Saturday, 30 December 2017

A Christmas Carol

Unwrapping presents
Ever since I have an English partner we spend Christmas in England. Since I am from a country where traditionally one part of the population celebrates only Saint-Nicholas (I was part of that group), another part celebrates only Christmas, and still another, greedier part celebrates both, I look, compared to the Brits, at Christmas in quite a different way.
I will make a concise list of things that, in the eyes of a stranger, are characteristic for an English Christmas.

Yummy, Brussel's sprouts!
The first thing that draws a stranger's attention are the overfull shops with frantic shoppers until seconds before the shops close on Christmas eve, and the often ghastly Christmas decorations displayed in gardens and against the facades of houses.

Ymmy, turkey!
And then there is the stress obviously indispensable in order to prepare a meal which is the same year in, year out, in every household from the Orkney Islands to the Isle of Wight.

The Christmas crackers
Then one eats this food (which I do not particularly like, but that is my personal problem) whilst wearing a silly paper hat; listen to and laugh about Christmas cracker jokes so boring and stupid that one wonders how a country that has produced Monty Python's Flying Circus and Fawlty Towers can come up with "humour" like this, and finally listen to the Queen's speech.

The Christmas lunch
And when one thinks to taste a bit of culture in London after Christmas, forget it! Between Christmas and New Year not only most restaurants and shops are closed, also the vast majority of the Museums do not open their doors during this week. My partner calls me Bah Humbug; I wonder why?

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