First Callum and Declan make it outside, ready for battle. They lie in ambush, and then surprise the adults with a flurry of snowballs.

We walk along a snow covered path, with high piles of snow bracketing us. Callum and Declan choose the high ground, ready for some more adult targeting, but instead sink to their hips in the deep snow.

Then, as we get to the side of the icy stream, the battle becomes serious. Callum invents a new form of attack, the blizzard ball. Declan starts targeting the small gap underneath his enemy’s scarf. Uncle Bob can’t quite decide whether to ambush his sister, or assist his nephews in ganging up on Evan.

The stream in the snow flurries

Callum tries out his strategy for avoiding snowball attack – a quick roll in the deep snow by the path – with limited success but great enjoyment.

The battle rages along the path, with pauses for exchanges of “Gruss Gott” with innocent bystanders, until the snowfall becomes heavy enough that we turn back for home.

And after great stamping of feet and shrugging off garments, we sit down to devour the Christmas marzipan and chocolate that are still left after our lunchtime feast.