Right. It's Top Tip Time.
Here's the first; if you have a small child about you and want to get completely, utterly and totally into the Christmas spirit, wait until they're at school / asleep / on a visit to loving grandparents and wrecking their tree rather than your own, and visit this post at Sticky Fingers. Then follow the links to create a real live video message from Santa Claus to your tiny tot, to show them at some suitably festive moment. It works, I promise. Hell, it had me believing in him (and even tearing up, if I'm honest) and I was the one who typed in the information to create it.
And here's the second tip. Are you super savvy when it comes to caring for your home and running your family? I bet you are. I bet you have loads of money saving tips to pass on and share. My top tip, which I've written about before, is to make a meal plan and a list before I go to the supermarket. Oh, and not to take the Boys down the cereal aisle where they can get seduced by the free toys. I know - I'm a horrible, controlling mother. Especially since designing, manufacturing and distributing those very same toys was the best job I ever had...
Other than Motherhood, obviously. (Cue sickly sweet smile as I pick leek and potato soup off my cardigan).
Still, if you're not feeling particularly super or savvy this cold December day, there's always the supersavvyme website for back-up. In the interests of full disclosure, they hosted a fantastic blogger's meet-up for the British Mummy Bloggers at London Zoo on Sunday, not only providing yummy sandwiches and somewhere to shelter from the freezing wet weather, but giving us the rare and very welcome chance to chat face to face, which is why they're top of mind for me right now. Check out A Modern Mother's blog for photographic evidence of the event and proof that we do, indeed, exist in the flesh...
Right now though, there is one area of my life which I'm not feeling either super or savvy about. No top tips here - just a sad tale of bad management on my part.
Not long ago I wrote about my inability to deal with 'the cleaner'. Reading it back, I decided enough was enough, I was paying her good money - more in fact than the our previous, better cleaner - and the next week (when she grudgingly turned up on time and as agreed) I spoke to her about understanding that she had been ill but that I needed to be able to rely on her. I explained that since we were moving soon and would be showing the flat to potential tenants, it was important the place was kept reasonably clean and that obviously she could help me with that.
You would think that would be the end of the matter, right? That she would either accept those terms or say 'thanks, but I don't think it's working out, you need to find yourself someone else'?
Since then, she has been when she said she would, that's true. She has done a just about OK job, also true. Not a great job, as I still find cobwebs and dust in blindingly obvious places, but I can live with that.
What I hadn't reckoned on, however, was that in retaliation for the unwelcome news that she was expected to start earning her wage, she would start helping herself to my toiletries.
Time for a new cleaner, I think.