During the build-up to my first Christmas as an expat, I have noticed some more of those subtle differences between the UK and the US. Hubby has looked at me blankly when I have mentioned certain things, so, this is a little look at the differences I have encountered so far …
Traditionally, my family have always had roast turkey, gravy, stuffing, roast potatoes etc on Christmas day, but as this is pretty much what was / is eaten at Thanksgiving, it is not something Hubby usually has (although many American families do have turkey). For us it will be roast beef with all the trimmings – well, some of them anyway (see below)!
My family would usually have ‘pigs in blankets’ which to me is a mini sausage wrapped in bacon. To Hubby, it is a mini sausage wrapped in a pastry / bread coating.
The traditional Christmas pudding (heavy alcohol laced steamed fruit creation) that is smothered in alcohol and then set alight is also something Hubby has ever had – nor will he, as I am not a fan.
No Crackers or Paper Hats
British table setting crackers do not exist over here. Hubby had never heard of them and was extremely confused when I tried to explain what they were in detail. If you are interested, a really good description can be found here. As there will be no crackers, there will be no paper hats to wear (hurrah) as these are found inside the cracker when you have opened it. There will be no more sweating, as these amusing
highly embarrassing head decorations, despite the fact they are flimsy, light and open at the top, manage to create what can only be described as a head furnace.
Crackers with an example of the gifts & hats that come inside them
There are a plethora of Christmas movies available on US television, so I will have plenty to choose from, but something I always watched, without fail, was The Snowman and The Mousehole Cat. These two animations were unknown to Hubby, and he said they have never been shown here. This will be a tradition I am keen to continue as it makes me feel so at home and cosy – which is a perfect way to be over the holiday.
What seasonal / Christmas traditions do you have in your family or the country you live in?