We’re sat on the lounge floor looking like we’re giving CPR to a semi-inflated rubber dinosaur.
A family quiz has been penned which is odds-on more likely to trigger World War Three than Trump and Kim Jong-un.
And most of the family have the dreaded lurgy which is striking new victims down so rapidly it must be a strain of the Black Death.
It must be Christmas!
This is our first Christmas in our new home and given Albie was barely meant to be born this time last year, it feels like our first proper one as a family.
The Elf has sat on the shelf and catapulted himself back to Santaland, and the beer (result!), mince pie and carrot have been left out for the man himself and his furry minions…though not before Albie first tried to eat the stuff he’s most allergic to!
Christmas isn’t a time of festive joy for everyone. For many it can be a time of great anxiety, loneliness and tragedy. December 17, for example, marked the tenth anniversary of the passing of my nan – and the end of the legendary Boxing Day bashes.
But we are determined to ensure that Albie is fortunate enough to be surrounded by loving family and we make the very best of the yuletide and let him experience the magic of Christmas which we remember from our younger days.
On the day before Christmas Eve, we toured the area hunting for the best Christmas lights displays. And boy, it didn’t disappoint.
We found places which had literally puked Christmas far and wide, covering their homes in a way which had us sad adults, thinking: ‘I wonder how much their electricity bill is’?
We’ve done all the traditional stuff, talking Albie through the world of Santa like he understands it all. He definitely doesn’t.
We’ve mixed in the new-school to try to keep up with the trends, though I’d argue the sprinkling of ‘reindeer food’ (porridge) in the garden looked suspiciously like we were waving around the ashes of a loved one, rather than anything particularly festive.
And to fully confirm our subscription to the festive season, the poor boy has been dressed daily in a sickening array of Christmas outfits. I blame the mother. At least he looked the part for his train ride to see Santa – the third different one our nephew, four, had seen, he helpfully pointed out!
Christmas Day is our domain, with us as debut home owners automatically nominated for the honour of hosting Christmas.
We’ve imported more alcohol than I’ve drunk this year, racked up a small debt with Tesco and my bank is trolling me with alerts noting I’ve ‘spent more than a usual month’, just in case it wasn’t clear. We’re experts, now!
We wish you all a very happy Christmas and I would like to take this chance to thank the thousands of people who have taken an interest in our little family and our updates. I hope you’ve had a laugh, identified with some of it and perhaps even learned a bit about being a parent.
Have a good one!
Oli, Hanna and Albie