Most Christmassy experience
Going to a pantomime. It was great! Wonderful acrobats, pirates running around the aisles squirting you with water, Peter Pan flying through the air, and the emotional experience of seeing my friends' son as Lost Boy 1. I managed to put aside my normal inhibitions and was cheering and booing - it's surprisingly easy to get involved when you have an adorable five-year-old next to you who's totally enraptured by it.
Best bit of Christmas
Minutes after arriving at J's parents' house, I was perched at the top of the stairs, and his mum was sitting halfway up the stairs, and we chatted for ages and ages over a gin and tonic. It was so relaxed and comfortable, and I felt instantly welcome. I'm incredibly lucky that J's parents are so friendly and easy to get on with.
Worst bit of Christmas
An unfortunate effect of the pantomime was that it re-ignited my desire to be a mum. I made a jokey remark to J, but his reaction scared me, which led us on to talking about the subject. And the outcome isn't good: it seems that, despite what he said earlier this year, he doesn't know if he wants children and in fact thinks he probably doesn't want them. I'll leave out the details of the conversation, but it made for a tense couple of days, leading to a very stressful Christmas morning, when my insecurity was the worst it's been for ages. I was crying in bed, convinced J was just waiting until after Christmas to dump me. The stress was made worse because (a) the pressure to get up and be all happy with his family, (b) the guilt that I felt about ruining J's Christmas, and (c) I was convinced that the more upset I got, the more likely he was to dump me - yes, another of those vicious circles.
On the positive side, we managed not to fall out, and I got myself together so completely that Christmas Day turned out to be really good; relationship and baby worries were pushed so far away that they didn't feature at all. But of course, the topic will have to be revisited on another occasion, which I am not looking forward to.
Biggest surprise of Christmas
Christabel. I was very wary of taking her - a virtually deaf and blind and partially incontinent cat - away for Christmas, scared that the change of scene and the car journey (which she hates) might tip her over the edge. I'd made all the preparations I could, and I'd carefully arranged for her to be kept in one room in J's parents' house, as advised. But I should have known better ... Christabel was having none of it. Within seconds, she was walking from her allocated room into the hallway. And within minutes, to my huge surprise, she was marching up the stairs! I couldn't believe my eyes. How can a blind cat do that? She proceeded to have a great Christmas - she paced around in front of the oven while the turkey was cooking, and sat at the table with us to eat her portion. On Boxing Day she dined on prawns and smoked salmon. And she spent most of the final day at J's parents' house marching around the large garden, while I stood on the sidelines, bored and shivering, but so happy to see her full of life again.
Biggest laugh of Christmas
I shouldn't say this, but ... Christabel falling into the swimming pool in J's parents' garden. I was horrified at the time, but, looking back, I have to admit the situation does have a comic element.
Most nerve-racking bit of Christmas
Introducing J to my parents for the first time. We went round on Thursday evening and had dinner with them. I know J was very nervous, but he did brilliantly - I felt so proud of him.
A great Christmas, filled with lovely food and drink, good company, and lots of relaxing. We played Question of Sport (I was rubbish) and an 80s music trivia game, and we watched Planes Trains and Automobiles. J and I went for a brief walk in the Peak District, and then to Ashbourne for some last-minute Christmas shopping and a drink in a cosy and friendly pub. And I spent seven days and nights with J in a row, during which (apart from the matter referred to above) we got on great. Oh, I wish it could be Christmas every day...