At the weekend my eye was caught by a number on a website, it said that the number of days to Christmas was 37...
That couldn't be right, that sounded far too close for comfort.
So I checked (the internet might be the font of all knowledge, thanks to the great god wiki, but its disciples are notoriously fickle and are wont to change facts at their whim) and I was shocked to find out that Christmas IS just around the corner.
How the hell did that happen?
I mean, I understand the laws of space and time etc. but what I don't get is how I went from being über organised with a Christmas present list* under construction and some presents bought to the flat out panic that was induced at the weekend.
I blame Al.
I emailed her children (whose names are on my list and who will therefore be getting presents from me, don't worry, they're too old to still believe in Santa) to ask for suggestions as to what I could get for them, and one of them blabbed to mommy dearest, who told me in no uncertain terms that I was getting ahead of myself and should take more wine. So after the initial flurry of activity nothing has happened, the list has stagnated and now I have to get my act together because otherwise gifts will be late (not the end of the world I know, but German punctuality is clearly rubbing off on me, not that I was ever slack in the time keeping department)
On the other hand, presents aside, Christmas plans are proceeding at a steady rate...
# Christmas cake is hic-ing to itself in its foil coat, awaiting its marzipan slip before it gets its royal icing frock on for the the big day (note to self, source 'ready to throw onto cake' marzipan - this will require the aid of a friend or a trip to a (not) supermarket that I don't usually go to)
# first lot of mincemeat has been made, will be made into mincepies this week which I can freeze and then make more mincemeat (have only one jar suitable for the storing of mincemeat). I foolishly put my name down to take mincepies to Jas's Christmas thingy at school, it's worth it just to see the parent's faces as you try to explain the concept of mincemeat that isn't actually meat.
# Christmas crackers are hiding somewhere downstairs (I admit, I have forgotten exactly where they are) This is an issue every year, because crackers on Christmas day are essential in my book and you can't reliably get them here and nor can people flying over bring them as hand or hold luggage (something to do with the fact that they go bang I think). Personally I'd have crackers on Christmas Eve too but as I only have 6, carefully sourced crackers (thanks Emma & Hannah) we will have to make do.
# The first Sunday of Advent is December 2, I had a mini panic when I thought it was this coming weekend (can't you just tell I'm an atheist) but google tells me Dec 2 and who am I to argue. I have the candles for the Advent 'crown', just have to put it together next week sometime. You probably think this odd, a household of atheists having an Advent crown, I blame Jas, who is turning more German every day. The Advent crowns are pretty essential to any German household during December and as I'm not averse to lighting candles why not? Admittedly our crown isn't crown shaped, being more of a rectangular nature and it also doesn't include any of the traditional greenery, ours is full on sparkly, but it does have four candles.
# And the diary on the run up to the day itself is full (which might be a problem) This weekend we'll go to the Essen Christmas market, the weekend after I'm away on a girlie weekend in London, the weekend after we're having a Christmas cocktail do (seems to be becoming an annual event), the week after is an evening of carols at friends and the weekend after is literally the weekend before Christmas (a Tuesday this year). Time is running away.
As long as it doesn't snow before Christmas, everything will be OK. If it snows, as it did two years ago, then the world slowly grinds to a halt, although everywhere does look very festive! Can't have it both ways I guess.
* this being the list of presents I need to buy and probably send off to people, as opposed to the list of stuff I want (complete with website addresses and article numbers to make the list as fool (i.e. husband) proof as possible)