Much as I would have liked to have done so, I didn't make advent calendars this year. I saved up the toilet roll inners that I thought I would need and asked my friends to do the same when it became apparent I wouldn't have enough but they are sitting where I left them a fortnight ago, untouched. It's not that I didn't want to, it's more that of the hundred things I wanted to do this year, it wasn't top of my list to make something that Ollie would barely understand let alone show the patience for (no, you can't open another one), so I decided to let it go, and do it next year, when he and Max will be a little older and I will definitely be more organised. Hah!
But we have done a cracker of a job on the tree, which we decorated with our visitor Kate, who is more that just a visitor, she is somewhat of a sister to me, and therefore auntie to the boys, and I do love that they call her Auntie Kate. I love that.
Not only does the tree look splendid, but so do the 800 or so fairy lights that are adorning our back garden in preparation for this weekend's birthday celebrations, during which we will mark my sweet husband's 32nd birthday with friends. I have everything crossed for good weather, because we are due a hot sunny birthday after the last two were so very rainy and very grey. Is it really a year since the floods?
And apart from that, there are holidays to come. This season is such a wonderful time. Despite the obvious chaos, it's one time of year I feel still and peaceful, the time of year I think about everyone I know, the time of year I decorate the tree and love the way it looks and makes the house feel so warm and centred. It's that time of year that I miss England, the snow, the frost, the rain, the dark winter days. Crazy I know, but it's what I grew up with and it will always feel like home. But actually this year, for the first year, I'm actually hoping for sun, for seafood and for the beach. It could be the influence of having Kate here, knowing we need to make this, her first southern hemisphere holiday a memorable one, or it could be that this time next year, I want to be back home and there's a pressure to make the most of this summer... or maybe it's just that I'm finally turning Aussie.
(Not a chance.)