For my daughter, it's the first year that she understands the concept of Father Christmas. Sophia's counting down the days using her very cool re-usable advent calendar (see photo) and getting excited about the prospect of presents (as long as she's been a good girl of course).
For my son, it'll be his very first Christmas (not that he even really understands anything about it). It's so hard to believe that Dexter wasn't in our lives one year ago.
For myself and my husband, we're looking forward to seeing in our first Christmas as a family of four. But there is something more. We're particularly looking forward to marking the occasion in sumptuous surroundings. You see, our house has needed modernising on a scale never normally seen by man but, this year, the ground floor renovations have at last been completed.
I can't tell you how happy this makes me.
We moved into our house a couple of years ago. We were well aware it would be the mother of all renovation projects; the ground floor needed an overhaul, the first floor needed extending, a general, two-storey extension needed to be built across the back of the house, the driveway and garden needed landscaping, the exterior fascia of the house needed updating, and it was desperately crying out for new external doors.
Oh yes, and we would have to live amongst all the rubble and havoc while the work was being carried out.
The renovations on the ground floor started around 18 months ago. Walls were knocked down, new walls went up (not in the same places though, that would have been totally stupid), the electrics were updated, a new heating system was installed, new flooring went down, all rooms were re-decorated. I won't bore you with all the details. They say a picture paints a thousand words so I'll let these photographs explain what we had to live through...
Hopefully now you can understand our relief that this mess is no more! Yes, it's been a lot of hard work and our bank balance has nigh on disappeared, but it's definitely been worth it.
And the one thing I'm most looking forward to about Christmas? Cooking the dinner and enjoying it my new dining room. Sad but true!
What are you looking forward to most about Christmas?
Post update (24/12/11): I've added this post to The Boy and Me's Christmas Show-off Showcase. To read other, festive blog posts, just click on the badge...