I really didn't plan on writing an entry at 11:15pm but I just came back from the shortest 'Midnight Mass' ever and...honestly don't feel like going to bed just yet.
We didn't have an order of service, we just had hymns projected onto a screen, music pieces performed by a brass quartet, a sermon, and spoken out prayers. No Lord's Prayer nor Creed (odd). Also no Communion. Also it started at 10pm, but I suspect the time was chosen to make sure travel arrangements would be easier for people. I loved the brass quartet and I enjoyed singing the Czech version of Silent Night. As for keeping it short, I suspect it might have been a planned mercy as the church itself is an old, badly heated building (aren't they always?) so the intention was to keep it short and sweet.
It only felt like Christmas Eve when I left work. Now in the UK, it's normal to go into work on Christmas Eve, but in the Czech Republic, it's regarded as a public holiday, so the Czech colleagues of mine were not too happy. I also learned something of a shock: only today did I find out about the severe storms and winds that swept across my tiny island home, so some of the UK offices I was calling did not answer, suggesting a lot of people stayed home. It also made me glad I wasn't travelling 'home' for Christmas.
So yes, I just worked, was bored a lot as...there wasn't really much to do (Christmas Eve, you know?). Then when 16:30 rolled around, I strolled back to my flat and preparations were well underway for preparing the evening dinner, complete with a fancy table set. After the meal of lentil soup, then potato salad with chicken schnitzel (and some cold fried carp, as one of the attendees had cooked it hours ago and had it with him) we opened our presents. I was able to open the present from my Aunt, Uda, while I also had some presents from Vlasta. One of the presents I got is a book of short stories, with one page in English and the opposite page in Czech. That's one way to get me used to the language! :D
Tomorrow, I look forward to having a relaxing Christmas Day :)