Christmas Eve

I had some apprehension about Christmas Eve because I could already tell from the way I had been feeling about Christmas up to that point, that it wasn’t going to feel like Christmas Eve back home.  We have spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with our families every year of our lives. (With the exception of Richard’s years on his mission.)  I have never not seen my mom and dad on Christmas Day, and there are many traditions that we’ve done with our parents and siblings over the years.  I knew this year that it was going to feel different, and that was sad.  

But it was also exciting.  Richard and I were both excited to spend the holiday with our kids, un-obliged and uncommitted. So we made a simple plan for Christmas Eve and then decided to just let Christmas Day be what it may.  

Interestingly I found myself at a shopping centre on Christmas Eve morning, trying to buy snow pants for our trip to Switzerland.  (But I quickly learned that you don’t call them snow pants here.  Pants are underwear, and what in the world would snow undearwear be for?)

In the afternoon we took the kids to see the Paddington Movie.  It was much anticipated, we had been talking about it for awhile, and the kids loved it.  It was full of slap-stick comedy, which kids just eat up, but it also had clever lines and fun characters.  (Hugh Bonneville and Nicole Kidman…)  

I really wanted to have a nice dinner on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, but it didn’t make much sense to do it on Christmas Day and leave a bunch of leftovers in the fridge while we were on holiday.  I also didn’t feel like slaving away in the kitchen all day on Christmas just for the six of us.  Nor did I want to spend Christmas Eve cooking.  So we went with the suggestion of a friend, and took the kids to a carvery, and it was fabulous.  All the comfort foods of a festive holiday meal, without the trouble.  We went early enough that it wasn’t busy and it was simple and not too expensive. 


Cameron and his massive Yorkshire pudding.


Puddings as big as your face!


Eli in a gravy coma.


I’m not sure…


Ice cream for dessert.


Bottomless custard jug. Oh heavens.

A carvery is a restaurant that works buffet style, but with much better quality of meat and veg than you would find at a buffet in the states. The food was delicious and the dessert options were over the moon.  I was really disappointed to find out that the kid’s ice cream was included in their meal price, because I had wanted to order six different desserts for my own selfish benefit. 

We went home from the carvery and changed our clothes for a Christmas Carol service at our church that evening.  Cameron had a speaking part, and they had asked our family to sing Away in A Manger.  The service was less than an hour, and then we had mince pies and fizzy drinks afterward, exchanging Christmas greetings with our London family.  

We went home and did a couple family things, including pajamas, and then crashed in bed.  The kids were so tired I don’t think any of them had any trouble falling asleep.  

It was really the most chill Christmas Eve we’ve had in a long time, but just busy enough to not feel too painfully homesick. 

Merry Christmas!

2 thoughts on “Christmas Eve

  1. Whoa! Those are the biggest Yorkshire puddings I have ever seen! As Alistair’s from Canada, we ALWAYS have roast beef and Yorkshire pudding on Christmas Eve. One of my favorite meals, and Alistair makes it all by himself. His Yorkshire pudding is soooo good.


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