Last year Little G was far too young to comprehend the wonder that is Christmas - I remember much of the time was spent trying to stop her crawling into the tree or eating the needles off the carpet. This year, two months off her second birthday, she has grasped that it is a special time and special things are going to happen.
Her appreciation is still a bit fluid though. Christmas means visiting her favourite arcade and dancing to the piped music on her special spot by the Christmas tree with the red swirly lazer lights display. Christmas means pressing our noses to shop windows and rating the decorations.
Christmas means a babyccino in her favourite local coffee place, where they know her name
She has helped to decorate two trees - You must be mad's tasteful one with themed colours, and the one here, which has luridly grinning robots and random baubles. Under the tree is a solitary packet of cat biscuits - her Christmas present to the long-suffering cat who probably deserves a whole artic-load for her tolerance.
There are now three stockings hanging up over Little G's fireplace, but I'm not sure she knows why. And a wreath on her door. Tonight we are all going to the Service of Lessons & Carols at the cathedral where she was christened but I have told her that we won't be singing 'Father Christmas Had a Sleigh, Ho Ho Ho Ho' - our current favourite, sung to the tune of 'Old Macdonald'.
She sees no reason why we can't
However I have also told her that on Christmas Day she will come over to my house, where there will be some new toys to play with, after which she will sit down to a lovely special big roast dinner with lots of her favourite things to eat. There will be crackers that go bang, but not in a worrying way, and round the table will be her family who all love her to bits. I think she understood that part completely.