So how do you feel about Christmas?
I confess I have a passion for twinkly lights, tinsel, sparkles, warm fires, comfort food, overindulgence, and an obscene blow-out after a year of frugality.
Yet at the same time I feel a sense of unease, a hint of guilt.
I love the idea of an old-fashioned, home-made, it's-all-in-the-thought, Christmas. You know the thing, everyone gathered round the tree sharing a home-made mince pie and one handmade present each.
But at the same time I desperately want to break free from a year spent being resourceful and thoughtful and restrained. I watch tv. I have friends who buy their kids laptops and ipods. And even though I know it's really not in the spirit of an ethical Christmas I want to buy buy buy! I want to spoil the kids! I want them to have a huge pile of presents to get excited over. I want to give them everything they've ever wanted (and more)! And actually I wouldn't mind a few decent gifts myself.
I don't want to budget or home-bake, I don't want to buy secondhand and secondbest. I don't want to make-do, because I do it all year round and I am heartily sick of it.
So all my nice homely good intentions go out the window, and in comes commercial obscenity, frantic purchasing, and an icky feeling in the pit of my stomach.
I wonder, is there a middle ground?
Do you spend Christmas as you spent Christmas as a child?
I assume that the seeds of 'how Christmas should be' are planted in our childhood, mine certainly were.