So it’s finally December and  we have snow to boot. There was the usual scramble over the Advent calendars this morning and then ‘The Best Christmas Album Ever’ with our cornflakes. In all the excitement I forgot to blow out the Advent candle and so we seem to have skipped the 2nd and are on to the 3rd already. The great Christmas countdown has begun.

Now that December has arrived, I am allowing myself to think about the big day and its ramifications. Until now, Christmas has been this huge, black shadow lurking unmentioned behind the door. Suddenly, it has stepped out into the light and can be ignored no longer.

Of course I am not totally unprepared. The cake, puddings and mincemeat are made, I have picked up one or two stocking fillers for the children and I have some cards but there’s a long way to go. And there is a month until the big day. Or so you might think. Actually, Christmas falls on the 25th, as I suspect you know, so that’s 24 days. The older children’s schools closes on the 17th so no chance of surreptitious shopping or wrapping after then. By the time you discount weekends ( jam packed with rehearsals, gym competitions, shows, carol concerts and other festive fun) then we’re down to twelve days. School is closed for training and or snow for the rest of the week. Ten days.

So now I’m starting to panic. Within those ten days, assuming no illness or yet more snow, I have an essential hair appointment ( if you could see me you wouldn’t question this), dentist and optician appointments. Not sure how they all fell now, so close to Christmas, but there you have it. No doubt when they went in the diary I though I’d be curling ribbons and messing about with fairy lights by then. Then there’s the nativity at school and a coffee date with someone that I rarely see and am reluctant to rearrange. Three days.  Then I have some work to do and a chapter on Tradition and Dissent in Poetry to get under my belt for a tutorial next week. Two days.

Pass the Rescue Remedy. The thought of what has to be achieved in such a short amount of time is causing some minor hyperventilation.

But of course it will all happen. Somehow it always does. There’s the internet for shopping if I could only decide what to buy. I have evenings to write cards and I’m sure we can steal a couple of hours back from the children’s weekend commitments to buy a tree trim the house. If I can get to the supermarket, not that big an ask, then I can cook in advance and freeze and if I off load the children on my parents for an hour or so I can wrap. All I need is a comprehensive list and to hold my nerve and all will be well.

Right now, as I look out at the snow and see my available time floating away with the snowflakes, it seems almost insurmountable but as long as we have a turkey ( already ordered) and something to open on the big day I’m sure it will be fine. Gulp!