The first of December heralds all kinds of routines around here.  Having spent all that time resisting the call of Christmas  (The White Company sent a small catalogue last week with "Last Minute Ideas" - what?) it's now time to acknowledge the season and let the fun begin.  Yesterday afternoon, I finally cracked open the bag of Christmas Journal goodies I'd bought a couple of months ago and prepared the cover.  


It's the day to open the first door of our Advent calendars too and I wonder how many were clicking on that red bauble on the Jacquie Lawson Alpine Calendar this year, as we were?


This year, getting Edward and Amy's Advent calendar to them in time for today proved a little trickier than usual and prompted a story of its own.  I put together 24 small red bags for them to open, each with a small surprise inside.


My hero has the promise of a "magical Christmas journey" in the form of a different tea bag for each day.


And I have a new story calendar this year, found in the Autumn market in Dresden.  Though Teddy is feeling a little neglected on today's page, I have a sneaky suspicion that things are going to become rather exciting for him in the next few days.  There on the same shelf were the Christmas napkins I found in the Magdeburg Euro equivalent of the Poundstore and thought that it's time to crack open that packet too.


Many of the small pleasures of the season have been gathered on our travels, in particular from frequent trips to Germany.  My Advent storybook has reappeared and I smiled as I read the first page: 


Do you think I might get some marzipan to nibble on whilst I read it?


Actually, I'm not short of seasonal reading and am enjoying Nigel Slater's Christmas Chronicles right now.


But as I opened the page this morning I realised that, although the title is relevant to today, I'm actually a couple of days behind.  


I didn't mind that, but in scooting forwards to December 1, look what I very nearly missed!  Looks too good to pass by and with a pot of ricotta in the fridge (but no filo, alas) I think I need to give it a go, the more so if it is truly "ravishing, like a fairy in a vast taffeta ball gown"!  Can I bear to drop into Waitrose again later, or more to the point, if I do, can I resist the lure of half price boxes of chocolates?


So yes, this is indeed December.


Busy days, always with something to do, a new idea to try, to share and to enjoy.  This year, paper bag stars are the hit around here, thanks to a small book I found in Berlin - yes, another German book on my shelf.  I have intentions of making a fair few of these to hang in the porch and above the little bear trolley, where they can move freely in the draught.  We'll see if that materialises, though having ordered paper bags by the hundred, I have no excuses.


Somewhere in the midst of the glitter flurry (I was going to have a glitter-free zone this year but failed spectacularly at the first hurdle) I must remember to try and find a few quiet moments to read, reflect and remember.  

Ah, December.



One last afternoon

One last afternoon