Well the aches and pains of the first day are over and some semblance of daily life has started to kick in – sort of.
Christmas Day dawned at 3.30am ( still haven’t adjusted to the new time zone ) where we all woke up full of life and Christmas. We soon discovered that Paul and I had actually managed to squirrel away presents for everyone that was a total surprise because we both thought that we had the jump on each other – we don’t sound competitive do we?
Beth received – roll-on Xmas soap that she hasn’t had since she was 3 making her laugh and nostalgic at the same time ( first point to mum ), then she got an Irish Cladder ring ( family tradition ) so 1 point each since we chose that together and then she received a One Direction DVD – damn! Daddy wins
Paul received – an Ipod already loaded with his music ( thanks Hannah ) plus some extra music from one of his favourite artists ( thanks again Hannah ) – he was blown away and it took him totally by surprise which is very hard to do – so, Hannah wins!
I received – a crossword puzzle book ( love these so well done Paul ) and Prince’s biography, thanks Beth and yes it was a great choice so she decided that she officially won all the necessary points for the day!! He he he.
After that we had tea and croissant for breakfast then we all went back to bed – Christmas morning has never been this simple and relaxed ( or early ) before.
Sometime later, it’s time for church. We head over to Notre Dame ( see how casually I said that – not pretentious at all ) for the 11 o’clock international mass. We were there in time for the end of the solemn mass ( we thought that might be a bit too much for Beth ) and took some good pics of the Archbishop as he came out at the end with all the pomp and ceremony necessary for us to feel that we hadn’t actually missed anything. Then we all filed in for the next mass which was – amazing. Conducted in various parts in English and French, the African priest had the most melodic sounding voice ( in either language ), the choir was powerful and the church organ loud and proud from above. The effect was entrancing and the fact that we couldn’t understand the words meant nothing – we knew the service of course, but the church, the overwhelming feelings that it inspired and the large number of cultural groups all coming together to celebrate Christmas was awesome – this is a Christmas that we’ll never forget.
Afterwards we wandered around a little – not the ‘my feet hurt” type of wander, just a lovely stroll around and a couple of metro trips to get back. Time for another short snooze!
After this it was time to start preparing Christmas dinner. I took the chicken that we had purchased the day before out only to find it was off – big time. The smell was so bad that it was obvious that the poor animal had died twice – once at the hands of the butcher and once in the fridge! So, Christmas dinner is off – in more ways than one. Is this a Christmas Day disaster? Not really – we are all still seriously jet lagged and if honest, not particularly hungry, so no big deal. We made do with baguette, cheese, gherkins and ham for the grown ups and nutella and baguette for Beth. Then time for bed again. Happy Christmas!