There are years, and this is one, when you are just not really ready for it to come around again. But when you have a house full of excited, precious and yes, really very good children, you just have to pull it off properly.
The last door on the advent calendar is open. A snowman. "I knew it would be a snowman, mummy", Geekygirl told me at 6am this morning, completely confident that I would want to be woken to hear the news of what was behind the last little cardboard door.
"you see there wasn't a snowman yet, and there was bound to be one, so the last door had to be a snowman." She seemed satisfied that order had been established in the universe.
The cookies are baked (thanks Betty Crocker for your mix, and Vons for your neon food coloring and gold sprinkles. New years resolution to drive the extra 10 minutes to the organic store is firmly in place, but for now we will enjoy our radioactive sparkly treats). The Christmas cake is also baked, and that actually was an effort in organic cooking. The assembly of the ingredients alone involved dragging the kids around half the markets in san diego, and the collateral purchasing damage of the trip included skating reindeer tree ornaments, a tray of holiday cupcakes, wooden nutcracker characters, and two giant Mylar holiday balloons.
Half of the cake has been safely dispatched to England in lieu of our presence around the Christmas table, and it did turn out quite nicely, I have to say, thanks to mum's advice to soak the dried cherries I had to buy to replace the glacé. A frustration of American living is the inability to find proper ingredients for Christmas cake.
There are 9 (who taught these kids to count?!) carrots to be eaten - or possibly returned to the fridge- along with both a pink sparkly snowman cookie, a slice of the cake, and an innocuous glass of american milk rather than the traditional sherry, sitting by the quite enormous and fabulously eclectically decorated douglas fir, the biggest we could fit in the new house
Stockings are hung. And we have assured the kids that yes, Santa knows we are now living in San Diego.
Over the past two days we have watched both "the polar express" and "Santa paws", both of which reduced me to tears but got us all firmly believing in Christmas, and have settled upon Piers Brosnan as Bond in 'tomorrow never dies' for our Christmas eve movie.
Just as we were finishing up stories, geekygirl lost a tooth, too. So tonight will be pretty magical down here in San Diego.
Merry Christmas to anyone still reading!