Here's that early Christmas again...

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Gingerchris, Sep 7, 2011.

  1. Gingerchris

    Gingerchris Telly-headed Tyrant

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2005
    Posts:
    14,907
    News Credits:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    287
    Likes:
    +219
    Actually, it was even earlier - some supermarkets here have already had the tins of chocolates out for the last few weeks. I know there's now less than four months until Christmas but still.

    Also, my lovely American girlfriend is finally able to get one of her visits over here to England scheduled for Christmas so this'll be the first festive one together since we hooked up around six years ago.
    We were talking about all the Crimbo things we'd get up to and there's several things we do and have here that she over there doesn't. Apparently there's no Christmas pudding (brandy butter and all), or crackers to pull over there. But then we're not so into egg nog in Blighty. And I never got the stringing popcorn thing. We sometimes hang Christmas cards we've received on string around the room like decorations, but apparently not over there (actually, maybe it's just us old farts in my house that still do that). Also, so many of the festive songs we here in England are so familiar with she's never heard of. Good thing I have about a dozen Xmas music CDs to expose her to. :p 

    With she and me being from two countries there's always been differences in things (it's chips, dammit, not fries!) but I can see this coming Christmas is gonna also be fun as I get to show her a Uk-y nice Christmas and she can bring some of her USA-y Christmas over to me.

    I'm sure many more differences will come to light as me and my lady plan our holiday, but anyone know of other Christmas differences between countries, particularly England and America? Or do you just have an Xmas tradition only your family does that I can then steal? :p 
     
  2. Moonscream

    Moonscream YES, We EXIST!

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2003
    Posts:
    4,388
    News Credits:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    217
    Location:
    The best, the Pacific Northwest!
    Likes:
    +57
    You can get crackers in the US and people hang cards on strings, but there's more cultural diversity over here so your girlfriend may have never seen these things...or heard certain carols (you don't mention which ones, but likely they WILL be familiar to many). It very much depends on the individual household and family lines how Christmas is celebrated over here...AND what the weather is like at Christmas in that area. There probably aren't any households in the UK where its Christmas tradition to go to the beach or Disneyland/world (unless they leave Britain for Christmas)! :lol 

    Heck, in some areas like New England, it may even be possible that British-style pudding is common. Never has been where I've lived, but no doubt some households in the US do have it at Christmas.

    --Moony
     
  3. Gingerchris

    Gingerchris Telly-headed Tyrant

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2005
    Posts:
    14,907
    News Credits:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    287
    Likes:
    +219
    Cool, Ta for the reply. So, it sounds my like woman just has a certain style of Christmas in her household rather than 'limitations' (not meant in an insulting way) of the country she lives in. Well, at the very least I may be able to give her all the things we usually do here to take back home with her to try out on her lot for the time after. Unless she's here again, of course.

    As for the music, it's not so much carols, as I do expect those will be fairly well-known all over, but stuff like the homegrown Christmas number one singles that stores end up playing year after year and over and over as you shop in the run up to 25th December.

    I'm hoping we'll get the Santa Float come around again this year so she can see that. Back when I was a kid a big float done up like Santa's sleigh with lights and music would go from street to street giving out sweets and sexy lady elves going around with buckets collecting change for charities. You can hear the loud festive music long before it gets to your street. Then often the big float would get stuck in a narrow street. Which was a great time to chat up a sexy elf when I'd grown up some.
    These days they're not allowed to give out sweets, and some years the float doesn't come at all. But when it does it's nice to go outside and watch with my little eight year old niece so she can wave at Santa and throw a few pennies in a sexy elf's bucket.
    Of course with my woman here this time I shall have to pretend to ignore the sexy elves and their tinsil-clad stockings.
     
  4. Gingerchris

    Gingerchris Telly-headed Tyrant

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2005
    Posts:
    14,907
    News Credits:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    287
    Likes:
    +219
    Pardon my posting right after myself but I see the Christmas television adverts have now arrived. Does anyone really start buying their Christmas food this early? Surely it would go off long before the festive period. I don't mean pre-ordering hampers to be delivered nearer the time, I mean 'Come into *chain of supermarket* today and buy your Christmas food'. I remember some fuss a while back about mince pies (in Xmas packaging) being sold that would be long out of date before the 25th December arrived and people were buying them really early thinking they were getting the jump on their festive food shopping and then getting annoyed when they found out the pies had gone out of date like a month before Crimbo.

