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What do you consider the 'run-up' to be?

(39 Posts)
MollHackabout Sun 04-Sep-16 10:14:14

I know some people don't even think about Christmas until the 1 December, and some don't think of it until they put their tree up about five days before Christmas. Each to their own of course but I've a feeling that none of us here have that sort of approach fgrin

So, when do you think the Christmas run-up begins? I've always separated it into various stages:

1. The very early run-up when your mind first turns to Christmas, which
would be early September when school/autumn begins (so, about
now!). This is when I start my Christmas notebook, take stock of what
I've already bought through the year and what I need to buy (and when
I start to get excited!). This period includes the shops starting to fill with
Christmas stock, Christmas UK going full-tilt, 100
days to Christmas on the 16th, winter clothes in shops and wardrobes, stews and
broths for dinner and me and DD's first Christmassy outing in half-term
week (though this year she's at uni so we'll have to re-jig that a bit).

2. The 'pre run-up' which for us begins on the weekend after Bonfire Night.
This is a bit of a deal in our house - all the big 'events' are over
Hallowe'en, Bonfire Night etc) and the next one is Christmas. On the 5
Nov it's also a nice round 50 days until Christmas, too. The weekend
after it we have a weekend of stuff to mark the start of the pre run-up -
a mini Christmas dinner (with a couple of crackers!), a trip to the coast
for hot chocolate, and a trip to the local big garden centre which by then
looks like Santa's grotto. As far as we're concerned, it's the start of
Christmas! Then the decs go up on the last weekend in November (first
Sunday in Advent). November also has the return of Smooth Xmas, the
first Christmas films on TV and the lights going on in town.

3. The run-up proper, which starts with the first advent calendar door
being opened. December is the best month of the year fsmile

So, by my rationale, we're into the run-up now. Surely I'm not the only one?! fgrin

GeneralBobbit Sun 04-Sep-16 10:23:21

I'm just into the 'run up' as last year when I went to buy warm white Christmas Lights they'd all sold out by the very beginning of November, a full 7/8 weeks before Christmas.

So as soon as they hit the shops I'm buying them.

RJnomore1 Sun 04-Sep-16 10:25:33

The official marker for me is the release of the boots Xmas catalogue.

Chasingsquirrels Sun 04-Sep-16 10:29:00

The run up is December for me, i switch on the twinkly lights on the garage then, we have an advent calendar and candles.
Christmas proper starts when the kids break up - that's when we put the tree up, though this year that's 16 Dec which is too early.

StepAwayFromTheThesaurus Sun 04-Sep-16 10:29:07

December. Or the last days of November when I remember that I need to buy advent calendars.

Other than doing an advent calendar with the children, I don't actually give much thought to Christmas until mid-to-late December when I try to do all the shopping in as short a time as possible.

MollHackabout Sun 04-Sep-16 10:51:29

The official marker for me is the release of the boots Xmas catalogue

That'll be October 1st! I love the Christmas catalogues fsmile

GeneralBobbit I made the same mistake last year - I made sure I'd be OK this year by buying loads in the January sales. Tesco have some on their website if you want to get in early!

Titflaps Sun 04-Sep-16 10:55:45

Well X- factor is the run up to the run up in this house so we're already starting to get a bit excited.

RJnomore1 Sun 04-Sep-16 10:56:48

1st October would be about right. Dd2s birthday is mid September so although I have already bought some Christmas stuff in the sales the actual planning tends to start after that.

Many a happy evening spent here with the shop books and a baileys hot chocolate

WatchingFromTheWings Sun 04-Sep-16 11:00:45

I used to Christmas shop all year. Worked in a department store for 9 years and loads of people would bring stuff back from Boxing Day. Items more than likely would have gone go 50%/70% in sale. Add staff discount. I'd have been mad not to pick stuff up then and risk paying full price for the same item later in the year. One the kids started back to school in September I'd start wrapping.

PeggyMitchell123 Sun 04-Sep-16 11:01:07

Well I have already started buying for Christmas but I would say I start to get excited after my birthday in the second week of November. That means the next thing is Christmas. We do advent calendars ands fun breakfast on the first and then will put our tree up on the second week.

Last year was a bit of a weird one though because my niece died very suddenly on the 4th. So we got excited and then it all stopped. We didn't put our tree up or anything so we'll see how we go this year.

magicboy79 Sun 04-Sep-16 11:01:44

I would say end of November, I usually book a day off and do the bulk of my Christmas gifts shopping so that is the start of it for me

NotCitrus Sun 04-Sep-16 11:38:55

After my birthday so roughly Bonfire Night. I used to take a day off in Dec when I worked full time -even Oxford St in December isn't too crowded on a Tuesday morning.

We tend to keep presents reasonably low-key (two nieces to post to, a book for parents and ILs and SIL, regular things for MrNC, then stuff for kids) so it's more about planning activities and who to visit when than shopping.

