I've seen the fridge magnet that states "A clean house is the sign of a boring person"
I have tried to subscribe to this view on the occasions that the enormity of household tasks gets the better of me. What difference does it really make if I haven't dusted/vacuumed/cleaned the bathroom/made the beds etc? Why waste time with housework when I could be doing something much less 'boring'? But for me, it does make difference. A huge difference.
When my house is clean and tidy and well organised, I feel ready for anything. I don't want to stagnate in front of Jeremy Kyle - I want to get up and do something.
The something that I am currently trying to get up and do is 'Christmas'.
Where the sparkly seasonal aisles of my local supermarket have failed to get my festive juices flowing, a good clear out at home has succeeded.
I am far from finished but three black sacks for the dump and three sacks of old clothing waiting to be recycled are evidence of the progress I have made.
Clearing out my cupboards clears my mind - a mind ready to fill with all things Christmassy.
Today, I put the fruit for my Xmas cake to soak in brandy. I am much later than I would have liked but as the saying goes, better late than never. Never would have deprived me from the sheer pleasure of stirring the glistening bowl of fruity jewels and breathing in the promise of richness.
I've not yet started my Christmas shopping but I have had some ideas - ideas that excite me rather than the desperate search round crowded shops to find anything vaguely suitable.
Christmas dinner is a big event for me. As a vegetarian, I always want to produce a show stopper that satisfies on many levels and does not leave me dreaming wistfully of the pre-veggie days when a golden, aromatic turkey took centre stage. I have no idea what the 2012 show stopper will be but organising the larder as part of my pre-Xmas clear out has re-ignited my passion for cooking and culinary experimentation. Hopefully, this passion will not wane until long after Xmas dinner is nothing more than a spectacularly happy memory and a few extra pounds on the hips to be shifted with a NewYear run.
The next time someone mentions with an Eeeek! - only so many more weeks/days to Christmas, I refuse to be panicked. I am going to relax and enjoy every tinsel adorned moment.