However you celebrate this time of year, I wish you lots of joy and special time with the people you love.
My girl and I have been over-indulging in Christmas movies and looking at houses with lots of twinkly lights. We've enjoyed hearing carols and ... well, SHE enjoyed the buzz in the city centre (I wanted to run, screaming towards the train home)... She particularly liked that I let her have chocolate pancakes for lunch at The Pancake Parlour (highlight of the year!). And since we set up our portable swimming pool, we've had an endless stream of friends for play-dates and outdoor dinners.
Basically, we've been hanging out, enjoying the Summer holidays and the magic that Christmas inspires in a sweet 10-year-old's imagination.
I have been feeling grateful for a year that has brought lots of opportunities and (for the first time in ages) no major upheaval. I have been grateful for health and a roof over my head, and for the peace that we enjoy in this country. I have been grateful for good friends, family and being able to make a living from the work I love doing.
I have been grateful for cheap Korean restaurants on end-of-year school nights when I can't be bothered cooking dinner (we did this twice).
We are very lucky people, indeed.
Holiday activities have also included the transfer of a board game she drew in pencil into a fully packaged, laser-printed affair. I'm very impressed with the clear instructions and the level of complexity she developed in the game. All done without a scrap of help from me.
You might have noticed that I've dropped the diminutive "een" from the end of my "girl". In the last wee while, she appears to have grown nearly as tall as I am (which isn't actually that tall) and on that train trip to the city the other day, I realised that her (kids size) boots are the same size as (adult size) mine.
And so, the summer holidays stretch before us. I will have a kid-free week in which to catch up on some book-writing, and then it'll be back to juggling work around holiday fun.
We will probably have more dinners on the trampoline.
Wishing you all the best for the happiest of days over the holiday period and a wonderful 2016.