barbecue and pudding

Christmas Around the World

Terra shares about her family’s Christmas traditions in England.

Since moving from the states to England five years ago, Christmas has been a bit different for our family.  This is because we desire to blend some British traditions with our own whilst ministering to others.  After breakfast, we read the birth of Jesus from the Bible. Then we only open stockings (and the kids one present each) since we won’t be home for the remainder of the day.  We go to church for service. The kids have been invited to help light the advent wreath and some churches share a present with the congregation by opening them together.

For several years we have modified our traditional Christmas to include a large dinner with international students at a local pastor’s house. Immediately following Christmas Day service, those whom would otherwise be alone for Christmas, are invited to Christmas dinner. Ryan barbecues the delectable turkey, lamb, and salmon outside whilst I help attend to the veg and sides.  Whilst we wait for the food to cook, we snack on various sweet meats and cheeses.

We play games together, chat, and share in preparations and clean-up.  At the beginning of the dinner, we all share in opening Christmas crackers which often contain a paper crown, joke, and small gift.  This always brings smiles to those at the table!  For pudding (dessert), there is a Christmas pudding which is presented on fire and then extinguished before serving with brandy butter.  Since we have many internationals in attendance, conversation usually discusses various countries and how each celebrates Christmas.

We are thankful for our friends in England (especially whilst apart from our extended family in America)!  These Christmas celebrations make the day a bit busier and less lonely. We return home exhausted yet anticipating our new tradition of our quiet family Christmas on Boxing Day (the day after Christmas).

As we say in England, Happy Christmas!

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