...and the preparations are just about done. Susan's away to visit her mother in the care centre. Tragically, Audrey's just not fit to come home for Christmas dinner this year, and it's the end of an era.
Scott was just here with a card and tremendous news from the Sullom Voe oil terminal, just down the road - a massive renovation and reconstruction programme starting in the summer, and another 20 years of operation. It means that there will be a great deal of secure employment in this part of Shetland for the foreseeable future. And I'm not going to get into the ethical and environmental issues inherent in having Europe's biggest oil terminal on the doorstep. Hey, it's Christmas! And with the sea just 20 feet from our front door (one foot above sea level) we're at the cutting edge of global warming in the Neck of the Bog. We can always move upstairs.
To the Radiocroft under cover of twilight to pick up Martha's drumkit and a large-print Bible so I can read one of the lessons at tonight's Watchnight service in the kirk...that will be weird. I haven't read the Bible in public since my days as a practising rock'n'roll evangelist. As for the large print...can't be arsed with wearing glasses. Vanity, saith the preacher, all is vanity.
And so things wind down towards tomorrow's splurge of giving, receiving, eating and drinking. We're going out to a neighbour's hoose for some pre-kirk canapes, then, after midnight, with the bairns in bed, Santa will arrive. The youngest child in this house is a cynical 12, but still there will be mince pies and whisky laid out for Saint Nick, and a carrot for Rudolph. By tomorrow morning, all that will be left is half a carrot, marked with clear signs of reindeer-gnawing.
May you and yours have a happy time. Merry Christmas.