Picture the Coffee House. The Little Lattes are playing in an unbearably cute way with two small toys they have brought back from this afternoon's Church Christmas Fair, neither of which are made of garish plastic or make a loud noise when pressed. Mr Coffee is reading a satisfyingly thick literary novel bought for 50p, and I am celebrating spending £1 on tombola tickets and coming back with a good bottle of red wine.
So it seems Christmas has begun. And if today is anything to go by, it promises to be a pared-down, simple, almost candle-lit affair.
But we all know what is around the corner. We have been here before. The box of old toys I silently removed from the toyboxes and secreted down in the basement while the Lattes were out of the house might lull me into a false sense of security. I might be able to believe for a moment that 2009 will be a year where the house is only full of delightful and well-loved toys.
Mr Coffee and I cannot work out how we bought a few fluffy teddy bears, wooden jigsaws, teasets and smiling dolls with woollen hair and ended up in a house full of naked babies, Bratz dolls with no feet, plastic pretzels and things that beep really loudly. What on earth is Santa meant to bring the Little Lattes, who have everything they could ever want in the world already strewn all over the carpet?