How did that happen? Is it just me, or have things suddenly crept up on us? Maybe it's the distinctly un-festive weather. Maybe it's the fact that life has been so ridiculously busy lately that I haven't had the chance to stop and take notice.
But yes, it's almost here. The past week has included a funeral, five birthdays, a nativity play and two parties. I'm very nearly at the 'stopping for Christmas' stage - just two more prints to deliver and I'm done.
I was up at 3am on Wednesday, working on a painting someone had ordered. It wasn't weighing that heavily on my mind but I had drank an awful lot of coffee the day before and decided that rather than lying wide awake in bed I may as well get something done. So I did.
Despite the general chaos we have a Christmas tree up (two sets of lights have so far given up the ghost). There are candles and holly and strings of bells hanging from the beams. We've somehow managed to re-paint the bathroom as the previous shade of blue was just all wrong. So now it's white and bright and lovely.
I've managed to indulge some seasonal treats: chocolates (a freebie from one of Jay's customers at work) and Polish cherry liqueur. And I'm reading Christmas poetry in bed.
Somehow, most of our presents have been bought too. Not wrapped but bought. Cards written and (for the most part) sent. We've yet to figure out the food shopping but I know panettone, smoked almonds and trifle components will be going on the list.
Joe's nativity went... Well, let's just say it went. It was held in the little chapel next to his preschool and the place was packed. I think he was overwhelmed by it all and initially just sat with his hands over his eyes. But then he scanned the crowd for us and we waved and he got a bit excited. He was so keen to come over and show us his little lamb stuffed toy (he was a shepherd) that he stood up but was told to stay put. So he ended up crying through the entire performance and being cuddled by one of the nursery staff.
Yesterday I made the usual Christmas pilgrimage to Hebden Bridge for presents and an amble around. I went alone. The traffic was painful, parking was almost impossible (I eventually parked out of town up a very steep hill and walked in) and I just wasn't feeling it somehow.
Yes, there were lots of beautiful things. I made a few purchases: cards, bobble trim for my muslin curtains, stocking fillers for Joe, soaps and potions, ahem - a Cornish pasty and a cake. But I was left with the feeling I don't want to stray far from home again this side of Christmas. I want to hibernate. To stay warm, rest, eat and drink, be with friends and family.
This evening we have visitors so we're having a buffet-type dinner with lots of cheeses and bread and cured meats, olives and artichokes and hummus. Tomorrow's going to be an early start to conquer the outdoor market. Sunday we're at another birthday party then we have visitors again in the afternoon. And on Tuesday Joe's meeting Father Christmas (who bears a striking resemblance to the owner's husband) at his preschool party.
I'm going to go to my mum's grave too, to put some flowers there.
So once the flurry of visitors and parties and final bits of work are done we'll close the door, draw the curtains and have a well-deserved rest.
I hope your Christmas preparations are coming together. And I really hope we get some snow...