I love Christmas, I really do. I'm not one of these people that starts putting up decorations in mid-November, but I do love the build up, the preparation and the twinkly lights.
This year, however, Christmas has me seriously stressed. Stressed in the sense of waking at odd times of the night unable to go back to sleep because my mind is in overdrive. Stressed about the food. Stressed about the presents (or current lack thereof). Stressed about family demands.
It doesn't help that work is about to go through a ridiculously busy period that sees me scheduled to work right up to Christmas Eve (for only the second time in my entire life). Add to that the fact that we have to pack for a ski holiday and for having our hall ceiling replaced as soon as we get back, and my to do list is permanently smouldering around the edges.
I'm partly reassured by conversations with others who are feeling similarly frazzled (is this year really different to others, or is it just a coincidence that I'm not alone in feeling like this?).
Part of the problem of course is that this year contrasts markedly with last year, when I was unemployed and had copious amounts of time to make wreaths, contemplate gifts and prepare food.
Thank goodness, then, for a rare half day off and the (now annual) trip to Bath Christmas market with the lovely Chris. She knows how to do Christmas properly, that's for sure. So, thank you Chris for reminding me that Christmas can also be about slowing down and enjoying what's around you.