For the first time in my life I've not got an advent calendar. When I was young, I had the traditional picture one, and then I moved onto chocolate (which my parents weren't unduly happy about, and in later years made me feel slightly guilty).
So this year I've decided to do something different - I decided to read a book.
'The Christmas Mystery' by Jostein Gaarder is perfect as a pseudo advent calendar, because it's split up into twenty four chapters, and tells the story of Christmas, albeit from a slightly different angle. I've read it before, but this time, only reading a chapter a night, I've found it more magical and more real. It's definitely a good Christmas read.
Another thing that spells Christmas to me (and I'm wondering how many times I can get that word in this post) is the festive film. There are many different sorts of Christmas film, but to me the best ones are either in black and white, or have a lot of singing in them.
'White Christmas' - the epitome of class and joy. What more could one want than Bing Crosby crooning with Rosemary Clooney and Vera Ellen Dancing with Danny Kaye?
'It's a Wonderful Life' - Man oh man - this film! What good acting can do to change the way we look at things. James Stewart is a wonder!
'In the Good Old Summertime' - er, yes, I know the title seems a little odd, but in actual fact the final part of this is all winter wonderland, and has Judy Garland singing.
'Meet me in St Louis' - Oh Judy, Judy, Judy - singer of the most perfect Christmas ballad ever. You just have to play the first few chords for me to start bawling my eyes out.
'The Lion in Winter' - the PERFECT family movie for the festive period. You think your family has problems at this time of year? Watch this, and be staggered - Henry II had much bigger arguments than anyone else could ever imagine!
'The Muppet Christmas Carol' - 'Oh, there goes Mr Humbug, there goes Mr Grim, if they gave a prize for being mean, the winner would be him' - Muppets, Dickens and Christmas, how fantastic!
There's so many more: 'Little Women', 'Desk Set', 'Home Alone', 'Love Actually', 'Miracle of 34th Street', I could go on and on, but I won't bore you all.
Does anyone else have an absolute must see film for this season? Also, who else has a cold? I'm coughing and sneezing like my life depends on it!