We fly out to London tomorrow -- Hooray!
I've just finished my Christmas shopping and am now starting to feel really Christmassy -- carols on the radio, frost on the ground, Christmas decorations up and the prospect of going home. I've also started the packing and all the presents are wrapped and ready to take. Emily and Lauren are almost bouncing off the walls with excitement. I don't know how we're going to get them to sleep on the plane (essential if Christmas is to not be a total washout).
Generally speaking, in the UK, there aren't a huge number of Christmas lights adorning people's homes. However, this US tradition is becoming more widespread. In Mark's parents' neighbourhood a number of people (including one whole street) have clubbed together to extensively decorate their homes with outdoor lights (not quite to the extent depicted in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation). They collect donations for charity from those who go to view their lights. Over recent years, a tradition has developed in Mark's family that every Christmas Eve night we go and look at the Christmas lights.
This year, we won't be at Mark's family's for Christmas Eve, so I don't know if we'll get a chance to take a tour of the lights (although hopefully we will). We thought we'd take a video of our local lights here in our neighbourhood to show them.
Our itinerary is:
- My family for the 23rd to the 25th
- Mark's family from lunchtime on the 25th to the 28th
- Birmingham friends from the 28th to the 29th
- Mark's Grandad on the 29th
- Back to my family from the 29th to the 1st of January, with what is bound to be an excellent party on the 31st. If there's anything any of my brothers and sisters can do, it's throw a party.