Christmas… for both of us our first time away from home at Christmas, and subsequently our first Christmas together. I was expecting it to be hard, perhaps even depressing, but David reasoned early on that we should just have as much fun as possible. After all, you can’t go through life being married and spending every holiday depressed with your spouse, right?
Christmas Eve Day I had to work, but we had a huge appie & dessert buffet in our department, so I mostly ate junkfood all day and then was sent home early by my boss’ boss. Rather than feel stressed over having to cook dinner or do dishes before heading to Mass, we went out for dinner to the Boathouse and filled up on hunter’s chicken and beer/cider. Mass was quiet, as most of the parishioners are out of town, but nice and very not North American, by which I mean that all the hymns were different than the ones we normally sing. After Mass we came home and watched It’s a Wonderful Life, since we’re used to going to a Christmas Eve party and this year had none to attend.
On Christmas Day we had a blast. Thanks to the generosity of certain people we had stocking stuffers and presents like we would’ve had back home. Thanks to my mum sending us a surprise care package, we had surprises on Christmas morning that neither of us knew about. We spent a relaxing morning opening gifts and made a nice Christmas breakfast. We spent the afternoon slowly preparing for Christmas dinner, and then we spent the evening in the company of one of our Irish friends who was in town for the holidays. David roasted a pheasant, I made a ham, and our friend brought over Christmas pudding and mulled wine. The hours passed quickly and it was midnight before we knew it!
I’m used to spending boxing day having a huge family dinner and spending time visiting, but of course that could not be the case this year. So instead we slept in, read for a bit, and eventually wandered downtown where we picked up steak & ale pasties before heading to the theatre to see the new Sherlock Holmes movie. The movies was excellent, and it was fun eaten pasties snuck into the theatre. After the movie hit up an open pub for pints.
Two more days of vacation for me! Today we went to an early Mass and then spent the morning browsing shops along Trinity Street before grabbing lunch and groceries. Tomorrow one of David’s mum’s close friends from Jamaica is coming over for lunch. In preparation for this we’ve procured a fancy looking paté and a wedge of brie which in Canada would easily cost $6, and here cost a mere 99p. Did I mention that cheese is cheap in England? I love this country!
Yes I miss seeing my family, and I could dwell on missing Christmas Eve & Christmas morning at home. To be honest, however, I am just grateful that I have a family worth missing, and that I have a wonderful man who worked so hard to ensure that my first Christmas away from home would be a happy one. If anything, my heart is overflowing with gratitude this year for all the blessings in my life.