This year I started my Christmas preparations a lot earlier than usual - in fact the first gift I purchased was way back in June! I had a valid excuse though... our baby is due exactly one week before Christmas Day.
I was sorting through the piles of presents for friends and family at the beginning of November - getting ready to wrap them - and it got me thinking. When is it too early to start thinking about Christmas?
In this day and age everything is highly commercialised - as soon as Halloween and Bonfire Night are over (and sometimes even before!) Christmas stock begins to appear on shop shelves, and music begins to play over their sound systems. Often this is eight weeks or more before Christmas itself - and a month or more before we even hit the month of December.
I asked some fellow bloggers what they thought about it all - and what they're patterns of preparation are.
Jaymee from The Mum Diaries said she tends to decorate her home between mid November and December 1st, but doesn't make the trip to visit santa until the 23rd or 24th of December. Although she is an early bird when it comes to singing Christmas music, and watched Elf in the first week of November.
Contrastingly, Prudence from Adventures in Homeschool waits until after the 6th of December... with good reason! Her middle child's birthday is then. After that they crack out the decorations, movies and music for the rest of the month. Her final comments about her preparation (or lack there of...) made me giggle. She said, "When it comes to gifts though, I'm shocking! It's always a last minute panic! Thank goodness for the internet because I hate busy Christmas shopping. Finally, I wrap everything on Christmas Eve in a blind, wine-fuelled panic!"
Like Prudence, Claire from Dear, Mummy Bear won't start decorating before December, however she is partial to a Christmas themed Costa when their new menu is released. When I chatted with her in November, she had already completed her shopping but had no intention of wrapping it for a while!
Hannah from East Sussex Mummy said the only thing she will even think about before December is buying gifts; but even then they remain unwrapped - unless they are seeing someone they bought a gift for earlier than December for the last time before Christmas.
As if to be the complete flip side of the argument, Jenni from Chilling with Lucas said she starts her Christmas preparations the year before - during the Boxing Day sales! She will start wrapping in November and listen to music from the moment it starts in the shops and on the radio.
Similarly, Claire from Big Family, Big Fun - who is a self-confessed lover of Christmas - is happy to do pretty much everything early except for activities such as visiting Santa, which are reserved for December. She even wraps the gifts as and when they arrive (and she buys throughout the year!) to stop the prying eyes of her children discovering what they will be getting!
Finally, Mo from Adventures of a Novice Mum prefers a stress-free traditionless Christmas, without the music, movies, Santa and gifts - instead it's about spending time with the family! Of all of us she will be the most prepared as she has very little preparation to do!
As you can see, my fellow blogging parents views varied greatly - but there was a running theme - where possible people don't start until December.
Despite this, I'm glad that I did all the early preparations this year, as we have got Little L due. However I don't think that I will need to be this organised in the future, so it will be nice to get back to relaxing and enjoying my favourite time of year.
For more posts about Christmas, visit the Christmas category page. If you have any questions about when you should start preparing for Christmas which I have not covered in this post, feel free to ask in the comments section below.