It is a sad thing to say, but we tried to make it a good one! And I believe we have succeeded. We repeated a couple great things from last year such as the Thanksgiving Service at St. Paul’s and the Kid’s Christmas Party at the Ambassador’s residence. They were still great but didn’t seem quite as amazing as last year. Perhaps it was the novelty.

But we also had a lot of firsts. This year our son wrote his first letter to Santa! Okay, he dictated, and I wrote it. But we posted it together in a lovely red British post box. And he even got a response, which will go in the scrapbook, of course.

Some lovely decorations at the Amb's residence.

Some lovely decorations at the Amb’s residence.

Mmm, goodies!

Mmm, goodies!

First letter to Santa!

First letter to Santa!

Santa's response!

Santa’s response!

Some other great firsts were the Christmas Cookie Exchange at the DCM’s residence, which was a lovely way to spend a morning with some wonderful ladies. I don’t really bake/cook because I’m too impatient, so I confess that I bought my cookies. But I was full disclosure, so I feel no real guilt. 😉

On December 16 we went to the Christmas Concert at Westminster Abbey and got to soak in the gothic interior and sit in the same “quire” stalls that Queen Elizabeth walked past when she was corronated…not to mention belting out Christmas carols accompanied by a massive pipe organ.

The DCM's residence in gingerbread. :)

The DCM’s residence in gingerbread. 🙂

Me in front of Westminster Abbey.

Me in front of Westminster Abbey.

Westminster Abbey Choir (internet photo).

Westminster Abbey Christmas Choir (internet photo).

There was also lots of food! Since I don’t cook, my hubby whipped up a fabulous Thanksgiving dinner for some great friends, and it was a lot of fun to spend the evening with them. We also tried out the Christmas menu at Jamie Oliver’s restaurant. This is the second time I’d had turkey at a restaurant in London…and both times it was awful…tough and dry and so hard you could bang it on the table top. But the antipasto platter was fantastic.

We’ve also discovered Burger & Lobster, which is my new favorite restaurant. And on my birthday, my mom watched our son while my hubby took me to dinner at Oblix in the Shard with amazing nighttime view out of the city. And happily the food was good as well! I even had the perfect cocktail called a “Lavender” that I’d like to recreate with vodka, lychee, bitters, egg white…and I assume a little lavender.

Jamie Oliver's restaurant off of Piccadilly Circus.

Jamie Oliver’s restaurant off of Piccadilly Circus.

Yummy antipasto!

Yummy antipasto! 

Oblix restaurant is on the 32nd floor of the Shard on the right (internet photo).

Oblix restaurant is on the 32nd floor of the Shard on the right (internet photo).

Having my mom here for the holidays was also a treat and she got to spend some quality time with the grandson and vice versa! She’d been to London in the past, so instead of the major tourist sites, we got to explore some of the areas that we hadn’t been to yet such as Bloomsbury (home of Virginia Woolf, Sylvia Plath, John Maynard Keynes, Charles Dickens, Lenin and the Foundling Museum).

We also bumped around Southwark and Bankside a bit and saw the Southwark Cathedral. We were even the first customers of 2015 at the George Inn, which was built in the 1600s, visited by Dickens and Shakespeare, and is the last galleried coaching inn in London.

And we enjoyed the Christmas decorations all across London…even the “cheeky” ones. 😉

Lights on Regent's Street.

Lights on Regent’s Street.

A corner shop in Soho.

A corner shop in Soho.

And last but not least, we took our son to his first ever ballet at the London Coliseum to watch the English National Ballet perform The Nutcracker. The Coliseum is gorgeous and the ballet was lovely. This particular performance was the one and only family one of the season where they allow children under age five to attend. And it was the full two and a half hours. Needless to say, the crowds were a little wrestless during the second half…and at one point my son was draped over my lap begging to go home. BUT! His behavior was stellar, and he did not throw a single fit.

So here’s to the New Year, may it continue to be tantrum free!

The London Colliseum.

The London Coliseum.

Gorgeous interior.

Gorgeous interior.

A sold-out performance full of children under five.

A sold-out performance full of children under five and their parents.

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