I've got to admit that this year I'm back to looking forward to Christmas. Last Christmas was a strange one. I was called to Jury Service two weeks before and in all honesty, it cast a long shadow over the lead up to Christmas, as I was preoccupied about how it would go.
As it turned out, I only attended for 4 days instead of the required two weeks, as very few cases went ahead and I never actually got sworn in. It was, however, an interesting 4 days, in which I did a lot of reading and got an insight into how the crown court and jury service system works.
I have to admit that I was secretly very pleased not to have to sit on a jury and make a judgement in the week before Christmas. I realise it's a civic duty and all, but it wasn't one I was looking forward to, mainly because of it's timing. It was a great relief when we were discharged from jury duty and allowed to get back to our normal lives.
This Christmas will be very different, thankfully and I'm already starting to allow myself to get a little excited about it. For the first time, we're hopefully renting a cottage in Yorkshire, not too far away from family, so that we can easily visit everyone, but still retain some space of our own. We've wanted to do it for a long time, but always felt obliged to stay with relatives, so it will be quite nice to have a Christmas which is a little more on our terms, whereby people can come to visit us instead of us traipsing around to fit everyone in. (I realise there's no guarantee that they will!)
We're currently in the process of finding somewhere suitable, and it's no mean feat, as most of the best places have been let already. The fact that we'll have the dog with us makes it a little harder, as not all places accept them. Hopefully by the end of today we'll have secured somewhere. It will be interesting to create Christmas somewhere other than our own home.
In other areas, all of a sudden things seem to be getting a bit busy. I've got various appointments to attend in the next couple of weeks, an evening Christmas Event at John Lewis, free tickets to go to the Ideal Home Show at Christmas, and OH has treated us all to tickets for Hairspray the Musical on tour. (We're taking LB, as it will hopefully help her to get into her role of Tracey Turnblad for the school production)
In addition, next weekend we're heading to Dunkirk in France for the day, to do a French Supermarket shop. OH has worked out that he saves the ferry costs buying his coffee alone and as he ran out last week, it's become a matter of urgency.
In the meantime, I'm looking forward to continuing with the Christmas shopping. I quite enjoy buying gifts for others and I am hoping to get most of it done and dusted this month, so I won't have to venture out when it gets super busy in the lead up to Christmas. I don't mind going out and about and soaking up the atmosphere, but having to do the shopping amongst hoards of people, is just too much.
How is your Christmas planning coming along?