjoyed your post because it’s a reminder of what Christmas should be all about. Going food shopping at the last minute was always what people did, my nan and mum included, and I never tired of hearing how they used to go up to London (from Brighton) on Christmas Eve and shop for bargains. One year my nan bought a load of oranges and the bag split on the escalator in the tube and sent the whole lot bouncing down. They also used to visit the butchers’ shops in Brighton as the turkeys would all be sold off really cheaply before they shut for Christmas. Gathering holly and ivy in the woods is of course another lovely tradition, and so much nicer than buying the latest tat (which I try not to do but others in the family tend to take the lead on the decs!) Wouldn’t it be lovely to take Christmas right back to the basics and not make endless lists, then worry if we can’t get every single thing that’s on them!
    So thanks for the memories, Lynne, get polishing that brass, and I bet your Christmas will be better than anyone’s.
    Deirdre x

  2. I love the pictures, Julie, are these all yours? And Helen R, I am very jealous of your festive pool-side plans 🙂 Lynne and Rachael, though, I haven’t forgiven either of you for either mentioning Christmas in the first place or giving me a scary count down! 😉 X

  3. Hi Jo, yes they’re all taken at my house last year. The top one is the main tree in the lounge, the 2nd one is the tree in the dining room bay and I made the wreath and flower arrangement. Santa is at Castle Howard which is a lovely stately home between Scarborough and York. They do a lovely event where they have an audience of children and a Medieval magician entertains them in preparation for Santa’s arrival then Santa chats to the children and sings songs with them before giving out gifts. We’ve been the last 2 years although we’ll give it a break this year (mainly cos I’m working!) Ashleigh is going into town with Mark tomorrow to watch Santa arrive on his boat to the harbour then parade through town to Boyes store (northern cheap dept store est in S’bro) but she’ll actually see him in his grotto at the garden centre where I work next month 🙂

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