Most pleased this morning to find Mrs Payne in kitchen as I got up, saying brightly,
"Merry Christmas, Robert!" adding with excitement, "I'm making pancakes!" Sat down at table saying this quite delightful, noting with quiet dismay mess equal to last year's. Queried after some moments, by the by, was it not Christmas tomorrow? At this Mrs Payne chuckled as vigorously stirred pancake batter, gasping as face turned red with the effort,
"You are a fearful idiot, Robert. I opened my last advent calendar window today! Merry Christmas!"
Looked rather closely at kitchen calendar, and making quite certain, showed Mrs Payne the days, explaining carefully as to it being only Monday, was not Christmas until Tuesday. 24th was Christmas eve. At this bound to say Mrs Payne positively furious, exclaimed in annoyance advent calendar certain to have missed a day, was fearful outrage and would complain to the highest ranks of advent calendar company. Was about to query perhaps had made a mistake when Mrs Payne in much annoyance rinsed pancake batter down drain, as I exclaimed in horror, Mrs Payne saying with aggravation,
"No pancakes until Christmas!"
Bound to say had fearful morning cleaning up kitchen, with not a single pancake to show for it. Mrs Payne terribly grumpy throughout, reiterating the outrage of her faulty calendar upon numerous occasions. Other half suggested mid-afternoon could perhaps have drop of sherry for Christmas spirit. Said I thought this a terribly wise idea, and Mrs Payne also brightened up at suggestion. Most dismayed as opened drinks cabinet to find barely a drop remaining. At this Mrs Payne queried innocently, by the by, did we need to buy some more sherry?
Other half smiled rather at this, said perhaps mother would like to inspect particular present under tree. With some complaint and oofing Mrs Payne kneeled in front of tree, other half terribly shocked as Mrs Payne shook the present viciously, saying with delight,
"I wonder what it is!" Other half said knowingly, perhaps we might open it now? Mrs Payne altogether taken back by this, as if daughter has suggested theft of Crown Jewels. After some reticent minutes the present was opened, revealed a beautifully boxed bottle of sherry. Carefully removing the bottle from the box, all positively delighted with such a fine item. Mrs Payne put the bottle aside as carefully wrapped paper around the box as neatly as possible, saying as if a guilty child,
"Do you think Father Christmas will know?"