- Last week before the break and as usual I feel like we need it quite desperately. Which is, frankly, odd. Our daily lives are what they are, not all that strenuous these days, and December isn’t objectively any harder than any other time. (We are really pretty lazy about Christmas. We don’t send cards, for instance, although I agree cards are nice to get.) Mind you, Armin has been working a *lot* of weekends lately, so that doesn’t help. And presumably there’s a huge psychological factor – a combination of the dark days (so weirdly exhausting!), plus that heavy End of Year feeling that has you reviewing all the awfulness of 2017 – or all the great things you probably missed out on, you know, like the eclipse and all the cool movies I haven’t seen – plus anticipation of a quiet week with everyone together and nowhere to go, no obligations, just being cozy together. I mean of course there’s an excellent chance we’ll be desperate to kick the kids back to school within about five minutes. But it really is the one time of year when I treasure having everyone at home, not doing anything very much, just gathering our strength for the next year.
- New and exciting: besides the huge extended family celebration on Christmas Eve (as is the Swiss way), on Christmas we’ll have a second Christmas dinner on the 25th, with our German neighbours. For the first time, they’re not going back to Hamburg for Christmas, since they went for a wedding just a couple of weeks ago. So, Christmas with friends! This will really be quite special – kids hanging out, parents relaxing together, I expect a very convivial time indeed. (Incidentally. Both dinners will be meat fondue. German traditions are different.)
- Meanwhile I’m gearing up to bake All The Cookies. Because while the family Christmas does come with a no-presents policy (that will probably be obeyed by everyone, but yeah, there have been awkward mishaps in the past), it still feels wrong to turn up empty-handed, so we have to do the traditional thing of exchanging little baggies of cookies. I would enjoy this a lot more if my kitchen were a lot bigger.
- We may still be a week out from Christmas but Max is already planning his birthday party (mid January). Claudia’s organising the games. He’s written out his guest list. Which includes Santa and a princess. Which princess, I’m not entirely clear. I hope he’s not too bitterly disappointed by the non-royal turnout…
- So far this has been the snowiest December we’ve yet experienced. Of course the forecast is for warmer weather and nothing but rain in the days before Christmas, but the forecast is *always* wrong, so I’m optimistic. White Christmas? Maybe! Just maybe!
No 52 of #52recipes (w00t!): warm honey mustard potato salad. A big pile of meh, and a NO from the kids.