I’ve been struggling this year to get into the festive spirit. Yes it’s is still early. We are only in November so I could cut myself a little slack and imagine that Yuletide glee will wash over me when I open the first door on my advent calendar.

However when I look back over the year the thing that stands out is how busy things have been and how little time I’ve have for frivolous preparation.

Preparation and anticipation of anything is part of the pleasure. One of the reasons I love making lists so much is that it provides an opportunity to anticipate what is coming and suggests that you have some kind of option to control it. You get to consider different ways something might work without having to fully commit, and then still get to enough the surprise that only reality can offer!

If making a job list for the next day is great fun, then planning for a trip, festival or family occasion is surely going to be towards the top of the ‘things I like to do (and it’s free to participate)’ list.

What I’m noting is a lack of time to wallow in list making. I’m not lingering over packing lists for trips. It’s taking me longer to get through everything on a daily job list so I increasingly do the tasks over a couple of days. I’ve stopped menu planning. All in all its a sad state of affairs for the list making enthusiast.

So I’m dedicating an afternoon to weekend to making a giant Christmas list while listening to seasonal music, drinking mulled wine and eating mince pies. In addition to my chuck-everything-in brainstormed list I want loads of smaller lists that I can look at everyday and add things to as my idea of Christmas takes shape.

So I’ll be thinking about exactly which green dress to wear for our traditional Ink Drops cocktails on Christmas Eve. While I’m at it I’ll do some research and create a list of the cocktails I might want to drink.

My upcoming Christmas shopping day could do with a few lists. I need to plan to whip up a frenzy of festive cheer. So lists of what to wear, where to stop for a seasonal coffee and vegan mince pie, and a short list of which Christmas soap and bath bomb to treat myself to at Lush.

Then I’m going to find make time to start indulging in 2016 planning. And just to ensure maximum enjoyment I’m going to plan the whole year rather than deciding to plan month by month in order to be ‘more efficient’! Bah humbug to that – plans are made to be rewritten thereby doubling the pleasure.

So next time you make a list just remember that you’re indulging in a permissible vice. Santa would definitely approve.