Happy 2015! Hope you had a great holiday. It’s been a busy few weeks over here in Oxford, so I figured I’d give you the Cliff’s Notes version of what happened over Christmas.

My last post touched on our Christmas dinner with our neighbors Greg and Aleks, so I’ll start the next day.

1. Christopher’s family arrived, and we moved into a beautiful four-bedroom house for the week. It had a normal-size fridge. Needless to say, we were in heaven.

2. We trekked to the Cotswolds and had a private car tour from a local. We saw Shakespeare’s home, Anne Hathaway’s cottage, and went into an active church so old and original that it didn’t even have electricity.

3. While the rest of the group headed to London and visited the Tower of London, I stayed back, did a little last-minute Christmas shopping, and worked on a few projects.

4. I joined them in London this time, and we went to the Churchill War Rooms. One of my favorite things in the museum was a story about how Winston Churchill was offered £2,000 if he gave up wine in 1936. “I refused,” he explained, “as I think life would not be worth living.” (Thought my NYC wine club girls would appreciate that.) 

5. On Christmas Eve, we went to University Church (which dates back to the 1200s), and a group of adorable British children treated us to a play. Cutest little angels and wise men ever! Later that night, Aleks and Greg came over for dinner and Christmas crackers (because now, we have to have them at any Christmas-related meal moving forward.)

6. Christmas Day! We opened up presents and watched It’s a Wonderful Life. Why do I still cry every time I watch that movie? Then, we went to dinner at the Old Parsonage Hotel. The food was delicious, and the fire was warm. It was perfect.

Fun fact: This is our first Christmas spent in the same place.

7. Boxing Day! Many of the stores were closed for the holiday so we showed the family around the city centre and had a yummy afternoon tea at The Grand Cafe.

8. All good things must come to an end, and the Pennells (plus Aunt Chic) boarded their plane back to the States. We went back home to our tiny little refrigerator 🙁

9. We spent Sunday morning drinking coffee (yes, I drink hot coffee now!) at our favorite neighborhood cafe.

10 & 11. While the rest of the world was on vacation, I was working (but at least it was on fun things.)

12. New Year’s Eve! We went next door to pop some champagne with our neighbors. This officially marks the half-way point of our year in Oxford. I can’t believe it’s gone by this fast!

Big Ben on New Years Eve 2015

Hope your holidays were great and that 2015 is already off to a good start!