Wrapping has been shredded, bellies have been filled, New Years have been ushered in, and tinsel has been packed away.
Welcome to 2015, pull up a chair and enjoy the view.
I had three whole weeks off work to enjoy with the family, and we managed to fill it with a ton o’ fun: We went away to the Waitomo Caves and Rotorua, saw bike racing, went on street luges, crawled round vineyards, explored museums, wowed at drag cars, and soaked up rays on the beach.
We did just enough to feel worn out by last weekend.
For all of that adventuring there was only one member of the family who pushed herself to new limits; and made her father and I do a little dance over the day we never thought would come.
Esme decided to give away her dummy.
What prompted her to decide that Santa should be the one to take her dummy I will never know.
I think buried somewhere in the workings of her young mind was a thought that started with the concept of December being a time of generosity and ended with thoughts of how grown up she has become.
And she has, frighteningly so, in just the few short months that she has been at kindy. She has a friend, who she idolises and who is six months and a whole heap o’ glitter more mature than she.
Whatever the reason we went with her plan: Her dummy, her mouth, after all.
Come Christmas Eve we wrote out the note and included it with the rest of Santa’s snacks, her dummy placed in the centre of the plate like some lopsided crowning glory.
Then, without a backward glance, she ran down the hallway and into bed.
Ten minutes later, the quiet grumbles of discontent had escalated to a full blown wail of despair as Esme realised the true implications of her decision.
Regret is a terrible thing, but knowing this was about being over tired we held out on her; and 30 minutes later, she let Keith cuddle her to sleep with only a few small flesh wounds to show for it.
We didn't have the heart to throw the dummy in the bin, so it currently resides on the top shelf of the top cupboard in the kitchen.
Just don’t tell my daughter.