Thursday 7 December 2006

Ho Ho Iron Bru

Suddenly it is December and I am knee deep in Christmas thoughts.

Nigella had a cooking special on TV this week. Did you know that Brits totally make Thanksgiving dinner for Christmas? Traditional dinner is actually a giant roast turkey! Can you image an American making turkey again after the Thanksgiving day hoo ha? Granted, they roast potatoes and have that damned fruitcake and Christmas pudding and no pumpkin pie, but it still sniffs of similarity.

And, I have the bleedin’ “Santa Baby…. “ song stuck in my head. (Which admittedly, is better than “Super Freak” which lived there for days)

Maybe it is because Edinburgh is chock full of cutely decorated festive streets. And trees strewn with lights. And that nice German market. And has shops everywhere I walk. Or I am bored and the beast of commerce is alive and well in me. But, for me, it is all adding up to making lots of lists and my mind wandering wishing I had dough to blow on presents.

But the feeling is in the air. And is compounded by the onset of holiday parties, which begin TONIGHT. Suddenly people are online shopping at work without caring. The mood is lighter. People are more animated. And more tired.

My office is festive. Most departments have tinsel and little trees and load of chocolates everywhere. What a difference from the US, where it is all generic and PC Happy Holidays, with nary a Santa in sight.

Also, in the US, if you show up to work hung over, you don’t announce it. (Ok except maybe to your chums). Here every morning I hear at least 2 or 3 people chatting about how shattered they are and how late they were out, with an
Iron Bru (the Scotland hang-over soft drink of choice) in hand and a sausage roll in the other. It is just accepted that people will drink and play and go out and indulge. It is nice feeling actually. But also reminds me why alcoholism is a problem here. And is fine for me that Xmas is in my face – I like it! But if I were a non-believer or a really Bah Humbug, it would indeed bug me.

They have a commercial on TV here from MasterCard (US probably has it too) about all the people flying Home for the Holiday, with big welcome home scenes and fervent hugs in the airport arrivals, and how much each flight was… and of course the chance to spend time with family and friends is priceless. It does make me sad that I am not with my own nuclear family for the holiday. I am a bit home sick. We have lost what traditions we had and I'd like us to hold on to some of them... like all getting together more than once a decade.
But I also remember that I AM in a new family now… Mine & Mark’s. With a chance to start our own traditions and celebrate in our own way. And that will have to do. After all, I am host to my new parents-in-law this year. And we ain’t having turkey.
We are going out for Christmas lunch!


Anonymous said...

Carol -- We had a turkey for Christmas dinner almost every year. I don't know if that's a Southern thing here in the US. Besides, you have a whole month between turkey dinners! Andy

Anonymous said...

Sorry to tell you, doll, but turkey is also the traditional Christmas "roast beast" in Canada too. Granted, there will also be a ham in attendance, and tortière (yumm-o Marylou!) on Christmas Eve if you have even a drop of Quebecois blood coursing through your veins, but if there isn't a turkey, it must not be Christmas! For those who are uber-British, a goose might be on the menu, but other than those "six geese a-layin' " they're fairly hard to come by in this neck of the woods. So embrace this opportunity for yet another tryptophan / serotonin dosing and we'll see you when you wake up on December 31th. : ) Br. Chris

charming gardener said...

dang. Maybe it is because our traditional meal for xmas was lasagne. (yum)... I assumed all others were of the Ham and Roast Beast variety. We all come from under the British empire one way or another, so I oughtent be surprised.

Anonymous said...

I fogot about the lasagne somehow, and if asked five minutes ago would have said that our family Christmas tradition was do-it-yourself hot fudge sundaes. b