Christmas of course! (whatever else it was you were thinking, wipe that thought off right now!)
For the past 3 weeks the kids have been nagging me to get the advent calendars up, and yes, in true form, the advent calendars are still in the loft. Well, except for the one that needs mending which is still in the pile in my bedroom, awaiting repair.
Long ago when ds1 was little I protested about buying advent calendars each year and instead purchased material calendars with little pockets that I fill with little chocolate coins. In my day of course, we didn't have anything as luxurious as chocolate coins inside our advent calendars and had to settle with being excited about opening a cardboard door to see a little picture inside. You know the thing, robins, angels, a piece of holly, something weird that might or might not have been a donkey. And there was always a baby Jesus in a manger behind no.24 door (yawn). Often we would peek at days that we weren't meant to have opened and then try and close the door again so noone would notice. Sometimes we would peek at each others and then moan because the other sibling had a better picture in no.17 (or something similar). We even kept advent calendars from one year to the next, so we'd have the excitement of seeing all the same pictures again...and again...and again...until the cardboard doors fell off. You have to understand that we lived in a small village in the country and there wasn't a huge amount of entertainment :)
But this is now a fast-paced world, where even my kids (and I) have succumbed to the wonders of the computer, digital tv, the Wii and nintendo ds. For the past 2 years I've done pretty much all my Christmas shopping on the internet now. Mind you, if you've ever tried doing 'secret' Christmas shopping in a busy shop with 3 children in tow, then you'll understand the temptation of the internet (oh the strained life of a home educator - without the luxury of free nationally-sponsored child care) . Not to mention how much easier it is to compare prices online (remember the days when we actually had to visit all those high street shops to compare the prices of what we wanted to buy??).
But does this internet shopping save me money? Well yes. And no. Mostly no. I mean, there's almost TOO much choice when I look online. And then when I visit sites such as the fabulous http://www.hotukdeals.com/ and see all those bargains and vouchers, well, in the end I probably spend just as much, if not more. But at least I can do it without small child pulling on my sleeve, or begging for sweets, or pushing ALL the buttons on ALL the electronic toys in the aisle, or decided to rampage through the photo booth and climb on the Thomas the Tank engine toddler ride (and that's just my 10 yr old!).
Now where was I? Oh yes, Christmas.
I think I need to summon up the energy to put decorations up. Normally I've peaked by now and am well up for a bit of tinsel and baubles, but winter drabness has settled in with its usual symptoms.
And it's probably not helped by me being here at work, where their idea of decorating for Christmas is to hang some old CDs ('Index to Legal Periodicals' in case you wanted to know) in front of my desk on skinny red plastic ribbons. Every now and then I get the irresistable urge to blow at them and send them waving around...ok, I confess, I'm actually attempting to tangle them, but with no success so far. Oh, and there's also a poor scrawny artificial tree that has been drowned in those little tinsel strips and some depressed-looking baubles. Is it possible for baubles to look depressed? Trust me, yes.
Anyway, soon I'll be home and perhaps I might even get around to mending that advent calendar...