Fully aware that this could be my last Christmas in England for a little while, I embarked on the task of decorating this year with extra enthusiasm. Anybody who is familiar with my usual levels of Christmas-time exuberance would realise this is no small achievement.
The tree is a fragrant individual with much character. I am nothing if not infatuated with it. My goodness, it smells like heaven.
There have also been frosty walks and paper bags of roasted chestnuts and songs of the season creeping merrily into my consciousness. Looking around at the lights and the shops and the general abundance of gingerbread...it seems everybody is fully submerged in the magic of Christmas. Penelope Dullaghan says it better than I do, right here.
The German ornaments are out in force, complete with the customary tug of nostalgia for all of my Christmases past. Next year I should be back in the States, starting new traditions of my own with the Boy Pickle, but for now it's hard not to revel in the familiar traditions of my own family Christmas.