December 25, 1862
It is the end of the day and Michael and I are settling back into our room on the ship. It was a glorious Christmas Day. When we got up, Liam and John had already headed out for Christmas mass. Rachael was spending the day with her father. Simone and Eleanor had already left to spend time with their families. So breakfast was just Jason, Millicent, Michael and myself. But Jason and Millicent cooked a most amazing egg casserole while Michael and I enjoyed tea. Charles had Handel’s “Messiah” playing. I have no idea how he manages that but music is the most wonderful thing. Jason cooked up a fine rasher of bacon. When Liam and John had returned, we had a small gift exchange. Michael bought me a wonderful hat of blue with netting to shelter my face. I suppose you could say I returned the favor – I got him a fine top hat with a fur rim. Millicent got each of us books. I got “Les Miserables” by Victor Hugo (signed!) and Michael got several copies of “Quarterly Review” and was told he now had a subscription.
After breakfast, we gathered up and headed over to “Du univers meilleur café, thé et patisseries and joined Alice, Abigail and Athena. Liam and John had us carol before we could knock on the door. And we sung three tunes before the threesome would allow us in. There, of course, we had coffee and pastry. Alice had made up the most amazing crackers of goodies, and small clay toys. Athena showed us her magnifying glass that was used on everything. Millicent brought over a bottle of fine wine for Alice and a set of goggles for Abigail. I thought that was rather odd but Abigail laughed put them on and laughed louder. Alice, of course, prepared Christmas dinner which included goose, turkey, We played charades and drank port or brandy or simply hot cocoa. When it got late, we all sang one final carol for Athena and most of us headed back for the ship.
I hope each of you has the most Merry Christmas and may the joy of the season fill your hearts.