I took my eye off the ball and didn't see December coming this year ... talk about unprepared! So, despite a raging sore throaty-cold-bug of the kind only the threat of Christmas can bring on, I cast a steely eye over the situation this weekend and came to the conclusion there was nothing for it but to grab hold of the impending festive season by its coat tails and get on with it.
By handy coincidence my sister Fiona is the real Christmas Tree Fairy (!) and as it happens, she and her fiance own a truck. They were kind enough to help me hunt down a lovely bushy tree last week, without a single pine needle dropped in my car, which was such a big help! Fo and Simon, whatever would I do without the two of you?!
I missed 'Stir up Sunday' by a country mile this year, yet didn't want to give up on making a home made Christmas pudding, so instead had a late 'Stir Up Saturday' afternoon at the weekend, shutting myself in the kitchen with a large mixing bowl, glorious array of sugary, fruity ingredients and the remnants of last year's Sherry bottle ... which I duly guzzled as I mixed, in the search for my festive spirit.
Between scribbling Christmas cards on Sunday (still haven't bought any stamps) and frantically ordering gifts online (not to mention praying they will arrive in time!) I also squeezed a little time to smear melted apricot jam over the cake I baked a few weeks ago, then rolled out marzipan in the hope I may actually manage to ice my calorific creation next weekend - that really will be a Christmas miracle! I confess I've given in and bought mince pies this year as fiddling with pastry when our local supermarket sells such yummy buttery ones, seems a trial too far.
By the time Sunday evening turned up, my husband and I were both tired with colds in full snotty swing, so the last thing either of we grumps felt like doing was decorating our Christmas tree but with glasses of brandy to hand (purely medicinal you understand) and fairy lights twinkling merrily, a sneaky hint of Christmas spirit tiptoed into our living room without invitation.
So whether we're ready, willing and able or not, begrudgingly I have to concede, it really is beginning to feel a lot like Christmas!