For a city of at least 12 million, Christmas in London is amazingly still. All public transportation (busses, underground, etc) is completly shut down and even cabs are hard (and expensive) to get as they must be booked weeks in advance. So, unless you have a car (or are willing to walk or ride a bike to your destination), you are basically confined to your immediate area. Many stores and businesses even stayed closed for Boxing Day (the day after Christmas). I love this! It allows you to enjoy the day uninterrupted with friends and family. And this is exactly what we have been doing! After opening gifts (with my new scarf, I might actually look like a Brit) we spent the day relaxing, playing board games, and calling family across the world. We were even able to see my sister in Ecuador via webcam and skype! Quiet holidays are sometimes the best.
On another note, today, I cooked my first turkey. Even though I have been on my own and married for almost 5 years, I have still managed to get away without cooking a full Thanksgiving or Christmas meal. Today that all changed. Due to my Mom's accident (see blog below), I was on my own for Christmas dinner. Thankfully, the number of people was small at 4 and I had some amazing (and handsome) assistants in the form of Jiggy and Dad. Together (with Mom's direction from the couch), we managed to cook a turkey (carefully measured to fit in a very small oven) as well as stuffing, green beans, cranberry sauce, and mashed potatoes all topped with gravy. It was all prepared from scratch and was delicious! I think I could actually do it on my own next year. I have to admit that we cheated on the dessert by opting for a store bought chocolate cake (little steps people). While the cake was scrumptious, it was not a replacement for Mom's homemade apple pie, chocolate pie, coconut cream cake, lemon meringue pie, and chocolate cake (she has a reputation for going overboard on the desserts!). Of course, one of my favorites aspects of Christmas dinner is sitting around in a food coma afterwards and looking forward to leftovers the next day!
To all our friends and family, we hope that you are enjoying a wonderful holiday season! We love and miss you all.