I’m a big list person; lists help me feel like I’m in control. They allow me to organise my thoughts and, with my increasingly addled brain, they remind me of what needs to be done and what I have already done!
My Christmas planning lists are legion I’m ashamed to say! There’s a list of cards I need to send, a list of gifts I need to send and another of gifts bought and for whom, a list of what we are doing and when and then the food lists ...... yes, lists ...... plural!
· The first list is constructed from an afternoon perusing my Christmas cookbooks and magazines, selecting recipes I want to try, or enjoyed last year.
· The second list is distilled from that, and roughs out what I want to make in the run up to Christmas and broadly what I want to make on each day of the holiday from Christmas Eve through to New Year’s Day.
· A third list, built from the second lists recipes and ingredients needed.
· A fourth list (yes, I know!) itemises ingredients needed into a shopping list broken down into categories (fresh veg/fruit, meat/fish, dairy, tins/dried ingredients, storecupboard, baking).
· A fifth list (ready for a brandy yet?!) breaks the shopping list into three outings : things needed to prepare in the run-up to Christmas; things needed for the first half of the Christmas holiday and finally fresh stuff needed for the second half of the Christmas holiday.
Aside from de-cluttering my mind these lists remind me of what I need to buy, and crucially, when I’m peering at a box of chestnuts, what I wanted them for! They help me to feel in control and remind me what I need to be doing and when.
Most importantly, especially in today’s straightened times, it cuts waste on two fronts as firstly shopping is no longer a hit and miss trawl of the supermarket and secondly, there is no waste as everything I buy is needed for something specific and doesn’t migrate to the back of cupboard or fridge like a sad time capsule!
Now all that’s left is to face the horror that is supermarket shopping in the run-up to Christmas.
To borrow from Spartacus : ‘We who are about to do Christmas salute you!’