I then get excited in the last week and over buy stocking fillers!

Wayfarersonbaby Sun 04-Sep-16 12:09:45

I tend to be thinking about the next Christmas just afterwards and in the January sales, and usually pick up cards/wrap and a few sale bits then. Then I pack it all away in mid-Jan and don't want to think about it for several months.

1. However, I invariably find my thoughts turn to Christmas in late August - I don't know why! I'm never in a hurry for summer to finish, so I have no idea why I start thinking about Christmas at that point each year. Probably it's because I'm looking at the summer sales and thinking about stashing away some bargains... I normally try to get Christmas stuff all finished as early as possible, as otherwise I fret and don't enjoy December (plus most of my relatives live across the country so I need to get things sorted early).

This year I have really outdone myself and will have finished my Christmas shopping for most people tomorrow (!) I'm mostly getting eatables for relatives and have picked up some bargains in the sales throughout the year for nieces and nephews. I'm going to make a last trip to M&S tomorrow and then am planning to wrap everything by Tuesday (when I have a day off whilst DD's at nursery). Then it will all be boxed up for the next opportunity to send presents across the country to relatives. (I like to avoid having to post stuff by catching a visiting relative when I can and sending a box or two of presents back with them!) I normally don't manage it this soon, but this year I've made a conscious effort to resist twitching and overspend and just keep it to things I have already bought.

2. The pre-run up also begins for me after Bonfire night - then I can start thinking about Christmas properly and enjoy reading the Christmas catalogues, writing cards and so on. I like to write my cards early (I keep a stash every year from the Jan sales). One year I wrote them in August, then broke up with my then-boyfriend and had to chuck all the cards signed "from Wayfarer and boyf" away - won't make that mistake again wink

3. I would like the big Christmas run-up to begin with Advent, but I also have a mad rush in work until about 5th-9th December every year (we have a seasonal event that happens in early Dec), so normally I don't really get into the swing of things proper until that's over with. Once that's happened, I can put the tree up (or think about getting the tree if we're having a real one), decorate, focus on doing the rest of my Christmas shopping for DD and DH, and take DD out for some Christmassy treats. I'm hoping that if I've got everything done and wrapped early that I will really enjoy it this year! So far I've got a lot of things for DD which just need wrapping; I only need to top it up with Christmas stocking choc and a main gift from FC closer to the time. I haven't got anything for DH yet, but we tend only to give each other small presents so I'll enjoy choosing something in December. The only things apart from that are some home-made nursery staff gifts from DD (I plan to do some tree decoration-making with her as a Christmas activity); and I'm leaving it totally up to DH this year to sort out his parents. The only thing is, I must resist the Twitch....

Looking forward to the proper run-up this year - I've already booked a Christmas lights show near us (sells out by Sept every year!) and we're not travelling to see relatives this year, so I'm planning to max out on carol concerts and Christmassy activities! Can't wait! grin

Wayfarersonbaby Sun 04-Sep-16 12:13:40

Peggy just read your post, how absolutely awful for your family flowers flowers

SpringerS Sun 04-Sep-16 12:13:40

Stage 1, Around now. The weather is turning crisp and there is a hint of autumn in the air. My Christmas shopping is done but it's time to start planning days out, Santa experiences, etc. It's also time to start doing the major jobs about the house that I want done before Christmas. That last part sucks but it will be worth it.

Stage 2. Autumn proper and Halloween planning. I consider Halloween to be both a great holiday in itself and also beginning of the festive season.

Stage 3. DS' birthday is November 10th. So I try to ban too much Christmas talk in front of him until after his birthday/birthday party, which will be the 12th this year.

Stage 4. Pre-Christmas Time gentle build up. Hopefully this year I'll have very little to do other than maintain the house.

Stage 5. Official Christmas Time (TM). This starts on the last weekend of November when we decorate the house, Christmas FM comes on the air and we have our first Christmas Party. On the 30th of November our Tomte (Christmas Gnome) arrives and from the next night on we start our advent-ures, which is a daily crafting session or outing that the Tomte organises for us.

Stage 6. The Twelve Days of Christmas. I struggle a bit with this as for me all the fun is in the build up and the big day. But I don't want DS to be deflated, so I try to make each of the 12 days exciting and have a traditional Twelfthnight tea on the 5th to say goodbye to the season.

RosaBee Sun 04-Sep-16 12:26:56

I'm with you op! I love it all from "embers" on.

SideOrderofChip Sun 04-Sep-16 12:27:53

Stage 0 : January. This is when we decide where we will be for Christmas. This is very important as if we are at my parents it involves a flight so need to work out christmas presents around travel

Stage 1: May/June - Start looking at potential presents

Stage 2: Kids go back to school - This is when it starts getting real. Its the Christmas term and always busy.

