Your first British Christmas – Part 3 • 你嘅第一個英式聖誕: 第三篇
This is the third part on our series on Christmas. Let us walk you through what to expect and how to have fun on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day!
Christmas Eve to Kong Girl and London Lad is usually the day for last-minute Christmas shopping. Please don’t do it! It’s horrible! In fact, it should be an enjoyable and creative day, particularly if you have children.
If you have children it is very important to leave out something for Santa and Rudolph: For example a mince pie and some whiskey for Santa and a carrot for Rudolph. Once the children are asleep, do your best faking to make it look like Santa rested for a few minutes. Maybe Santa’s boots will leave footprints? Maybe he will write a note?
Christmas is of course a religious festival and for some families that is a central aspect of it. Depending on COVID-19 restrictions, a lot of families attend Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. For others religion is less important or even not important at all. In fact, many families that are not even Christian still have a family gathering with presents because it is such a big part of British culture.
Drinking is a feature of most British people’s Christmas. Some families start as soon as they can, others of course drink a lot less or not at all. It’s something to be aware of and to manage on your own terms.
And remember, with all that drinking going on the police are really hot on anything that looks like bad driving. If you are going from place to place, make sure you drive safely. You will notice everyone drives really slowly because last thing anyone wants is to have an accident at Christmas or to be pulled over by the police.
At 3pm on Christmas Day is The Queen’s Speech. She will appear on BBC 1 for around ten minutes with a message to the people of the UK. Some families stop and listen to her thoughtful words, other families swear at the TV, and some take no notice at all. It is entirely up to you.
You might see a few twigs of mistletoe over a doorway at Christmas. This plant is a symbol of love from Norse mythology (so not Christian at all!) It is a tradition that if a couple kisses ‘under the mistletoe’ then that must be true love. ☺️
Image: Nick Fewings and Annie Spratt on Unsplash