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The year before last when it got to November 30th I didn’t have an advent calendar. I remember putting Sam in his buggy and wheeling down to the bookshop and waiting for it to open at 11am (it was Sunday) and then buying the last “nice” advent calendar that they had. I wheeled him back via a flat white and a gingerbread man at Pret a Manger feeling like I had really, properly fucking lost it. I love Christmas, and yet December the 1st was, verily, the next day and I hadn’t bought an advent calendar??

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Last year, I managed to buy in good time some extraordinary 3D thing covered in glitter, which Kitty was completely insanely in love with and wouldn’t let me chuck out.

This year, there is going to be a terrible thing with which child gets to open which door – with Sam not quite really grasping yet the thing about taking turns (though he’s getting there). So I have not only bought a massive 3D covered-in-glitter thing for my personal gratification (from Amazon) – I may even open every door myself and not allow a child near it – I have also bought each little weasel its own gaudy Cadbury’s chocolate advent calendar, something that we were never, ever allowed when I was small.

I know that sounds insanely spoiling but my children manage to fight over the most pathetic, tiny, petty things – who gets to turn off the telly at bath time, who’s in the bath first, who gets to fetch the newspaper off the mat, who’s going in the buggy – it’s just endless. One advent calendar between two would mean war. And at this time of peace to all mankind, that would be sad.