This year I don't have an Advent Calendar. I almost bought myself a Darth Vader one from Tesco but I've been reliably informed that the chocolate inside is disappointing, and so I held off. Also, my family Christmases are always slightly Danish-flavoured (my mum's family is Danish) and we have special fabric Advent Calendars, which frankly make your puny English cardboard ones a bit of a let down. We haven't put the fabric ones up this year because of some nonsense about us being "too old" so I've been left calendarless. I know. It's a travesty.
Despite this, I am feeling the Christmas spirit, and I've even done the bulk of my Christmas shopping which I'm pretty smug about. I'm always happy for an excuse to decorate, so I bought myself a little Christmas tree with battery-powered lights (from Lidl, around £6) and it's on my desk with all my other odd ornaments.
In the run-up to Christmas there can be some fraught moments. Family and friendship dynamics can get, shall we say, interesting this time of year, and coordinating plans to make everyone happy can seem impossible. My dad will be in Afghanistan for Christmas for the second year in a row, and the older of my two brothers will be with his girlfriend's family, so it'll just be me, my mum and my youngest brother. Last year we ate leftovers and watched Coyote Ugly. Very seasonal.
There are lots of material things I'd like for Christmas (I've dropped some VERY heavy hints about a marine-themed colouring book, so I may end up with six of them) but I will write another post about that in due course. These are the more abstract things I'd like this year:
1) No fisticuffs at family gatherings.
2) Minimal Yuletide bloating (sprouts are the enemy).
3) A decent ending to Downton Abbey. If Edith doesn't get a happily-ever-after I'll commit acts of unspeakable violence. Speaking of which...
4) World peace. Or, at the very least, a stop to the senseless air strikes on Syria and for all members of ISIS/ISIL/Daesh to dissolve. Literally. Into hateful little puddles.
5) The Force Awakens being a complete gem of a film that reinvigorates the franchise without causing any damage to the legacy of the originals.
6) Lots of bookings for my band so we can share Trash Panda goodness with everyone.
7) A staff Christmas party where I don't tell a coworker that I'm in love with them, drunkly weep into my whiskey and tell my department head "there's always one crying girl at the party... and this time it's me..." Not that I've ever done that (I have).
8) My pets to have a comfortable winter, especially my bunnies and my elderly dog.
9) To see as many of my friends as possible, despite them all being dispersed about the globe.
10) To see more smiles than any other facial expression.
What are your non-material Christmas wishes for 2015? Let me know in the comments!