England, it seems, takes Christmas festivities to a whole new level than what I’m used to. It’s refreshing that the political correctness of avoiding wishing someone a happy Christmas just isn’t there. According to coworkers and friends, the festive season has officially begun now that it’s November, so mince pies and Christmas carols are fair game. Some people have even begun their Christmas shopping! I’ve even heard talk of a dedicated television channel just for Christmas movies. I suppose, though, without the barrier of Thanksgiving, there’s no reason to NOT start celebrating now. The days are getting painfully short, and the weather gloomier, so although it’s still many weeks away, it’s definitely something to look forward to.
Christmas markets are one of my favorite things about these months. It’s hard to go wrong when you can wander through stalls and shops with live music playing and a glass of mulled wine in your hand. Last year we traveled to the one in Edinburgh and enjoyed it a lot.
Christmas Do’s or parties are something to get excited about as well. They generally seem to include a full Christmas dinner followed by desserts and plenty of drinking. Let’s just say that with a few of those in the diary I’m going to hit the gym.
I’m also excited about Christmas food. I love mince pies and enjoy a good roast. We will be on our own for Christmas for the first time this year (though we will be joined by Lucas’s family on Boxing Day) and will be attempting our own Christmas dinner. (And by that I mean ordering one from Booths or M&S).
So while I will miss the four day weekend of eating and family that is thanksgiving, our expat community traditionally gives a hotel our favorite recipes and they cook them up for us. And while I’m sad I won’t be spending Christmas with my family for the first time ever, I will be spending the next week with my soon to be in laws, so that’s important too.
What are you looking forward to this holiday season? Have your traditions changed if you’ve moved abroad?