Just like the ones I used to know. This weekend, Rick and I are heading over to the UK to spend Christmas with my family. Rick’s niece, Ashley, is flying in today from Oklahoma – she has graciously agreed to look after our house and babies while we are gone.
As I’ve mentioned before, Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year.Â There are a few English Christmas traditions that I miss when we celebrate in the USA, so it will be a treat to experience them again.Â
Christmas crackers.Â We put these on the dining table, along with party poppers andÂ little chocolate treats (and the usual table setting fare).Â After dinner, you pull the crackers with your neighbor – they go off with a large pop!Â Whomever gets the larger end gets to keep the contents.Â This usually includes a party hat, a really terrible joke or riddle, and some kind of small gift.Â The quality (and usefulness) of the gift is directly proportionate to the cost of the crackers.Â Read: more expensive crackersÂ = better toys. One year, I tried to bring crackers in my carry-on luggageÂ from the UK to the USA, but they were almost confiscated because they contain gunpowder.Â Mmmmm yeah, not the best idea to bring explosives onto a plane, Amy.
Christmas Cake.Â Ahh sweet, moist fruit cake covered in marzipan and icing, I adore thee.Â There is nothing better than having a slice of Christmas cake on a cold Winter’s morn with a steaming cup of tea.
Christmas Pudding. Another version of the Christmas cake, except rather than being baked in the oven, it is steamed.Â It comesÂ without the icing, and is usually served with cream.Â It is also heavily laden with brandy.
The pudding is traditionally served after Christmas dinner (not that anyone has left enough room for this dense dessert after all the turkey). To serve, you are meant to pour a *small* amount of brandy over the top and light it.Â A little dinner table fireworks show, you see – the piece de resistance of the holiday meal.Â
I always remember one year my mum got a little heavy handed with the brandy.Â The resultant fire managed to sear the dining room ceiling.Â Fun times.Â I wonder what shenanigans we’ll get up to this year?Â Stay tuned for my next blog post winging its way from England…