I'm a little sad to have waved goodbye to Christmas 2012. For the very first time, Sophia understood about Father Christmas and was so, so excited.
The countdown to Christmas began on December 1st - the Christmas tree was already up and the re-usable advent calendars (which I love) filled to the brim with little treats.
Every morning, Sophia would rush downstairs to open her calendar, telling me which window needed opening before I even had a chance to open my mouth. I also downloaded a 'Track Santa' app onto the iPad so that Sophia and Dexter could see where Santa was at any point during December and especially on Christmas Eve (something Dexter got to grips with scarily quickly).
Sophia's excitement grew the closer to Christmas Eve it got. Santa even paid us a visit the night before Christmas Eve, double checking his naughty and nice lists I'm sure. Sophia stood outside in the cold, wrapped up warm in her coat and gazing in awe at the jolly fat man in red on his sleigh in front of her.
"Ho, ho, ho. Merry Christmas Santa." Sophia whispered to him almost breathlessly and I felt pride and love swell in my chest, both on an immeasurable scale.
The next evening was the night before Christmas and all through the house not a creature was stirring - except for my daughter who was far too excited about the prospect of Santa visiting. Thankfully, she eventually settled and we were all able to get some sleep so that Santa could get on with his job. Which he did, resulting in two very happy children.
It's been amazing to see my little girl grow up over these last few years but this Christmas has been absolutely magical. Seeing the excitement dance behind her eyes, growing each day the closer to Christmas Day it got, has been so very special. The magic of Christmas has well and truly begun for her and I know that next year, it should be the same for Dexter. And I can't wait.
Long may it continue.