CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN

If you're having a bad day today, I have something that will make you feel SO much better. Are you ready?!

IT'S A MONTH UNTIL CHRISTMAS DAY!!!!

When my alarm went off at 7 o clock this morning, I wasn't feeling too great about life. You know how it is - hating your alarm clock, wanting to stay in bed longer, asking yourself 'do I really have to face the day?'. But when I saw on my phone that it was the 25th, it was a little easier to get out bed. Just a little easier, but easier all the same.

On the other hand, that realisation brought on a little panic in my mind. It's ONLY a month until Christmas. It's a busy and stressful time of the year for most. Lots of things get left until the last minute and then everyone gets in a bit of a tizzy. So in this blog post, I've decided to make a list of 30 THINGS YOU NEED TO DO BEFORE CHRISTMAS. I don't mean to scare you, rather I mean to give you some time to do these things. Just think, if I had posted this blog on the 23rd of December, you wouldn't be best pleased with me would you?

So, readers, here are 30 things you need to do in the next 30 days:

1) Buy your advent calendar. Has to be top of the list. I'm allergic to milk so this is always a 'feeling sorry for myself' moment but this year I have a lego one! Nearly as good as chocolate. Or for some (mentioning no names) way better.

2) Buy Christmas presents. The most fun and most difficult thing in the world. Be thoughtful.

3) Buy Christmas cards. Individual cards for your closest friends and family members, and those ten/twenty-pack cards for everyone else - the Marks & Spencers ones are always lovely.

4) Write your Christmas cards. Can be done in front of the fire, with a hot chocolate or a cup of tea. Maybe leave this until the 1st of December if you want to play Christmas songs in the background. Or if you're like me and could listen to Christmas songs any time of the year, start now!!

5) Following on from the point above... dig out your Christmas album. You know, the one you play every year all day, every day over the festive period until you're absolutely sick of hearing it. Or, as it's now the "digital era", make a Christmas playlist on iTunes or Spotify.

6) Work hard. Now. You want to feel relaxed on Christmas Day, but you won't if you have to clear a pile of unfinished work off of the dining room table in order to lay it for Christmas dinner. It'll be staring at you and you will feel guilty. You have 30 days to get as much work done as you can so that you don't have to worry about it. (Note to self: Get the majority of your essay done before you go home, Steph).

7) Go Christmas Jumper shopping!! Primark is possibly the best ever place to find Christmas jumpers. (I already have 3. Shh.) If you don't have the luxury of a Primark on your doorstep (e.g those of you in Guernsey, you poor souls) then order one online. But do it quick! They sell out unbelievably fast.

8) Buy your Christmas Tree (or take the plastic one down from the loft).

9) Decorate the tree with all your old Christmas decorations. Maybe buy one or two new ones that make your tree the '2014 Christmas Tree.' Or maybe this year, go with a theme! A gold tree? A pink tree? Why not?!

10) Stock up on Mince Pies. Or make them yourself if you're one of those baking types! Always great for an after-dinner munch, or to offer to visitors. They go down a treat.

11) Watch The Holiday. An absolute must. Make sure you have a hot chocolate with you and are wrapped up in a blanket.

12) If we're talking films, watch Elf too. And Love Actually. And The Polar Express. They'll probably be on TV about a hundred times leading up to, on and after Christmas Day, don't worry.

13) Buy some Christmas earrings - why wouldn't you want to wear dangly Christmas trees when you're eating your roast turkey?

14) If you're one of the baking types mentioned above, make your Christmas cake. A big project, takes some time, set aside a day soon for Christmas cake baking.

15) Order the turkey. You'll regret it if you don't.

16) Make amends with anyone you've fallen out with because Christmas is a time for love, friendship and family.

17) Arrange a present-exchange meet-up with your group of friends. Sit in a circle wearing Christmas hats with a bowl of jelly babies.

18) Dig out your scarves, hats and gloves from the back of the wardrobe. Maybe this should have been further up the list because it's already starting to get very chilly. You are going to need them.

19) Have a present wrapping session. Whack on those Christmas tunes again and get out the curling ribbon

20) Try to find the end of the Sellotape. It's time.

21) Play some board games. My personal favourites are LUDO, Tension, Scrabble and of course Monopoly.

22) Decorate your house/flat/room from top to bottom in tinsel, baubles and fairy lights.

23) Or take it a step further and decorate the outside in giant LED santas and rudolfs, etc etc.

24) Go on a Christmas lights tour. This is something I've always done growing up - being driven around my little island by Mum or Granny or Mum's friend Pam to look at all the pretty lit-up houses. And those ones that have just got a little too excited so you can't see an inch of the house anymore.

25) I'm aware that this is the fourth point about lights... but it's worth reading, I promise. Go and see the Christmas lights being turned on in your town! It's magical, even if you're 18 or 30 or 68.

26) Bake a gingerbread man, or if you're as awesome as Laurel and her mum Jane, bake a gingerbread HOUSE!

Laurel and Jane's gingerbread house, Christmas 2012 

27) Take a chilly walk with the dog, or if you don't have a dog then walk the chicken or the hamster or the rabbit. I'm joking. But seriously, go for a chilly winter walk. I promise you it'll feel good, in a weird kind of way.

28) Watch the John Lewis advert. Oh and the Sainsbury's one is a tear-jerker this year too. Again, this is another thing that should have been further up the to-do list, apologies.

29) Get your hands on a set of musical Christmas crackers. If you've never tried them... well what have you been waiting for?! Best played with a group of 8, you each have a whistle which is a different note of the scale and when it's your turn on the music sheet, you blow the whistle. If everyone plays on their turn, you should play a Christmas song! I've participated in this game many times and it never goes well, but it's fun all the same.

30) Finally, make sure you leave a mince pie and a glass of sherry out for Santa on Christmas Eve. And don't forget the carrot for Rudolf. It's a long way to travel from the North Pole you know.

So, there you have it. A very long blog post, I am sorry. Actually, no I'm not. It's quite possibly the best blog I've ever written! I hope you are inspired to start doing. There's a lot to do, but most of it is brilliant fun, so try to remember that when you're overwhelmed by it all. Just enjoy it!

Namaste and happy one-month-until-Christmas! x

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