The rather jaded stage. But it's been a perfectly good one, as it usually is.
Quiet, of course. We've got the card sending, and commensurate receiving, down to about half what it once was (I don't quite know how, only a few people on the list have actually departed this life), but, lazy and phone averse as I am, I actually picked up the device and made a couple of calls, and received a couple more and felt happy to connect with the people on the other end in all cases.
In my somewhat frenzied bonfire of the vanities back on the summer, I threw out all of our Christmas decorations (except maybe I kept a small painted bell K sent us one year, if so but I can't remember where I put it). This is something I find I don't regret at all, we didn't have many but they had become a rather scruffy and slightly disheartening obligation. I strung up the cards we did receive, and bought a bundle of pretty red hand made candles when in England, we roasted a pintade and various stuffing-type things, including the the last packet of chipolatas from the freezer, and there was still a Christmas pud in the cupboard from last year, and we were festive enough.
I got a pair of socks for Tom finished in time, and best of all, it being Elfie's first Christmas with us, she was made much of, with very classy new piece of kit, a Julius K9 Powerharness in silver, no less. Nothing but the best for our girl:
We've always had a harness for her for walking and travelling; we brought an SPA one, with their logo on it, back with her from the refuge. It was quite well-designed but I always felt it gave her rather too much of the look of a charity child.
The legend 'best friend' was an optional extra, you can order velcro-on labels to go over the brand ones, they glow in the dark. We had to choose from a list, so we went for that on one side, and 'treat monster' on the other:
She also had a juicy bone, which I imagine was her preferred present, though she seemed happy to go out in the harness.
Happy Christmas all.