T + 95 Christmas Traditions

Not much to report on the medical front I'm pleased to say. My face and neck are still very dry and very itchy but moisturising twice a day and going to bed smeared in Savlon seems to help.

Christmas Family Traditions

I always look forward to Christmas and  this year has a few extra bonuses like the fact I can eat the turkey for the first time in six years since becoming a meat eater again earlier in the year. 

Every family has its own way of celebrating Christmas and its own traditions and I thought it might be fun to say a little about what they are in our family for you to compare and contrast. Some might be similar but I suspect one or two will be very much a Stanford family tradition. As might be expected a lot of them revolve around food.

Let's start with the turkey. He will always be referred to as Cyril and if frozen then during the time he is  defrosting in the back bedroom he will be "having a lie down before his big day". At some point during preparing the turkey Dad will sit him up on the edge of the sink with his legs dangling over the edge. Cyril will be cooked on Christmas Eve and we will have cold turkey on Christmas Day with just the heat from the gravy and veg to warm it through.

I usually stop over at Mom and Dad's on Christmas Eve and my aunt comes up early on Christmas Morning for breakfast. This consists of croissants warmed in the oven with butter and jam (strawberry) and for me Nuttella hazelnut spread to go with the jam. That is a combination I discovered when I used to work over in Germany a lot. My Dad however always has pork pie for breakfast as he has since he and Mom and got married 52 years ago.

To go with the croissant we have fresh coffee made in the chrome 1970's coffee percolator that was a present to Mom and Dad many years ago and makes the best fresh coffee you will ever taste. This Holy Grail of coffee makers is only ever used at Christmas and drinks are usually made with Starbucks Christmas Blend coffee.

After breakfast we open presents with me acting as "hander out" and seated nearest the tree. One of the stocking fillers for my Mom will be a pair of earings and for my Dad a talking book. ( That is a CD of a reading not an actual book that talks. This isn't a Hogwart's Christmas).

After that I head over to my Brother and Sister-in-Law and open presents with them and my Niece and Nephew. I return in time to get in the way of the Christmas Dinner preparations in the kitchen.

Christmas Dinner (we have it at lunchtime but it's always Christmas Dinner) is usually around 14:00 and must always have home made roast potatoes, Aunt Bessie's simply won't do.

After dinner Mom and Dad go over to my Brother's, my Aunt goes back down to her flat and I settle in at Mom and Dad's with whatever reading material I've been bought as presents. In the run up to Christmas I try to finish whatever book I am reading a few days before and then have a collection of short stories to keep me going until the day.

Christmas Tea is for me one of the culinary highlights and consists of turkey sandwiches with all the trimmings of bread sauce, cranberry etc. and pickled onions, Mom usually has ham. For dessert we have my mom's homemade trifle which this year can be made with non-vegetarian jelly.

That's about it for my family traditions, feel free to mention any of yours in the comments link below.

One final thing to mention is my favourite Christmas song which is I Believe in Father Christmas by Greg Lake. Apart from being a great tune based in part on Prokofiev's Troika I like the lyrics which are decidedly un-Christmasy but loads of people have no idea what they are actually saying . You can read the lyrics here and enjoy the video below.

For anyone who thinks its hypocritical for an atheist to enjoy Christmas so much, all I can say is Bah Humbug! ( Oh and mention that the early Christians usurped the pagan solstice and Roman Saturnalia festivals )


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