"Today is a good day. Pay day. Couldn't sleep last night, maybe an hour of two, been up since about three ish. Money was in my account. So I paid all the bills I could. Then I placed a couple orders for Christmas bits. I wasn't able to get everything on my list but enough that Christmas will be nice, including our traditional lindy chocolates lol. Got a food shop in for delivery tomorrow also. And put money on Iceland card for later in the month, for the Christmas food shop. Paid my rent as soon as the phone lines for council housing was open. Got kiddies dressed, hats and masks on (it was freezing this morning, my drink on my bedside table was half frozen! And my chilblains were acting up, part of why I couldn't sleep), to visit corner shop for gas & electric, phone top up and some little treats for them (jelly and sweets), then saw that some of the alcohol I'd been hoping to buy (I don't drink often, can rarely justify the price on my budget, but this year I decided to deserve the seasonal treat) was cheaper than online, so grabbed that also while there, now stored in our 'for Christmas' cupboard (mostly dry goods like crackers, biscuits, Xmas cake, cheap bits one can get bit by bit in advance in there, spread the cost). Plus got the fancy expensive batteries (sodding £4.68! For 4 AA batteries?!? I normally get 12 for £1) but heating is now working again, hippi! On way back from corner shop I chatted with neighbours in garden a bit (one was robbed from the other day, someone stole their medicines of all things! Only, while the unknown person was there stealing they took in a parcel for the neighbour, she's very confused and worried, naturally. So I've agreed to keep an eye out incase anyone attempts a repeat). Even our cat is in fine spirits today. She's not normally all over me, she favours my daughter mostly, but today she was rubbing my ankles and playing with my fingers like she was a kitten again. Super sweet. Only down side of the day is aunt Flow visiting early, which isn't much an issue really as I was able to afford pads this month, just slows me down cos cramps suck. Still, nearly finished cleaning the house. Kids doing their last bits in their room while I wait eagerly with the hoover. Then decorating time! 30th Dec we normally put the bare tree up, make a wish on a magic key for santa to send the elf to come play, set up the window display and then have a takeaway before early bed. Then tomorrow, 1st Dec, I give kiddies new winter clothes (just jumpers, gloves and new trousers this year but that's still nice), we play find the elf (whom I hide with their advent during the night) and then we put up the last of the decorations. So excited. Its rare to feel hopeful, even for just a few hours or days, so I'll savour this feeling while it lasts. I can't make guarantees about the future, I can't promise my children the world, but I can make this Christmas one full of love and laughter. That's what Christmas is, the magic of love. "