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Michael took the day off, so we headed toward Chelsea/Kensington to do a bit more shopping and a little sightseeing.  We got off the tube at Sloane Square and were greeted by HUNDREDS of Santa Clauses.

For the Brits, Christmas is a great excuse to PARTY!  This group of Santas was clearly having fun.

They certainly put us into a festive mood as we headed off to Peter Jones, a department store much more to Michael’s liking than Harrod’s last weekend.  Outside Peter Jones, a brass band was playing carols.

Inside, the store was busy, but not overwhelming.  Another brass band provided more music for shoppers, and the holiday decorations added to the spirit of the season.

And Star Wars stormtroopers made sure the force was with us.

I wanted to squeeze in a little sightseeing, too, so we stopped at the Saatchi Gallery, a contemporary art gallery that opened in 2008.  The current exhibition is Gesamtkunstwerk: New Art from Germany.  We didn’t get through all of it, but much of what we saw was very interesting and some left us scratching our heads.  I liked the paintings of Andre Butzer.  This painting is called Ahnenbild, which means “ancestral portrait”.

Ahnenbild by Andre Butzer

Then there was this sculpture by Isa Genzken called Mutter mit Kind (Mother with Child).

Mutter mit Kind by Isa Genzken

I think Michael liked this one:

Untitled by Georg Herold

After the Saatchi Gallery, we shopped a bit more and then stopped at the Brompton Oratory, a very Italian looking Catholic church, located next to the Victoria and Albert Museum.  It was dark and quiet inside, providing us with some time to step away from the busyness of preparing for Christmas.