I am sitting alone at home, in my dressing gown, wishing that I had taken more photos, that time had passed more slowly, that I had drank a little more wine and eaten a bit less Christmas pudding. The lack of noise and excitement around me is deafening; being back here feels too normal - it can't be over yet, can it?
What this tells me, though, is that it was wonderful. Every single second. It was very different this year, and somehow I managed to pack everything in and more, maybe just by shifting my traditions a little.
Our Christmas began on Christmas Eve.
A lazy afternoon, watching Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (the original - how amazing is Gene Wilder?!) and eating our year's worth of sweets. Bliss!
Followed by my special spiced winter squash stew, which is becoming a certain tradition of mine.
We then hit the tree for some unwrapping, helped along with sherry and mince pies. I seriously think that Christmas is much better as an adult; sherry might be my favourite drink ever!
We headed to bed pretty early, as we had to be up and full of beans the next morning for a 40 mile cycle in minus temperatures - our no-car commitment really was pushed to the limits!!
We headed back to my parents' house in high spirits; we felt a bit crazy, but what better for Christmas Day than to spend time doing what you love with the people you love? It was tough, and very very cold, but arriving at home to a hot shower, piles of presents and my Mum's amazing Christmas dinner was all the more wonderful for the efforts we made to get there! Christmas Day was spent laughing, eating and sipping champagne. Unlike previous Christmases, the day came to a natural close when no one could keep their eyes open, and I fell into the most satisfied Christmas slumber imaginable, despite the huge cheese-and-biscuit supper that usually leaves me awake for hours!