3:20pm: Put kids in the car to drive to pick husband up from work.
4:15pm: Husband late getting out of work. Kids starting to lose it. Mother of said children beginning to lose it also while waiting in car with losing-it children.
4:19pm: Husband in the car. Kids hysterical, but at least laughing not crying. Decide on the way home to buy takeaway for early dinner and put up Christmas tree with mr2yo and miss4yo when we get home. All imagine a magical Christmassy time.
5pm: Home. All fed and watered, mother and father start hunt for Christmas tree and decorations. Find one box of decorations/lights/tinsel which small children attack immediately amidst much voice-raising from mother of said small children. Play Mariah Carey's 'All I Want For Christmas Is You' and do some crazy dancing with enthusiastic small children.
5:10pm: Mother and father of the household realise that the reason that they cannot find the actual tree may be that they threw it out after last Christmas. Cannot clearly recollect this happening but believe this is probably so.
5:15pm: All family members back in the car. Off to a local shopping centre to buy a new tree. Small children on and off the shoulders of parental units, mr2yo mostly deciding he would rather run away giggling. More voice-raising.
5:20pm: Decide that at least 3 family members need new sunhats. Try to convince mr2yo that the full-brimmed plain sunhat is just as cool as the Thomas peaked cap he wants. Successful distraction technique employed.
5:30pm: Tree picked after much discussion, all back in the car to come home
6:00pm: Home. Small children very excited about putting up the tree. Parental energy levels waning.
6:10pm: Male of the house realizes how intricate/annoying multi-level 'hook construction' is when having mr2yo 'help'.
6:15pm: mr2yo and mother of the house sit down together to watch Wiggly Wiggly Christmas (a current favourite) while miss4yo and father build the tree.
6:25pm: Tree built. Play Celine Dion's version of 'O Holy Night' and begin to place lights on the tree. Small children beginning to lose it again; lounge-jumping and tinsel-tug-of-war attracting more voice-raising from the mother of the house.
6:30pm: Realise that set #1 of Christmas lights do not work. Place set #2 of lights onto the tree and realize that they are too small for the big tree we just bought.
6:35pm: Decide to forgo Christmas tree decorating for today. Kids go to bed. Mother of the house exhausted.
8:30pm: Kids still awake. Have removed their pajamas and mr2yo also nappy-less. Father of the house decides we should all go for a walk down the road to see a house with amazing Christmas lights.
8:35pm: Kids dressed in pjs, family of 4 walk outside on a beautiful summer night, talk to the sleepy mr2yo and miss4yo, see the Christmas lights, come home, kids to bed.
8:40pm: Cold Cider for mother, beer for father.
It's starting to feel like Christmas.