Frosted snow lay all about the garden. "It's coming down again," my dad said, parting the blinds, but it had stopped by the time we'd opened our presents. I got three pairs of socks, a box full of books (literally, given the size and shape of Crystal's Encylopedia of the English Language), bottled beers and a 12-year-old Glenfiddich, two DVDs and a hat which made me look, or so my sister insisted, a bit like this year's X-Factor winner.
My final present came on Boxing Day morning. Australia 98 all out, England 157-0. Merry Christmas indeed.