The tip-toeing of youngsters could be heard before 5 Christmas morning. The discussion regarding a 6 am rise, subsequent feeding of animals, coffees for Mum and Dad, all before present opening at 7 obviously dismissed in the excitement.
The sound of the screen door closing suggesting they may be off to feed the hungry hordes.
Then the distant cry of "Puppies". "Puppies". "Puppies", reached us.
And we too, were bolt upright, scrambling from bed, searching for workboots and racing for the dog cages, pyjama-clad.
To meet Ruby's most precious Christmas gift to us ... six babies ... three males, three females.
Not due until the 29th, we could have saved a pretty penny on Christmas shopping had we known how the timing would unfold.
Children not as keen as would usually be the case to head for town to enjoy Christmas with my family.
Home again now, I'm not expecting to sight children for at least another five weeks.