Did you know there are only 53 mornings with Johnny in pre-school, between now and Christmas? I had to quote this statistic when an incredulous hubby caught me sewing robins today.
Because this year, I don't intend to be in a frenzy in November (yeah, right!). I adore Christmas - the anticipation, the food, the carols, the sense of celebration. There's nothing else quite like it.
One of the most memorable, was the first year after we got married. Hubs and I were living in Japan, where Christmas is not a public holiday. It is sort of recognised, but in a singularly commercial way, with unforgettable slogans like 'Have a Santastic Christmas' and a character called 'Captain Santa'. But nothing was standing in the way of our festivities.
We bought a tree - a fake one - in early December. It didn't seem very big in the shop, but when we got it back to our tiny apartment we realized that we would have to sleep underneath it, if we wanted the luxury of a futon and a Christmas tree.
I baked the tiniest ham you've ever seen and hacked a turkey into bits to fit it into the oven-in-a-microwave. And we celebrated, in pixie hats and reindeer antlers, with a slightly homesick Englishman and a barking mad German (who brought stollen).
Thirteen years on, and we still have our Japanese tree, and although we have a real one at Christmas now, I like to put up the plastic-fantastic version too and remember our very strange, but strangely wonderful first Christmas.