It was my husband’s idea.
He wanted to go and visit the some Christmas markets, ones with something more than a very big sausageinnabun. His industry starts to wind down before Christmas, lots of parties and looser deadlines; mine goes the opposite way. I thought of tired children on the last of their reserves trying to make it through the last week of term. He found a deal on the Eurotunnel with our clubcard points, found a town centre room at Travelodge style place and promised to do the driving. I reluctantly agreed, muttering under my breath and not-so-under-my-breath about to do lists.
And you know what, he was completely right.
Ghent is a beautiful, magical place. Markets, yes. Sausageinnabun, of course. But we also realised that it had been ages since we’d had much time as just the four of us. No chores, no to-do lists, no wifi until bedtime.
We wandered through cobbled streets, went waffle hunting, watched all the twinkly lights reflected in the canals and were forced to eat apple pie with cherry sauce & icecream for breakfast (we’d overslept). We had lunch in a working brewery, complete with a rill through the dining room which the children hopped back and forth over.
We bought candy canes and rode the big wheel by the cathedral. We had brunch, went ice skating and came away only slightly bruised.
I’m still not actually prepared for Christmas in any way, but I am a lot happier about it.