“I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day…”

“…Their old, familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”
― Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Christmas day was an adventure!

We nearly got stuck in an elevator. We live on the top floor of our building and have access to two stairwells/elevators, one of which is slightly more convenient but is the one (naturally!) that has the most problems. Lately the door has been sticking a bit on the ground floor. One morning, feeling particularly grumpy, I made Jeff burst out laughing when the door only semi opened before it got stuck and I yanked it open the rest of the way with a curse.

Christmas morning we needed to get a move on since all public transportation was closed for the day, which meant we had to walk four miles and cross the river to get to Westminster Abbey, where we had reserved places for the morning service. We made a calculated decision to take the slightly sketch elevator because it put us closer to the tube station without having to circumnavigate the building. Which of course meant that this was the morning that the door slid open a crack on the ground floor… and refused to budge further. With a combined sigh, “Of course,” Jeff set his shoulder to it and I got on my knees to pull from the bottom. It took several minutes and many attempts, but eventually we freed ourselves. Teamwork.

2013-12-25 09.07.16

The walk to the Abbey was gorgeous. There were almost no people about…except that I crossed paths with a history heroine. Dr. Lucy Worsley, the Chief Curator of Historic Royal Palaces was walking along the Thames with her husband. I nearly tripped over my own boots! On another day I might have accosted her, but since she’s written publicly about not liking being approached by strangers and fans – and in the spirit of the day, namely not being a jerk – I restrained myself to a bright smile and fangirling to Jeff in private.

2013-12-25 11.23.00

Neither of us are High Anglican (Jeff rather cheekily rephrased the Nicene Creed to himself during its recitation), but I still really enjoyed the service and the setting – Westminster Abbey being one of the coolest places for a British History nerd to be. Do you know how many interesting dead people hang out there?!

2013-12-25 09.20.30

When we emerged, the bells were ringing. We walked the four miles home again, made our traditional Christmas morning breakfast (at nearly two in the afternoon), talked to family via Skype, and watched holiday movie favorites. Not a bad Christmas on our own, I think!

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