I’m a bit appalled with myself that I haven’t written anything on here about Christmas yet. Me, the person who is so Christmassy I started spreading Christmas cheer at work in early November. December is always so busy that aside from a general festive feeling I haven’t been able to do as many Christmassy activities as I would like. London is abundant with winter wonderlands, ice rinks, and Christmas markets so it’s a shame to miss out on all the opportunities for a mulled wine and a german sausage. I did have one sausage at the Southbank Christmas market along with a mulled cider which was very enjoyable. It’s already Christmas Eve tomorrow and there is now no more time for running around London attempting to tick off every exciting Christmas pop up there is. So I thought I’d formulate a list of MY favourite things about Christmas. They may not be entirely conventional but they are the things that give me that warm fuzzy elfy feeling:
Absolutely my favourite Christmas aspect is being with my family. Yes, cringe, but there’s something about having all of us together that brings out the crazy and wonderful and hilarious in us.
Going to bed before midnight on Christmas Eve and pretending you don’t know there’s a stocking full of presents at the end of your bed and waking up ultra-early acting surprised. And opening said stockings all together before going downstairs to wake up the parents and open more presents. Yes, this may sound like the story of a 10-year-old child’s Christmas Eve, but it remains to this day the way we do it. Don’t know what all this talk about getting drunk at the pub is, I’ll be cosied up asleep before Santa comes.
Food, food and food. And alcohols. Smoked salmon and scrambled egg brunch, chocolate all day, more stuffing than meat, pigs in blankets, sprouts (has to be done), then Christmas pudding AND mince pie. Then food coma on the sofa (or more likely the floor). I see Baileys as a Christmas drink but after all the food the idea of creamy liquor is slightly sickening so we usually go for Disaronno in egg cups. And all the red wine, leading us to inevitably fall asleep in front of Downton Abbey.
Boxing Day Traditions
The standard post-Christmas-food-belly walk, and the murder mystery dinner. I would imagine most families try to do some sort of outdoor activity on Boxing Day after a cabin-fever-inducing day of indulgence, and we are no exception. Generally we walk around Virginia Water (where they filmed the Harry Potter lake scene), take lots of splendid posey winter photos, and end with a hot chocolate in the pub. The day is almost always that perfect crisp, blue sky, chilly-but-cosy English weather which makes it all the more beaut. The murder mystery may be slightly less normal for a Boxing Day tradition but I think it’s a fabulous way to end the day; we dress up and pretend to be outrageous characters whilst eating even more food and accusing each other of murder. Jolly times.
One of the main things I associate with Christmas is playing board games. My family are board game fanatics at the best of times so Christmastime is an excuse to play even more – standard games like Cranium and Pictionary, as well as not so standard ones like The Great Railway Game and Harry Potter Cluedo. Can we also just note the naked Santa in the background of this photo please.
Speaking of Harry Potter, Harry Potter. The films may have almost nothing to do with Christmas (except for our favourite Ron-line: “pie?”) but being a Harry Potter loving household, the films are always on at Christmas time. And once we’ve watched one, we end up watching another and another until we realise it’s almost New Years and we should probably do something with our lives.