    Myself, I always assemble a box of Christmas goodies in the last couple of months before Christmas but no-one is allowed to break into them until the 25th December. And I always make sure they'll still be in date until at least the start of the New Year. 'Xmas Food Box' is my thing - I like to make sure the festive basics are covered (I love making lists) but also get to control how much is (or isn't, as the case may be) spent. Used to leave the Xmas food shopping to my family but they'd buy so much that a lot would either become out of date long before Christmas and be thrown away, or there'd be so much left after Christmas it would go out of date and be thrown away or given away.
    I'm such a hater of waste.
    I make up a similar, simpler food box for my elder sister as well since she doesn't have much money and I make that her Christmas present from me. She gets nice festive food which saves her cash and also saves her the hassle of doing her own shopping for those kind of things for her and her little daughter. It's also easier for me than having to think of a normal present to give her each year.

    Of course, with my lady being here this year I will probably have to adjust things a bit to acommodate her. I know she wants to do a lot of baking so I can cross off a lot of the cakes from my Box list.
     
  5. Moonscream

    Moonscream YES, We EXIST!

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2003
    Posts:
    4,388
    News Credits:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    217
    Location:
    The best, the Pacific Northwest!
    Likes:
    +57
    OH, yeah, those kinds of music...in my area we have the Christmas in the Northwest series that's been going on for almost 30 years which is all local artists (tho some are nationally/internationally known). A lot of songs on there are not ones you hear elsewhere, either.

    Yeah, like watching where your eyes go when you happen to glimpse the 'sexy elves'! :lol  Seriously, tho...people actually buy their food this far ahead? I can't see doing that unless you have room in the freezer. I usually buy the food (when I have to buy it - living close to the folks will mean I won't) at the same time I buy my Thanksgiving dinner foodstuffs, at the beginning of November.

    --Moony
     
  6. Chaos Muffin

    Chaos Muffin Misadventure Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2004
    Posts:
    28,846
    Trophy Points:
    352
    Likes:
    +103
    You're kids will love the idea of having Christmas twice a year.

    Not that you all are ready for kids. Atleast wait a bit, until TOMORROW
     
  7. Gingerchris

    Gingerchris Telly-headed Tyrant

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2005
    Posts:
    14,907
    News Credits:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    287
    Likes:
    +219
    I can still practise making them though, right? :) 
    These are generally ones heard all across the country as the Christmas number one single (whichever single is at the top the Sunday before Christmas Day) is one of those things everybody tends to take an interest in. Unfortunately the top spot is often taken by some horrible X-Factor or Britain's Got Talent winner, but there's still a lot of wondering who will be England's Crimbo number one each year. Back in the day the most unlikely things could be at one, like one year it was a Bob the Builder song.
    I think the best solution is to buy my lady an elf costume. :p 
    This was the story I was thinking of (link below). Although it's pretty much all the supermarkets doing it. If they're gonna stick the words 'For Christmas' on the box then it should at least be able to stay in date until December.
    M&S mince pies go on sale - that will go out of date long BEFORE Christmas | Mail Online

    So, any household Christmas traditions? I know one I used to hate as a child was that we all had to eat a breakfast before any presents were opened. That breakfast would be the most unenjoyable, get stuck in the throat, meal of the whole year. Cereal never took so long to chew and swallow as on the morning of the 25th December. Since I've grown up now and have command of my household I've changed the rule a bit. You still have to have breakfast, but it can now be a yummy hot bacon and ketchup sandwich. :)  That said, I'm sure my little eight year old niece would rather get right to her presents than have to chew through a sandwich first, even a tasty bacon one.
     
  8. Moonscream

    Moonscream YES, We EXIST!

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2003
    Posts:
    4,388
    News Credits:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    217
    Location:
    The best, the Pacific Northwest!
    Likes:
    +57
    That sounds kind of cool!

