One really excellent way to avoid the crass commercialism of the pre-Christmas crush is to go away to the beach for a week, to a really tiny beachside town with only one shop, whose only concession to Christmas is a small cardboard stand of Christmas chocolates, and a solitary Santa hat.
Of course, being Tasmania, it rained every day, and we scurried down to the beach between showers and built sandcastles which were then demolished by giant gale force tidal waves, because on this island, every beachside holiday is an adventure.
I celebrated our third Advent Sunday by smiling in a fixed and demented fashion through hours of enforced card games, jigsaw puzzles, stories and sibling altercations while the rain poured down outside. I hardly had any hysterical mummy-trapped-in-the-house-with-five-other-family-members tantrums at all. Really.
When the rain stopped Rosy and Posy found a bucket of Christmas decorations tucked away in a cupboard, and made a small tree in the back yard very happy indeed.