So what was really special about this Christmas? I have tried, here, to sum them up.
Creeping into my girls' bedrooms to place their stockings at the end of their beds and giggling when the floorboard went. Our wonderful Christmas Eve meal where we laughed with joy at the sheer anticipation of the night and day ahead. The new tradition we established this year of buying each other Secret Santa presents worth a maximum of £3.00 each and laughing at the silliness of them all.
The pound of excited feet up the stairs at 9.01am as they realised those lumps on their feet were stockings filled with exciting packages. The hug of one of my 12 year olds as she wanted to thank 'Santa' for the best presents ever. The most annoying present ever of a voice changer which Twin 2 insisted on saying absolutely everything through for two whole days. The different ways we tried to hide it through those two days.
The first time for a long time that a boyfriend has been there for Christmas and the warmth that he spread in our family.
The care and effort my brother and sister in law went to to make our Christmas as lavish and as generous as they could despite having three young children. The tears my mother had as she opened photographs of a special family session done at the beginning of December. The poignancy of recording everything I could as we just don't know what next year holds.
The sheer joy and love spread around the table.