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Christmas Preparations

This year if I said I was behind in the Christmas preparations that would be an understatement!!! Usually I would have baked around 25 Christmas cakes and they would be patiently waiting in line to be fed with amaretto every 3 days, the Christmas chocolate and snack stash would have been bought and boxed with a do not open sticker slapped to the side, numerous Christmas food gifts would have been planned, the Christmas DVDs and books out of the cupboard from the 1st December...the list is endless...unfortunately non of that has happened this year and some would say but you have loads of time. Theoretically I would agree but if someone said to you that starting a small business is easy then they would be fibbing.

April saw the start of me formalising my hobby into a business and I want it to generate my main income towards the end of 2019!!! From then I have developed ideas, commissioned products, worked with British companies, worked on collaborations, run workshops, spent savings...and started working part time...one less day per week...but it is amazing that the day does not even touch the amount of work that needs doing when setting up.

I think that Christmas is about cutting yourself a bit of slack and even though everyone says so it really is very hard to not be pressured. Does it really matter if there is one type of potato on the plate or there are no chocolate tree ornaments or handmade gingerbread stars hanging on the Christmas tree? All I want is for us to have a comfy place to sit, have clean windows and well dusted sides...something that is not present at the moment.

Christmas in Thornton Le Dale starts officially on the first Saturday of December when the village lights are switched on it, then the 'Lions' visiting the street with Father Christmas on a sleigh and for some reason it always makes me cry...along with brass bands...don't know why!

We have started our preparations by writing a list of all the things that need to be done before Christmas:

  1. Finish studio and make ready for Open Studio 23rd December
  2. Move into the studio
  3. Finish little toilet
  4. Swap rooms around
  5. Deep clean of the house...
  6. Fill skip...I think this must be the 6th year in a row that we have had a Christmas skip
  7. Decorate the house with greenary and get tree
  8. Outside lights up

So we have created a bit of Christmas spirit by making wreaths for the front door and the gates, along with bringing in the mini Christmas tree from last year to decorate until we get a bigger tree. As I have got older I have shunned the tinsel and fake sparkle of Christmas decorations preferring something more natural. I love to bring in ivy and holly which is festooned in every place possible...anything looks good with lit candles...also no cleaning needed for a few weeks.

I have got my Christmas cake ingredients sat on the side ready to prepare ...I think I have been making Christmas cakes since I was 15, 25 years of cake making, and I have created a knack of making them taste like they are more matured than they are..it is down to the soaking of the fruit. So this weekend I am only going to make 10 cakes rather than the 25 I usually make...I am not going to make homemade food gifts but give my mini prints. I used to think that people wouldn't value something that I did and wouldn't understand it and I am right not everyone does but some do.

Getting ready for Christmas is an A3 sheet of card with the job list on and having the sprint towards Christmas...can you think of a nicer finishing line? I think people think we are mad but I know that we have promised ourselves some time off in January.

What are the things that are important to you at Christmas time? When do you get your time off? What are you Christmas preparations like?

Happy Holiday Season!!