This year I had the pleasure of experiencing my very first British Xmas... and what a treat it was! The day consisted of being woken up at what felt like the break of down by the British nieces shouting "it's Xmas, wake up!!!" and continued with some sleepily opening of presents. I looked around in awe at the amount of people gathered in the living room and the constant buzz of chatter and wrapping paper crinkle. I come from a small family of four and in comparison, our Xmas mornings are a lot quieter. We carefully watch as each person opens their gifts and stops so my parents can take a picture... after each. and. every. one! I just assumed this was the norm (until hubs sweetly pointed out that it was weird) but hey, it's just what I've always known. At the Beales we were fourteen... FOURTEEN!!! And that's just immediate family! Secret Santa gifts were exchanged... cups of tea (and my coffee) were drank... and then hubs came out with the fake snow! It was amazing to see the British nieces little faces light up when they saw it. They had been so disappointed at the lack of snow this year and now it didn't matter so much.
Once everyone had more or less settled down, we started getting some nibbles ready for the extended family visits that happened throughout the rest of the day. There were all kinds of goodies including the very traditional pigs in a blanket and mulled wine... yummy! I met chatted with grandmas, aunties, cousins... you name it! I even met some more family friends.
Then in the early evening, after all of the visits were over and everyone had returned to their homes, we feasted... again! A traditional British Xmas dinner is a lot like a Thanksgiving meal I found. There was the grand turkey, a ham, your roasted vegetables, and lots of wine. One very unique tradition that I really enjoyed were the holiday crackers (the things that look like giant candies) were you link hands around the table holding an end each and then pull. Sure enough, there are cracking and popping noises as the cracker breaks apart to reveal who gets to keep the goodies inside (kind of like a wishbone). Each one has a paper crown, a joke, and some other little gift inside. And of course, I can't forget to mention the Xmas pudding... a cake that is made up to four weeks in advanced... doused in alcohol... and then lit on fire!
So that was my experience... what was your Xmas like?
***Today I am thankful for my very first British Xmas... it was perfect!***