While most of us celebrate Christmas in the arms of our families, construction worker Michael Brown is hoping to be completely alone - at the top of one of the world's highest mountains.
Standing 4,478 metres high, the Matterhorn was one of the last peaks be conquered by early mountineers and, over the years, it has claimed hundreds of lives.
But Mr Brown will be completely solo when he makes his assault, and - because of the time of year - will probably be the only person on the Alpine peak.
Mr Brown has been preparing for his festive attempt on the mountain meticulously - although in less than scenic settings.
Last week, the 42 year old tested his metal on the side of a 30-metre high crane, at the apartment block in the Arcadian Centre where he is currently working in Birmingham city centre.
He set off for Switzerland yesterday to begin a final two-week acclimatisation period in advance of his climb.
Mr Brown is planning to scale the peak as part of a five-day expedition to raise money for children's charity, the NSPCC. He aims to conquer the summit of the mountain on Christmas Day and plant the charity's flag on top of it.
His expedition will be completely solo, and he is having to travel with extra equipment and supplies in case he runs into difficulties.
"It is probable I will be the only man on the mountain and if an emergency arises it will be unlikely that rescue will be possible until a suitable weather window arrives," he said. "The ultimate goal of topping out on Christmas Day will depend on the weather, although topping out a few days either side should not be taken as failure.
"The round trip to the summit should take at best five days, but I am allowing provision for a further five days supply in case of bad weather.
He added: "Navigation will be with a map and compass backed up with a personal global positioning system, along with a scanner and ultra high frequency transmitters, which will allow me to retrace my route even in a white-out."
Mr Crown, who climbed the Eiger eight years ago, has been training in the Malvern Hills, Snowdonia and the Lake District, and has also been indoor-climbing in Birmingham twice a week with the Mercian Mountaineering Club.
He is carrying a tent, a stove, climbing equipment, food, clothes and a satellite phone with him on every day of his expedition and using his Land Rover as a base camp.
In the weeks leading up to Christmas Day he will be attempting other 4,000metre peaks nearby which are less challenging.
"They will allow me to acclimatize and condition my physical and mental abilities. I will be sleeping in snow holes, snow-shoe walking, ice climbing and practising my fall and arrest techniques," he said.
Mr Brown will follow the Hornlii Ridge route, first climbing to the Hornlii Hut at 3260m at the base of the main ridge. The next day, early in the morning, he will scale the final 500m slab to the summit.
He is also planning to produce a video diary of the entire expedition and do a TV link on Christmas Day if he realises his ambition.
Last night he appealed for sponsors to support him in his mission.
"Please support me in raising as much money as possible for the good and welfare of children," he said.
* Mr Brown can be sponsored at www.justgiving.com/Matterhorn