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.
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.