We know the date and the season, but not how far we will be able to travel to spend Christmas with friends and whānau.
With 72 decorating days to the day of days, the owner of The Christmas Heirloom Company in Palmerston North is pleased with how trade is going since the store reopened on September 29. Michelle Mikkelsen says she's had an incredible start to the season. "It is unbelievable, there's a sense of urgency about people."
She thinks customers are aware of freight issues due to the global pandemic and that it's a case of first in, first served. Another motivation is the worry there could be another lockdown during which the store would be closed.
While last year people might have spent up large on flooring, vehicles or boats instead of travelling overseas, you don't buy those items every year but you can add to your Christmas collection every 12 months, she says.
"For most people, the decorations create the atmosphere for the celebration."
This is Mikkelsen's 17th season selling Christmas decorations.
"I adore the business, I think it's a great privilege to be working in such a beautiful store with great customers."
The Milson store's trees each have a different theme, ranging from Toy Story to pink and whimsical, to the look of a woodland and the baby's first Christmas.
The Kiwiana tree's lightweight and non-breakable decorations are popular for posting to family overseas.
Mikkelsen says customers buy Christmas decorations every season for their children or grandchildren so when they leave home they have an entire collection to take with them.
Decorations can be a personal thing with people's collections made up of items they have gathered while travelling or have been given. There can be a lot of sentimentality around the tree as people hang a decoration and it reminds them of a place, a friend or a holiday.
For other people, their trees are a fashion statement and they want the decorations to match their decor.
Heirloom staff also work offsite, taking trees to businesses and tailoring the decorations and lights to the environment. This removes storage issues and finding a willing staff member, Mikkelsen says. Customers for this service include the Mayor's Christmas Party, Palmerston North Airport and Coastlands in Paraparaumu.
Staff can make wreaths and centrepieces, plus tie ribbons for the top of the tree.
Mikkelsen grew up in New Plymouth and says she has very happy memories of Christmas, plus she married into a family who love Kirihimete. The festival season is something to look forward to and Christmas floats her boat.