It starts with the tree, the art teacher would tell our small children- ' Now remember- not too big, just a small little tree because we live in a small little house' - serious nodding and agreement all around as I drove them to choose it.
The delight and anticipation on their little faces, as we came home dragging the biggest tree possible- his feigned horror at the size of tree..' well, we'll just have to cut a hole in the ceiling' - giggles and squeals of delight.
Xmas tree decorating night- carols are played, 'cocktails' drunk. Decorations remembered and reminisced, a collection of 23 years, some made by little hands, others bought, a few given- all treasured.
The tree no longer hangs bottom heavy, the kids now reach taller than me- dad places the fairy on the top, and we exclaim - 'It's our best tree yet'....as we do every year!
Xmas eve dinner, turkey, ham, lamb and tongue- too much? Never!
A full table, at first fumbling little hands to help me lay it, name cards to decorate- now, near adult and expert at the job, advice is given- 'too much mom- less is more' as they take charge.
Thankfully, we still have a little xmas angel at the table to find the lucky money in the pudding- again?!
and when we hear Santa's sleigh bells approaching, followed by a thud on the roof - it's now expertly executed by my kids for the delight of younger- actually ........for the delight of everyone.