The wonderfully long sunny days we are enjoying mean it is no surprise to realise that midsummer is just around the corner...and all at once, Christmas seems both very far away, but also much sooner than you think!
This is of course the May edition of Mimi's Jingle Belles, but in a few short weeks it will be the June edition, and only 6 months to go!
But back to May, and first things first, it is time to add to your little nest egg of Christmas money. Isn't it lovely to feel it growing? Even if you are managing only a few pounds per month, think how welcome they will be in December!
Next, it is time to sit with a cup of tea and look at your mood board and notes you have been making on ideas for themes and so on. Choose just one thing to focus on. Perhaps an idea for gift tags, such as the beautiful holly-leaf-with-red-bead-berry tags my sister made one year, or to write all your cards with a fountain pen and ink, or to have the rat pack singing you Christmas songs every evening in December whilst you cook the dinner. Whatever that one thing is going to be, give it a bit of focus, and think about what you can do to make it a reality. Do you need to create a playlist on your computer? Do it now, so it is all ready for you to enjoy in December! Make those gift tags, buy the green ink cartridges for your fountain pen, or the gold sealing wax and twine for doing up your gifts....but spend some time bringing one of your ideas to life, and getting it all ready for December.
Next, it is time for a treat...you deserve it with all the work you have been doing! You can tailor this treat to suit your purse, and either shop on amazon or the shelves of your local library...but wherever you choose to look and whether you are happy to spend pounds or pennies or just time, hunt out a new Christmas book to inspire you. Yes, I know it is May! But a new book savoured now and giving you lots of inspiration whilst there is still time to act on that inspiration is of far more worth and use than the same book obtained at a more seasonal time of year when there is not enough time to act on it! I like to look out for a new Christmas book every year. Favourites include books by Martha Stewart, or Country Living. I also have a Gooseberry Patch book, and love Rose Hammick's Christmas Inspirations. Nigella Christmas is a modern classic, or there is Susan Branch to investigate too. Your theme and mood board might lead you in a particular direction...perhaps you would like a general Christmas book, or just cards, or just food....whatever it is, seek it out now, and start to savour it.
This month is a good month to tackle some of the 'batch' gifts on your list. I like to try and find one or two groups of friends on my gift list to whom I can give 'batch' gifts. For example, my book group all always get the same gift, and so do my work friends, although I might customise these. One year I planted hyacinth bulbs in vintage cups and saucers for my book group, and another year for work friends I made boxes of home made sweets. I have given candles, tree decorations, knitted slippers, cds of christmas music... You don't have to finish these gifts this month, but do try to settle on at least one batch gift, get the ingredients you need, and make a start. You will be so glad you did later in the year! I am crocheting snowflakes to be hung as decorations for some friends this year, so in the evening I sit and create a snow drift with my crochet hook. All that will be left to do later in the year is to package them up prettily with a little label and love from me to them.
So to sum it up, this month is about focusing on your theme, finding a bit more inspiration, and starting to work on gifts. After all that, you really do deserve another cup of tea, and also a slice of cake!