1) Illness has struck! All of us girls (OK, that's everyone EXCEPT my husband) has suffered from temperatures, coughs and runny noses, with some vomiting thrown in. But we're OK. A little tired and moody, but OK. Even the baby. Who slept last night waking only once for a feed. In comparison to recent wakeful nights due to a stuffy nose and teething. Yay!
2) Advent - it's wondeful! Coupled with illness and snow, we've been resting and peacefully preparing, living quite simply and taking things day by day. The children are counting down to Christmas, but taking enjoyment in taking turns to unwrap stories and stick pictures on the cardboard Jesse tree (I really must do a photo!). Things are MUCH less crazy than in recent years. My husband thanked me yesterday for taking care of the preparations allowing him to focus on his work, but it hasn't been a burden. I've purposely not taken on too much.
3) Like Jen, I'm a bit torn over Santa Claus, and gifts in general to be honest. We're hammering home the Saint Nicholas/spirit of Christmas thing, and the children don't expect much in their stockings. We did 4 Samaritans Purse shoeboxes, and the kids aren't hugely focused on what they are getting. But recently I've brought home HUGE bags of gifts from other people, friends and family members, and I literally haven't got anywhere to put them!
4) Hopefully though, like we managed with Advent, I'm going to instigate a whole 12 days of Christmas thing this year, and open presents from different people every day. We have dinner with the inlaws on the 25th, we visit my parents on 26th, and then will be opening things gradually and visiting family friends for lunch on a couple of days in Christmas week before attending that great English tradition, the Pantomime, on New Year's Eve! It's nice for me that I'm not completely focused on Christmas Day itself, but the whole tranche of celebrations.
5) We always have a few people over the Saturday prior to Christmas Day for a preliminary celebration, a mince pie and a slice of Christmas cake, spiced apple juice and mulled wine. This year, it will REALLY be a few - I've pared it back big style, as last year our house got quite trashed with all and sundry - which is making it more special.
6) I tried to do IKEA, Mamas and Papas (for a buggy repair run) AND Starbucks on Tuesday. By the time we got to Starbucks, the baby was grizzly, and there was no way my 4 year old and I would get to sit and chew the fat over gingerbread latte (hold the whipped cream) and a cookie, so we left. To add insult to injury, my husband regaled me with tales of eggnog latte at his business meeting! I'm so glad I already had one gingerbread latte this season, as who knows when I will get another.
7) BUT I did get a haircut! I had an hour and a half without the baby and got my hair cut into a long bob! It was needing it soooo much. And I had a positive experience at the salon this time :-) It feels like several Christmases have come at once, to get a little break and to have my hair treated. I rarely fuss with my appearance, but having a Christmas haircut feels like part of the preparations, readying myself for Christmas day, dinner and visits.
And that's the seven! Next week, we'll be cooking the turkey before going to the Crib Service at church on Christmas Eve, so I think I've crammed everything into today's quick takes. Happy Advent & Merry Christmas!
*with thanks to Jen at Conversion Diary