Why Christmas starts in early November (and always will).

For the past 14 years (ever since I moved into my own home with my son) our Christmas decs have gone up the first weekend after bonfire night. Purists everywhere are shrieking with horror as I type! 

For some reason, I’ve never bothered to explain why. I guess it amuses me that some people react so strongly to something that ultimately has no direct impact on them whatsoever – every year I get responses that vary from the mildly amused, ‘nutter’, to those people who bang on about how it’s ‘just wrong’ (you know who you are ;-)). 

So, my reasons: it’s all about numbers (slightly ironic for an English teacher, I know!). In December, you get three weekends before Christmas. Back in the days where everyone was married and women stayed at home, maybe that was enough to do all the things that people need to do but as a single Mum with a full time job, I quickly realised it wasn’t. 

Things to fit in:

  • Decorate the house. 1 day. It’s great – I make a big deal of this; drink mulled wine, watch A Christmas Carol, have your lovely friend and her kids over for the day.
  • Present shopping. 1 weekend if you’re lucky. 
  • Present wrapping. 1 day (I’m not gifted in the art). 
  • Taking presents around to various friends before the day. Several days depending on who I could afford to buy for that year. 

Now, all of the above could fit into the three weekends of December. It’s a snug fit, but you can do it, just (there’s a reason why Christmas movies always show stressed out parents). However, that means ignoring the fact that December is one of the most fun months on earth. I wanted to fill my December weekends with visits to Santa (Spalding garden centre is hands down winner), trips to see the lights turned on, carol concerts, Christmas festivals in East Carlton park and days with my amazing parents/grandparents. The solution I came up with was to introduce the concept of ChristmasTIME, which begins the weekend after bonfire night with the decs going up. This is a tradition of ours that enabled me to really enjoy everything that Christmas has to offer with my gorgeous boy and has given us some fabulous memories. More important than ever now he is virtually housebound. 

At the end of the day, traditions are meant to serve us, not us them. 

So continue to laugh! I don’t care 😁 I will always start my ChristmasTIME in November and everyone else will just have to get over it. 

Pre-order available now!

The second Eshla adventure is available to pre-order now!

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How do you disguise a fluffy blue alien in Victorian England? How do you stop your evil headmaster from ruining your exam grades? How do you live down the humiliation of your whole year group thinking you have a teddy bear in your rucksack? Join Eric as he searches for the answers in the next Eshlan adventure.

The quest continues with Eric, Corbin, Rose and Lydia trying to release the next prince from the Bel-Arayba cave. The four friends have some tough decisions to make while looking for the second stone in 1842, and things are getting pretty tricky in their own time too as Lowick Bradwar, masquerading as their head teacher, steps up his plans to get back to Eshla.

Meanwhile in Eshla itself, things are far from peaceful, as the malicious Galed continues her campaign against the Arwain family.

This is the second book in The Eshla Adventures series. Be sure to read the first: The Lost Heirs – a five star Amazon rated, middle grade/YA steampunk, fantasy adventure! One reviewer wrote: “Reminded me of Harry Potter, The Chronicles of Narnia and even Dr. Seuss.”



A deep frost has wrapped the earth this morning; it makes me feel all Christmassy! In my second novel, I’m writing a bit where the main characters are back in time experiencing a Victorian Christmas – it’s wonderful to write about while everything around me in the real world is getting festive and bright!

Writing is proving a real escape at the moment – interesting how having a terrible job can increase literary productivity! If things get any worse at work I’ll have a whole trilogy done before Easter. What are your writing triggers?