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The Traditional English Christmas

by Fern McCoy on 27th November 2019 No comments

‘Twas the month before Christmas, and all through our great Country – we prepare for the festive frenzy. Follow us on a journey of the traditional English Christmas:

  • It all starts 1st December, when you pull back the door on your advent calendar and you know that it marks the beginning of a magical month. Advent calendars are reported to have originated in the early 1900’s, when you’d expect to find a small bible verse behind the cardboard flap, this then evolved into illustrations or pictures depicting a classic nativity scene and eventually into little chocolates on each day. Nowadays though, you can get an advent calendar containing all manner of daily surprises, including this gin themed one (link to shop) from our friends at The Gin to My Tonic . Now that’s something worth waking up for.  
  • Shop ‘til you drop. The tradition of gift giving was started by a certain ‘Three Wise Men’ and has shape shifted into something quite the opposite of attending the celebrations on 25th December with only the one gift in hand. Nowadays we seem to be, as a nation, of the ‘more is more’ mentality. If you’re looking for a festive treat to give a loved one, try our Gift Boxed Mr Hobbs Gin out for size – it looks stunning and saves on wrapping paper, win win! Original folklore also states that the kids can pop their Christmas Present Wish List onto paper, and then allegedly you are meant to burn the list, sending ashes up the chimney, whereby St Nick then can read the inventory in the smoke and knows exactly what to deliver. It’s also a rather nifty way of ridding yourself of any evidence and just purchasing whatever the heck you (I mean, ‘Santa’) want. 
  • One word: Wassailing. This is the original term for an age-old Christmas tradition which can mean two things. The first of which is the rather wholesome activity whereby you go door to door singing carols to your neighbours and spreading that festive cheer. The second meaning though is something a little different; Here is the Oxford Dictionary definition of the latter-

wassail

/ˈwɒseɪl,ˈwɒs(ə)l,ˈwas(ə)l/

verb

drink plentiful amounts of alcohol and enjoy oneself with others in a noisy, lively way.

“he feasted and wassailed with his warriors’’

This one, although sometimes unavoidable, we would prefer you try and refrain from… even when you’ve had the ‘one too many’ G&T’s. 

  • Christmas Day itself, where do we start? Champers for brekkie, pigs in blankets for brunch, followed by the main event: a roastie toastie dinner for one and all! Culminating in the obligatory Royal Message at 3pm whilst feeling quite the Queen yourself perhaps, in your paper crown. As natives we take all the quirks of the day in our stride, whereas our not so distant relatives over in America find our activities somewhat baffling. Take, for example, these helpful definitions published on BBC America to help them wrap their heads around our (in their opinion) bonkers rituals:

‘’Christmas Crackers: Well, they’re somewhere between pulling the wishbone on a turkey and a fortune cookie.’’

‘’Yorkshire Pudding: Brits love their pudding, but Yorkshire Pudding isn’t pudding-pudding like you would think. It’s more like a flaky, deflated biscuit with the centre waiting to hold your gravy.‘’

Every day’s a school day, ladies & gents.

  • Post party depression aka Boxing Day, all is not lost though… Simply pop those leftover turkey scraps into one of the nation’s favourite meals; the humble sarnie, pour yourself a stiff beverage (such as one of these), and start assessing the damage. The term ‘Boxing Day’ originally meant a day when the rich would box up things to give to the poor. Nowadays though, we tend to just box up some of the unavoidable tat that was exchanged the day before with the full intention of circulating it again next year. 

One must always remember though, the decs, get them down within 12 days of Christmas or suffer bad luck for the rest of eternity, or however the story goes. Hit the sales with your cash or lack thereof and throw caution to the credit card. Only 364 Days until we get to do it all over again. 

We sincerely hope you have a wonderful Yule Tide and enjoy those precious moments with friends and family, all washed down with plenty of our cherished family tipple. 

Once we eventually emerge from that misty period between 26th December and New Year’s Day we’ll be looking forward to delighting you with lots of exciting Mr Hobbs Gin news. It’s going to be less of #NEWYEARNEWME and more of #NEWYEARNEWGIN- Yup, we’re working on a delectable new product for 2020 to encompass the 150 Year anniversary of Hobbs of Henley and to offer you, our beloved customers. 

But for now, “Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!” from Mr Hobbs Gin.

Fern McCoyThe Traditional English Christmas

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