What can I say? It was the year of love.
Love that came so suddenly and enveloped our lives.
Love that softened me from all sides.
A ringside view of my husband falling just as instantly in love with our child.
A love that seems to grow with every strengthened muscle, each new expression and each turn of the head.
A love that looks on with wonder at the little feet clambering around, and which swells as a tired head seeks its rest against my chest.
Whatever challenges and sorrows in store ahead, it feels like there was enough love this year to last us a lifetime.
And just like that, the advent time has come to an end. The neighborhood christmas market which has decorated my doorstep for the last 4 weeks closed its shutters for the last time last night and is packing up to leave this morning.
The very last envelope of my advent calendar will be opened.
And the last few Plätzchen will be eaten.
My German friends will decorating Christmas trees and celebrating later today and my family and friends in the UK will be eagerly awaiting Christmas morning. Whatever the differences in customs, a lot will be the same across the Channel. A time to sit back, a time to eat, a time for wintry walks, a time for party hats and silly jokes (in the UK anyway), a time for stories by candlelight, a time for old-fashioned games and above all, a time spent with loved ones.
However you are celebrating, Merry Christmas one and all.