Oh, Christmas! Always a lovely, low-key day, and even more so in London where the city really shuts down and I don’t have relatives or friends to visit outside my own home. We let ourselves sleep in until we woke up naturally, and then began opening presents after a quick first-breakfast of English muffins (or, just muffins I guess, since we’re in England).
By the time we had finished opening presents, it was late enough that we skipped second-breakfast and went right to lunch. This consisted of grilled cheese featuring two English cheeses (Hafod, a type of cheddar; and Red Leicester), scallions, tomato soup, and cornichons and cherries on the side. The combination of cheeses had been recommended by the cheesemonger across the way who also sold us the cheese, and it was delicious.
We whiled away the rest of the afternoon in conversation, reading bits of our new books, and snacking on chocolate panettone, chocolate chip cookies, and “Stinking Bishop” cheese with crackers.
Right around sundown we felt the need to stretch our legs with a bit of a walk around the neighborhood. We made our way down to Regents Canal and then back to the flat through the neighborhoods. As we went we peered into as many of the windows as had been left open with lights on — I loved seeing the beautiful rooms and, sometimes, a peek at what Christmas looks like for other people who live here.
After the walk it was time for dinner! We made a proper Christmas feast: Bacon-wrapped turkey, roasted root vegetables, rosemary potatoes, green salad, and bread. For dessert (or “pudding” as the locals would say), we enjoyed fresh raspberries with heavy cream and dark chocolate. Mmmm.
After dinner and the “washing up” (the British term for doing the dishes), we nestled into the living room to call our families, continue our own conversations, and watch a bizarre brass skeleton emerge from the cute holiday deer candle the lady in the shop across the street had given me. Initially alarming, the skeleton became more and more interesting the further the candle melted. And when it was finally all the way down to the ribs and legs, we knew Christmas day was finally over and it was time to go to bed.