This is our third Christmas overseas, but oddly it's only the first time we've spent Christmas in London. In 2005 we were in Prague (snowy white Christmas!); last year we were in Dubai (sunny, 80 degrees Fahrenheit). Typical London, we awoke today to find Santa had left us a rainy and chilly Christmas morning.
It's Christmastime in the City. London, like most cities in Europe, completely shuts down for Christmas. With the exception of a few neighborhood "newsagents" (mom & pop convenience stores), everything is closed today. The London Underground and buses and even the nationwide railroad trains are not running either, which is quite odd considering most of the 7 million people in London -- ourselves included -- do NOT own cars. So if you want to get around, you're forced to shell out big pounds for a taxi.
With everything closed, it's brought a rare quiet calm to the city. There's not much to do other than spend time at home with family and friends. Our pal, Miss SanFran, spent Christmas Eve over at our house so she wouldn't have to take a taxi today. We spent the day watching cheezy Christmas movies like Scrooged and playing reindeer games (Jenga, Scattegories, etc) in front of the fireplace...okay actually it's a DVD of a fireplace! We're also cooking our first turkey ever, from a Jamie Oliver recipe along with enough food to feed a small army. Woo hoo!