    Nothing unusual: open one present on Christmas Eve with dinner out and a movie, everything else opened on Christmas day (breakfast is usually somewhere around there), with stockings and big dinner about 4 pm. We usually try at least once during the season to go look at lights.

    Oh, and my personal tradition for the last 9 years: daily reading of the Advent Calendar at x-entertainment.com (that's 'x' for Gen X, as it's a Gen X nostalgia site). The one year I lost my horse, my dog, and one of my cats and wound up in a crappy studio apartment far away from everyone and everything after escaping near-hell, the Advent Calendar was the ONLY thing that put me in anything resembling a Christmas mood.

    --Moony
     
  9. Liege Prime

    Liege Prime Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2006
    Posts:
    9,013
    News Credits:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    287
    Likes:
    +682
    I think with the economy the way it is, people just have to pace their spending accordingly. People have been known to have savings accounts year around for the holidays, so being able to purchase things here and there early can alleviate some of that pressure. I don't know about buying food early though.

    Generally I might buy some gifts early so I don't have do all my spending in the last few weeks. But generally I like to celebrate other holidays first, and I don't decorate for Christmas until after Thanksgiving.
     
  10. meirelle

    meirelle Sea of Shelfwarmers

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2011
    Posts:
    496
    Trophy Points:
    76
    Likes:
    +0
    Ugh! I stopped at the grocery store the other night after work at 3:00 in the morning and I saw a Christmas display! *rage* For god's sake, Halloween hasn't even come yet, and people are still wearing shorts! :banghead: 
     
  11. Gingerchris

    Gingerchris Telly-headed Tyrant

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2005
    Posts:
    14,907
    News Credits:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    287
    Likes:
    +219
    I love Christmas lights. When people start to put them up at the beginning of December I'll go wander around in the dark and check them out. I don't put any lights outside myself though as if I'm gonna pay for running lights I prefer to have them inside to enjoy rather than outside where I wouldn't see them most of the time.

    The irony is (considering I made this thread) I'm actually not much of a Chistmas fan. My father hated the festive season and made every single Christmas a misery which kinda put me off it all. These days I mostly put the effort in for my mother. I do Christmas more to give my family happiness than myself. That and if it's gonna be done it needs to be done properly. :p 
    Despite my general dislike of Christmas I've always loved Christmas songs and movies. Maybe it's because they almost always portray a happier or perfect vision of the season, which I didn't really get growing up.

    I hope your situation has improved since. I'm glad to hear you had something that helped you get through though, sorta same with my Xmas songs and films.

    Certainly the last few Christmases in my house have been leaner than they used to be, but since I manage them better each year it doesn't really feel like we're having less of a good time.
    I do tend to buy many gifts throughout the year though. I'm a regular at car boot sales and some of the stuff I find cheap is amazingly good. Last Christmas I picked up all the Harry Potter DVDs up to then and Pirates of the Caribbean DVDs for less than £10 for my elder sister's present. No signs of wear and tear or damage on the discs or cases either. You'd think they were new. For her birthday I got her the full set of Harry Potter books in great condition for literally pennies.
    For my little neice I can always find her something she'll love. Last year it was a massive box full of Power Ranger toys. She almost lost her mind when she opened it. :)  This year I'm trying to make her a scientist so I found her a telescope, brand new boxed sealed microscope and lots of children's books on space and sciency stuff. Probably spent less than £10 on all that too.

    So many people hear me mention car boot sales and just assume it's all junk there because it's mostly normal people selling their stuff, but then I'll take them along with me and they become hooked as well. I've bought MISB Transformers at these places. I got a complete great condition G1 Scorponok for £10. I'll see things at car boot sales throughout the year I know certain people would like and I'll buy them and stash them away for the end of the year. Often my Christmas gift shopping is 95% done by the time December rolls around and I'll have probably done the bulk of it for less than £100 thanks to car boot sales. Man, I sound like such a tightwad. :p 

    So, Liege Prime doesn't decorate until after Thanksgiving. When does everyone else bring out the tree and tinsil? Me, I used to put everything up the day before Christmas. Then for a while it was three days before. Now it's about a week before. I think that's about early enough for me. I'm expecting my girlfriend to want everything up and festive by the middle of December when she arrives over here though. Anything to make her happy. :) 
     

Share This Page