Events have, as they say, overtaken me over the last week or so, but I am sure that is a state which I share with very many, and be sure that I have been with you in heart if not in virtual reality.
So my last Pause in Advent for Floss has become a pause on the threshold of Christmas. But I have been reading Unplug the Christmas Machine (worth getting for next year if at this point you feel that you are in need of a helping hand and a shoulder to cry on), and thus I am actually feeling quite relaxed about presents unwrapped and shelves undusted.
Anyway it seems to have become one of our family traditions to wrap presents at the last minute on Christmas Eve - somehow it adds to the excitement, and it is the closest I will get to living on the edge.
The Head Chef and Princess Bunchy have taken over the kitchen and I am only required to admire and congratulate - I had hoped to bake some buns, but I know my place, and am happy to bow to greater skill.
So all that remains is for me to wish you all a very merry Christmas and leave you with one of my favourite Christmas poems. Dear old Thomas Hardy - a bit of an Eeyore, perhaps, but his way with words is wonderful, and his vision, though pained, is never less than percipient.
And with that I thank you all for your good counsel over the past months, and for your kind greetings, and in return wish you what you wish for yourselves.
Christmas Eve, and twelve of the clock.
'Now they are all on their knees,'
An elder said as we sat in a flock
By the embers in hearthside ease.
We pictured the meek mild creatures where
They dwelt in their strawy pen,
Nor did it occur to one of us there
To doubt they were kneeling then.
So fair a fancy few would weave
In these years! Yet, I feel,
If someone said on Christmas Eve,
'Come; see the oxen kneel
'In the lonely barton by yonder coomb
Our childhood used to know,'
I should go with him in the gloom,
Hoping it might be so.
Thomas Hardy (1840-1928)