The family have started to arrive. First came elder daughter, her husband and two year old son, arriving late on Tuesday night with J asleep in the car. They are installed in the holiday cottage. Then came younger daughter with her dog, a young and beautiful red fox labrador and then younger son and his wife and their dog, an equally beautiful black labrador and yesterday younger daughter's boyfriend.
So now we are all here until Christmas Day when we hope to see older son. The house is full. When we sit down to eat we are eight or nine at the table. The tree has been dug up from the field and brought inside in a pot. It looks way bigger inside than it did out there!
We don't go in for tasteful Christmas trees here. Christmas is not Christmas without too many sets of lights, decorations of all colours and all the old favourites on the tree.
The slightly squiffy snowman has to have his place and a new favourite to add to the old ones is the Christmas sheep.
The Christmas cake, made by elder daughter and decorated by her, younger daughter and younger daughter's boyfriend, has a Frozen Planet theme this year. Frozen Planet for non UK readers is a new series narrated by David Attenborough which has been shown on the TV this autumn. Watch out for it, it is truly stunning.
I think they have surpassed themselves this year. Note particularly the mother and baby seal joining in the fun and the horizontally sliding penguin on his way to collide with the mystery tree.
Mincepies have been made in quantity along with mulled wine by younger son. Black dog and yellow dog have behaved pretty well and two year grandson has contributed by running around, laughing a lot and crying "Wassat?" Daughter in law's contributions to the festive scene are hanging from the hooks in the beams where they used to cure the hams, and her Christmas dog is on the tree.
And now we have reached that bit of Christmas Eve when there is nothing more to be done. Nothing else to be made or bought, only the big meal to come tomorrow.
So I am off for a glass of wine and a look at how my baked ham is coming along and to enjoy the company of my family. I wish you all a very happy Christmas, wherever you are and however you are celebrating.