School uniform on the bedroom floor. Scattered. It's only 4pm. Perhaps Small Sprog has been abducted by aliens? Perhaps he has not drunk enough at school and has turned to dust in an instant? But no, what's that I hear? My boy SHOUTING on Skype. Honestly he really doesn't need an internet connection, they could hear him in outer space with the amount of racket he makes on there.
I dutifully tidy his clothes and go downstairs. 'Why are you in your pyjamas already?' I mouth to him in case we are overheard by his gang of virtual friends.
'I feel Christmassy' he replies in a stage whisper.
This makes me smile. 'Me too' I say, though I have no idea why wearing your PJs as soon as you get home from school should make you feel Christmassy, he has never done this before!
However I know what he means. Little bits of Christmas have started to creep into the house. The advent calendar, which was sewn for me as a child, has been found - quite easily this year, which was surprising as last year Christmas was over by the time I had located it's whereabouts! The Christmas tea cosy has made an appearance and the Christmas mugs are out and about too. And then there's the abundance of mulled wine to be consumed and the festive candle that is alight most evenings (but that has more to do with masking the smell of a 17.5 year old cat and his 'habits'!) Internet shopping has been undertaken and I am getting into the spirit of things. It's all quite exciting really!
This week I am on a new regime of making a massive effort to be more relaxed, I think it's working? The Nytol helps and the breathing exercises too. We have had TV dinners in front of films for 3 nights in a row now and that definitely takes my mind off things! There's nothing better than 'slobbing' about with my lovely children to help me relax and we do it so rarely - it really is a treat.
So forgive me if Christmas is coming a bit too early in suburbia? I know some of you will think it's too soon, but it's something to aim for, prepare for and enjoy - it diverts my anxiousness into excitement, which, when I think about it, can feel quite similar! However, I must admit that, unlike Small Sprog, I don't actually need to wear my pyjamas to get in to the spirit!
What makes you feel festive?