Now that's done, I finally feel like things are more-or-less under control and I started reminiscing on Christmas memories and family traditions.
My memories of Christmas past
From my earliest memories Christmas day was always special, long before my child's mind even associated it with Santa Claus and gifts.
I remember sounds and smells. The house felt different as Mum and Dad both set to preparing for dinner. I remember the sense of anticipation. The turkey cooking in the Aga and filling the house with a delicious aroma all morning. We had just a handful of Christmas albums which my Dad played and hummed along to, and which I came to associate with the season.
As I grew old enough to recognise the cycle from one year to the next, certain patterns became established. Unwrapping gifts in the morning. Turkey dinner with my Mum's parents. Then a big party with my Dad's family in the evening - lots of aunts, uncles, and cousins, a huge spread of cold food, and games and laughter. Lots of laughter.
Now we are on our own, in a different country, things have changed. We've started to establish our own traditions.
The leisurely preparation of turkey dinner is still there. And the early morning invasion of excited children, except now we are on the receiving end of it, rubbing sleep from eyes as the bed turns into a recycler's nightmare of shredded paper and discarded packaging.
Most of our present traditions are in the lead-up to Christmas. The newsletter. Putting the outside lights up. Visiting the Christmas Tree Farm to select the perfect tree.
One thing do I miss is those raucous parties with the extended family, and I'm sad that I can't offer that to my own children.
I wonder, in years to come, what memories will linger for them?