Christmas is such an exciting time for me. Every year, come the 1st December the tree goes up and the Christmas CD comes out and from that point on there's a constant stream of mince pies in the oven as I sing along to the likes of Band Aid, Slade and Wizzard. The Christmas cards are written and of course, I put together my lucky dip sack so anyone who comes a calling gets a surprise gift. And throughout all of this I'm eagerly anticipating Christmas Eve - not just because I know that's when Santa drops down the chimney, but because I get to spend a whole few days with Robert, Adam, Ben and now the lovely Cindy and all without interruption.
You see there's been this unwritten rule in our house that from Christmas Eve onwards no-one goes anywhere and whilst some of you might think I'm a control freak (which I probably am when it comes to Christmas) let me explain.
When I was about eight years old, my two sisters and I got up one Christmas morning to find Santa hadn't actually visited our house. Not because we'd been naughty or anything, you couldn't get three more well behaved little girls if you tried even if I do say so myself. But having gone out for a celebratory drink with friends the night before, Santa was too busy trying to save my mother's life to finish his deliveries; a drink driver having ploughed straight into her, ramming her against a brick wall, as she and Dad made the leisurely walk home.
That was the year we celebrated Christmas at the end of February - the first time she was allowed home for a couple of days during her recovery and, no doubt, the reason why the fun side of Christmas is so important to me.
So imagine my horror when way back in June my children decided things would be different this year... that they had other plans for Christmas 2012 - plans that didn't include me!
To be fair, they did give me six months notice to get used to the idea and after the initial "Oh my goodness, I don't think so" period I slowly began to come to terms with a Christmas without them. Let's face it, I've been lucky they've shown such understanding for as long as they have - I'm sure at their ages, foregoing the Christmas parties outside of the home must've felt like they were missing out.
And I suppose on the plus side, Robert and I get to spend our first Christmas in a long time as a couple, which will certainly be different. As will our Christmas venue, having decided to spend it here in Greece so I don't think my children are so near, yet so far... Thus, reducing the risk of me crying into the turkey, which I'm guessing wouldn't be pretty!
But come what may I'm at least going to try and have fun and I hope you all will too.