I suspect it was a combination of a slightly, er, frustrating and, er, incomplete "session" that morning, which is extremely unusual for Mr. Spouse - we suspect the blood pressure tablets the doctor thinks he needs despite having never measured even mildly hypertensive before - a very ambiguous email exchange and some ill-advised forum reading re. adoption, and the prospect of singing round the
One hopes we have that out of the way for the year, but chances are slim, especially as there is a Christmas pageant scheduled for church next weekend. That would be the church that is doing full on Advent at the moment, not Christmas. Oh well.
Interestingly one of the ill-advised adoption message boards has a lot of parents with children who, either because of prior awful Christmases (presents taken away as punishment, or sold) or hopes dashed recently (birth parents whose lives are not together enough to contact them or buy presents, or who buy unsuitable ones), or because of special needs (too much unpredictability, too many bright lights, too many people), really don't do well in the "run-up to Christmas". Melt-downs, tantrums, and occasional tactical withdrawals from school, events, and parties seem common.
Although I love Christmas, I really appreciate the space that Advent gives me to prepare not just presents and cards, but myself. We don't put up decorations (we have an Advent wreath, and we put out any cards we get) and I tend not to listen to carols (at least not voluntarily). If I'm in a carol concert I try to be in one that is very close to Christmas, and then decorate after that, or bring in the tree and have it bare till Christmas Eve. Mr. Spouse also doesn't particularly go overboard at Christmas, though he is from a working-class and non-conformist background and apparently this means he can put up his tacky Christmas tree on the 1st of December.
I guess we'll be reasonably well-placed to handle children who also don't do well around Christmas, and fuss; we would love to have children around at Christmas but that doesn't mean we have to do loads of extra stuff "for the children".
*I have no objection to wishing people happy holidays, happy Hanukkah, happy New Year instead, or as well, as happy Christmas (note - Merry is what you get after a few glasses, not what Christmas is necessarily. Though it can be) - but it really isn't a tree of another kind. It really is a Christmas tree. And it shouldn't be decorated until Christmas Eve. Bah humbug.