I picked the children up from school yesterday and we went shopping for a Christmas tree. We found a gorgeous one which was then wrapped in netting so we could transport it home.
At this point #2, who was helpfully trying to carry said tree, got the netting all tangled up in his school blazer buttons and was inextricably attached to a large Norwegian spruce.
A couple of hours later and our kitchen was festooned with fairy lights, lovely tree in the corner, fire lit and the children were playing carols on various musical instruments.
I was drinking Marks and Spencer's alcohol free mulled wine (as recommended by RedRecovers)
Mr SM was sulking slightly as he realised that the presents under the tree were labelled 'with love from Mummy (and Daddy)'. I've never seen such a huff over a couple of parentheses.
I looked around thinking this is all really Hygge. It almost looks like good parenting.
What a difference from last year, when I was in the middle of radiotherapy for breast cancer, and the year before when I was ricocheting from drunk to hungover and back again, only briefly passing through a state which could be described as 'normal and happy'.
And today we are all trooping into Covent Garden for lunch followed by the new musical: School of Rock. Then I have a babysitter booked to look after the children in the evening as some old friends of ours are having a big Christmas Housewarming near Oxford.
How is that possible? I hear you ask. Surely Oxford is at least 90 minutes up the motorway from London?
And it is, my friends. But here's the thing: I can drive! Because I don't drink. So we can go to the party, stay three hours, drive home and still be in bed by 1am. Result.
When I was coming up to my first sober Christmas it felt like too huge a hurdle to handle. But now I realise that Christmas is a truly awesome time of year, and being properly present in every moment is just amazing.
A sober Christmas is calmer, happier, more organised and generally more....Christmassy.
Merry, merry Christmas to you all,