So there was no stress about buying gifts, cleaning the house ready for visitors or getting round the shops before the children broke up for the holidays. I didn't have to cook for extra people and I didn't have to spend three weeks telling myself that it would all be over soon.
We didn't have to haul three boxes of decorations out of the attic and spend two days putting them up. I made a few felt decorations for the 12 euro tree we bought and we filled the gaps with Lidl chocolate decorations, 4 euros worth of baubles from the Chinese shop and pom poms from a craft packet looped through with cotton. Our colourful rugs, cushions and even bunting from the van look festive year-round, so adding them to the sterile white villa added the splash of colour we needed. Total decorating time = 1 hour. Job done.
The pile under the tree on Christmas morning was considerably smaller than it has been in previous years at our house, but I don't think the boys even noticed. I noticed the difference in wrapping though, another bonus!
I didn't spend a fortune on a decent turkey from the butchers, we had a chicken which I spent more time than usual preparing and it was delicious. I even managed to find sprouts to complete the meal. I had a jar of mincemeat which I used to make mince pies and for once my handmade pastry (at home I use a food processor) was perfect.
Through the magic of the internet I watched the Queen and Nathanial and I had our customary post-dinner snooze on the sofa while the boys watched the usual festive televisual fare.
Actually, apart from missing being with a certain few people, Christmas was very relaxing! There was much eating of chocolate and other goodies and not a whole lot else. We enjoyed skypeing everyone on the big day and even did a bit of sunbathing (no sunburn!).
Our usual Boxing Day walk along Bournemouth prom was substituted by a walk along Guardamar beach. It was slightly warmer.
I think I will take many elements of this Christmas forward with me to future celebrations, whether in the van or at home.
As far as New Year goes, we are busy getting ready for the arrival of our older chidren Ethan and Lauren and Steev (Lauren's boyfriend) so all attention is focussed there and I might be the only one of us who realises what day it is.
Happy New Year to you and yours, where ever you are. I hope it's a good one for you. I'll be trying to worry a bit less in 2015.