I cast off my habitual state or morning grumpiness and headed to the tree swallowing raw coffee grounds for sustenance.
Christmas is a strange time because it can make you feel very old but nostalgic at the same time. We all remember that one Christmas which was a perfect distillation of the joys of existence. For me, it was the time we woke up at 5 a.m. and opened presents in the dark. I received a book about Scottish ghosts and read it to my sister in the early hours.
Then there's that time when you realize the magic had gone. I recall a time a year or so after receiving the book of ghost stories when I was in the middle of opening my presents and suddenly the crass hollowness of it all gripped me. I was too old for Christmas.
The great thing about having kids is that you can relive it all through them. Giving feels a lot better than receiving and it's often the cheap, quirky toys that fascinate them more than the big, expensive gifts.
Christmas, when you think about it, is ridiculous on so many levels. You drag a tree into your house, shove glass balls on it and open presents under it. You eat certain foods for obscure reasons. Which is why this year, I will mostly be making Marmite smeared tofu. The kids just don't realize it yet.
Christmas makes me feel old but I'm also grateful to be able to do this with my kids. I never take it for granted. I'm also grateful to the special person who lent me her stockings last night, as well as supplying additional presents, or I would have been shoving everything in Aldi bags.
Best Christmas song ever - sadly both gone...
These small and insignificant rituals are meaningful because they shield us from the world outside. As we opened presents, bodies were being picked up from a plane crash in the Black Sea. Just days earlier, a truck was driven into a Christmas market in Berlin.
The world is being run by mad men and our generation is disappearing at an alarming rate. The world without David Bowie and Prince is a flatter place. Carrie Fisher still hangs on.
My stats tell me that few people read this blog anymore. At times I consider taking it off life support. But it's a very insignificant thing compared to everything else. In a world of memes, tweets and short concentrate spans, it can be good to take a little more time to write. Shut off your smartphone, encourage your kids to do the same and take the time to find out who they are. I might even take this advice one day.