At first I was disappointed to see that they don't sell egg nog in London. I even went to the Whole Foods on High Street Kensington hoping they would have it so I wouldn't have to buy all the separate ingredients. Alas, no nog. So I made it myself and as always, I love the homemade drink more than the storebought stuff (especially after the rum had time to seep into the flavors!)
My love of egg nog started with my Grandpa Jack (a.k.a. Captain Jack for my brother and his friends in the blue house next to David). Grandpa Jack did not serve me egg nog with rum. Instead it was virgin egg nog and 5 a.m. Christmas dates on the sun porch. Snuggled on his lap, we watched snow frost the sliding glass windowpanes, listened to his special Christmas album (he and Grandma buy a new one each year) and marveled at the lighted Christmas tree in the backyard. This was the only time I had my Grandpa all to myself. My three brothers will still snoring away in the living room, my parents were desperately trying to sleep in, and even Grandma wouldn't get up at that ungodly hour. Those quiet mornings were just for us.
This year Grandpa Jack and Grandma Glennie told me to see the King's College Choir at Cambridge for their annual "Nine Lessons in Carols" service. It's famously watched on BBC each year by the British and by the world--my grandparents included. I didn't want to stand in the queue at 9 am until the service started at 3, so Jonathan and I got tickets to their performance in the Royal Albert Hall last night. It was amazing! The orchestra and choir performed pieces from The Messiah, The Nutcracker, traditional carols, and even a carol that Concordia's Chamber Choir sang a few years ago. A giant pipe organ stood stately at the front and changed from orange to red to green with the lights. Two silverblue trees stood beneath it. At one point the director invited the audience to join in singing the carols. The acoustics in the hall magnified our voices (and all the coughing fits, unfortunately) and I loved that the name 'Jesus' rolled off of lips so easily.
It was the perfect night. I even got to go home and have a mug of Nog! Thanks Grandpa Jack :)