that would be
* wondering if this is the year to pull out all the Santa letters from the past and saying - look! you didn't think we'd let Santa keep them, did you?
* keeping an eye out for the Christmas Radio Times, which I never buy at any other time of the year, and don't actually need to buy now because it's all in the paper. I still do, though, because that's what we do at Christmas. When I was little I used to make a "viewing chart" so we knew what we had planned to watch for every moment of the holiday. Colour coded for all three channels.
* rolling out a lot of pastry for mince pies. I got an email from Uncle Dave yesterday. it said simply:
"How many mince pies have you made? In dozens."
*waiting for the first heavier-than-usual thunk from the letterbox. I like writing cards, I love receiving cards and I'm always happy to find a letter inside. We save them up to open together in the evenings when everyone is home. That's what we did when we were little.
* missing mantelpieces. In our last house we had lots of old fireplaces with plenty of mantelpieces to decorate and set cards on. we don't have a single one here and I miss them madly at this time of year.
*nowhere to park, anywhere, at all, in the city. The traffic slows at the start of the month and gets worse until it crescendos into gridlock every Christmas Eve. A recent report said we have the slowest moving city traffic in the UK. Nowhere to park? I could leave the car in the middle of the road, do my shopping, come back and no one would have noticed. They'd still all be sitting in the same spots.
*a new dress. Or new boots. Or new something. I can't go to Little E's on Christmas Eve without making an effort. he'll have dressed up, no doubt about it.
* pine needles everywhere. One floated off me last night when I got into the bath. No, I don't know where it had been. But I do know that I found a little pile of last year's needles behind the book case when I moved it to make room for the tree. I kind of like that, it's Christmas all year round and I hadn't even realised
*hoping for some snow. We don't often get a lot of snow here, but when we do no one is ready for it and the nightly news is filled with miserable motorists and happy sledging schoolchildren.
*boxes everywhere. The decorations come down from the loft and the boxes are supposed to go back up again. But they often don't. The pile of amazon-boxes-I'm-sure-I'll-use-again-sometime grows. I'll eventually recycle them about May time. Even I get a little tired of the stuff. everywhere.Though sometimes one of those boxes turns out to hold something very nice indeed.
But that's December: same life, a little more magic.
ps: don't forget Christmas Club, for the last time, this Sunday. Please come and share a story!