Laura Carmichael is thrilled not to be working this Christmas.

The 'Downton Abbey' actress is looking forward to a relaxing break and plans to spend the festive season being lazy at home.

She said: ''I am craving Christmas like a child. I am so excited about having some time at home. Last year I was doing a play and only got a day and a half off. I'll be wearing a reindeer onesie for the majority - Jonathan Ross gave it to me a couple of years ago when I appeared on his show.''

The 'Downton' Christmas special sees Laura's character Lady Edith in a ''dark place'', having secretly given birth in Switzerland and having her baby adopted, with only her aunt Rosamund (Samantha Bond) and the Dowager Countess (Dame Maggie Smith) knowing what has happened.

Laura told UK's Grazia magazine: ''Edith is back in a dark place when we see her. She does a lot of crying. And she's wearing a lot of looser-fitting costumes.

''You see her having to live with the pressure of two older relatives having this secret of hers. It's a killer storyline. It would have been completely scandalous at the time. And having an abortion was too dangerous, which is why she opted out of that. There's no way I'd have wanted to live int he 20s. It was really crap for women.''