Like many others, I'm looking forward to Christmas. Today, however, the excitement was taken up a notch when my husband wrapped a number of presents and placed them under the tree. I refuse to take all of the blame for being a big kid and wanting to rummage around the gift-wrapped goodies - I've just recovered from flu. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.
Aching limbs, headache and a need to fester in bed have killed any kind of the usual build up of festivities for me. Last week, I even missed my office Christmas do. That really was a shame. There was not a chance I could have managed to be there but even so, I was miffed that I missed out. Many of my colleagues and friends were saddened that I wasn't hanging around their necks telling them, "I really love you" at two o'clock in the morning. I was of course, sorry to disappoint them all.
The way things stand at the moment, I have written my cards, purchased and wrapped the presents and with the exception of one or two gifts, they have all been distributed to family and friends. We have a freezer and cupboards full of yuletide food, so we're just about done.
Why then have my husband and I, twice, had the saddest conversation, plotting our outing to the supermarket to buy the last chance milk, bread and vegetables?
Every year we mock those who panic purchase in the shops, saying "But they're only shut for two days. They'll be open again after Boxing Day. What's the problem?" And what have we done? We've conspired to get the better of every other shopper with our Christmas Eve consumables manoeuvres. The suggestions so far consist of getting up at 5am as the supermarket opens at 6am, or one of us circling the car park waiting on the other buying the goods for a quick getaway, or we settle for frozen everything.
Living in the Garden of England stops me opting for the latter so I've decided that next year, I'm planting my own spuds and sprouts to have with the turkey. Though to see the plan through, I'm going to have to find room to build a bread oven and keep a cow. That will definitely take the stress out of Christmas.
Have a peaceful and happy Christmas and prosperous 2013.