Stage 3: October. If i am at home then its when the m&s food order is done. Regardless main presents will be purchased and stored by now.

Stage 4: November. This is my birthday month towards the end of the month. Therefore once my birthday is over, tree is fair game. Presents for everyone else should be purchased by the end of this month.

Stage 5: December. Christmas spirit goes into meltdown and my DH wants to divorce me when all music is christmas related.

HungryHorace Sun 04-Sep-16 13:11:31

Since I've had kids my run up has started earlier each year!

I've already started this year's shopping and am almost sorted now. I just have a few more odds and sods to get.

I used to be really quite 'meh' about it all, but having small kids has made it more exciting again!

I enjoy the planning and build up and look forward to M&S and Booths releasing their Christmas food brochures so I can order our treat food and start to get everything sorted.

Once it gets to after my birthday on Bonfire Night I'll really get into the swing of it.

OSETmum Sun 04-Sep-16 13:42:29

Same as you OP really.

I'm a teaching assistant so tend to thing in terms. Once we start back in Sept and I've bought mine and DS's new school things, I turn my attention to presents.

After half term, it's time to get thinking about Christmas displays, activities and the rehearsals for the nativity and carols will start shortly after half term ends.

From 1st Nov Christmas jumpers, mince pies etc are fair game in this house but the proper build up starts on 1st December.

Wadingthroughsoup Sun 04-Sep-16 13:48:43

Oh my goodness!

Tree goes up on 19th Dec here and then it feels like Christmas. I do the shopping online at some point in December. I don't like Christmas very much.

Just realised this is in the Christmas topic- I thought it was 'Chat' 😂

ClashCityRocker Sun 04-Sep-16 14:03:19

As others, my thoughts turn to Christmas around this time of year.

We've normally decided where we're going to be (at home this year - YEEEEEESSS!)

I'm really sad, I love Christmas at home because I get to do more planning.

I will order the turkey early October and start buying gifts as and when I see them, but no actual practical stuff happens.

After bonfire night, the Christmas edition of good housekeeping is out and I always buy that (althou tbf it's pretty much the same thing every year and I ignore most of the tips). I will read it on a Sunday afternoon in November after a cozy pub lunch.

The last weekend of December is the Big Christmas Clean and we blitz the house. Tree goes up on the first weekend in December and then the buildup begins in earnest - carols, present wrapping, mulled wine and Christmas films.

augustusglupe Sun 04-Sep-16 14:12:06

Definitely the beginning of October. All the best decs, tree lights etc have gone by early November. We're going to New York for thanksgiving week this year, so I'm going to get all the baking done before then and all the fiddly mince pies in the freezer, so I just have to marzipan and ice the cake when we get back. I moan, but I really love all the build up and festive atmos' in the run up to Christmas.

elQuintoConyo Sun 04-Sep-16 15:19:00

Stage 1: September when DS goes back, i design and make Christmas cards (sounds more poncy than it is, honest). I also buy presents for DSis and her DC as they're in NZ and I need to send things mid-Nov.

Stage 2: i throw a Hallowe'en party (3 this year - yikes!), then once decs ate down and put away my brain is in Christmas mode! And I have to find the advent calendar (huge felt affair).

Stage 3: go to a German friend's house for huge Advent lunch, 1st Sunday in Nov. So much food. So much fun!

Stage 4: end of Nov I send presents abroad and cards.

Stage 5: DS' birthday early December, then the tree goes up in the 2nd week. It is fake, so no problems with needledroppage.
We'll do a Christmas market, something small in one of the towns near us. We'll do a big department store Father Christmas - first one last year, great Santa, patient photographer, tastefully decorated - and nice pics after. We'll see the town lights go on etc.

Stage 6: Chrmbo grin

Stage 7: we go and see the Kings parade on tbe evening of 5th January. When we get home, they'll have delivered a pressie (just one).

We have never done panto or more than one grotto. We do walks in the woods at 6 o'clock with torches, collecting pinecones, that kind of thing. Crafts, making ornaments (paperchains, snowflakes etc), maling biscuits (just once per holiday).

Oh and the Polar Express dvd gets played from about 1st December to mid-March grin

Palomb Sun 04-Sep-16 15:21:02

I put the fruit to soak in rum today for cake making on Tuesday so the countdown starts now Imo 🍾🎉🎄

MollHackabout Sun 04-Sep-16 17:01:51

Oh Peggy, I'm so sorry flowers

I suppose I should have had a stage 0 too - I buy all my decs, crackers, lights, wrap etc in the January sales, as well as a lot of presents. If I'm honest I start thinking about the next Christmas even before the previous one - the change from the Big Christmas Shop goes into the coin jar and forms the basis of the savings for the following year.

Some lovely posts here - I'm so glad I'm not the only ridiculously excited to get going one here!

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