Christmas is all done for another year. I have only just managed to change my blog background to festive robins and now I am going to have to put it back again. What shall I have for January I wonder. Sorry – must stop asking rhetorical questions as they don’t get me very much further forward and make me appear indecisive. Which I don’t think I am – do you?

I suppose I am now expected to ruminate for a while about Christmas and how it’s gone in a flash taking all that preparation, list making and sheer hard work with it. But I don’t really want to do that. It is gone too quickly and if you are the one in charge of the turkey it does seem that you spend all the time in the kitchen and miss the good bits but that’s just the way it is. It was ever thus.

I would rather look at each Christmas as it passes and learn from it. For example, I have now got Christmas dinner off to a fine art. I can cook turkey and all the trimmings for however many there happen to be around my table without any stress. That box is ticked. I know that and so I no longer worry about it.

Another lesson I learned is not to expect too much from the day. After all it is still just the six of us. No miraculous transformation takes place as Santa delivers his presents. We will still bicker, the children will be noisy and shout at each other and at some point I will shout louder. Really it’s just like any other day with presents and guests and a more complicated meal. It took me a good few years to work this out but now that I have it’s fine if we all argue and I try not to let it worry me.

I never get drunk. I always start with that intention but somehow after a glass of bubbly with the mid morning mince pies and a glass of wine as I make the gravy I seem to lose my way and before you know it it’s half past six and I can’t be bothered. It’s one of those things where the idea of it is so much more appealing than the reality. Have you ever tried to baste a 13 pound turkey whilst plastered? Downright dangerous!

And so it is finished for another year. The build up is always better than the day just as the smell of fresh coffee is always nicer than it tastes. That is another lesson that I have been taught over the years. Now I can look forward. I have always loved the promise of a new start. The new year will be my first complete year with all my children at school. I will grow more of my own vegetables having had a successful first try last year. I will make new year resolutions that I have at least a chance of sticking to and I shall wait for the spring and the light nights and the warmth and everything that helps me get through the interminably grey winter in one piece. Of this expect more in later posts. For now I will whip down the decorations on New Year’s Day and start 2009 with a spring in my step.