I'm always slow at starting the build up to Christmas. I don't stock up on presents in the January sales, or buy cards the minute they hit the shops in September. I like to ease myself into it all - and this year, as usual, the first step is a visit to Chatsworth House for its wonderful seasonal decorations.
This year the theme is The Nutcracker - with plenty of opportunities for snowy outdoors scenes and snug interiors, toys from Herr Drosselmeyer's workshop, backstage ballet settings and sugar plums.
Of course, there are Christmas trees - real pine ones, decorated with sparkling baubles. wooden toys or traditional sweets, and two unusual trees made of ballet shoes and tutus.
Flower fairies dance on the tree, while a real live ballerina performs
I loved these twirling snowflakes hanging in the chapel - and even wondered if I could try a smaller-scale display at home
and this dancing fairy who looks like she may have eaten too many sugar plums
A Sugar Plum Fairy could only live in The Land of Sweets!
There's a castle on the hill, houses and candy trees ....
....and even a train made of sweets!