I love Christmas! It’s the only redeeming part of winter in my view. Maybe if I lived on a ski resort, winter wouldn’t be so bad, but I don’t. I live in a place where it’s cold enough to snow, but instead there’s just darkness, rain, and sogginess. As the days get increasingly shorter, it’s nice to have Christmas to look forward to.
This was our first Christmas spent in the UK, and our first Christmas just the two of us. It was a little weird knowing it’s down to us to carry on traditions, and decide on new ones. Although it’s difficult to be away from family during the holidays, we still embraced the season and enjoyed new Christmas experiences… such as:
- Christmas crackers – You. Guys. I can’t even tell you how excited I was about Christmas crackers! I don’t know how these things haven’t taken hold in America and been re-branded for every occasion. Basically, it’s a firecracker with a paper crown, corny jokes, and other treats and toys inside. They are inexpensive, and fun. They are put on place settings at the dinner table, and at the appointed time everyone cracks them open with a loud bang.
- Mince pie – I’m less excited by these, but consumerism told me I must buy some. By the end of October, they seemed to be on every shelf at the grocery store, including the last-minute shelves by the checkout. Forget scones and crumpets. It’s all about mince pie now. (For all my American friends: they are bite-size pies full of dried fruits and spices.) I only find them bearable served warm. Like most seasonal goods here, they are destined to disappear immediately after New Year, so you must tolerate enjoy them while you can.
- Watching the Queen’s speech – we live in a place with a Christian monarch and a Muslim Mayor, and I’m continually fascinated and inspired by this.
- Christmas Markets – This year we went to the one at Southbank, and it was perfect way to get into the Christmas spirit.
I hope you all had a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! So long 2016 :p