It’s been a long time since I had my first ride on a red London bus, my first Curry, my first visit to the V&A and my first Fish and Chips. After over 2 years of living in England I have less and less “firsts” to experience but this year I got to experience my first English Christmas.
It was going to be my first Christmas without my parents and the rest of my family. Christmas at home has always been celebrated with the same traditions for many years with only slight changes (you can read my old post about Danish Christmas traditions here). I was dreading that I would feel homesick and sad, and that I would be upset about all the things I missed out on at home. But as it turned out I had many months to mentally prepare myself for the fact that no, I wasn’t going home to be with my family and yes, Christmas would be very different this year, so I might as well embrace it and enjoy getting a new experience of it! And when Christmas finally arrived I was too excited to be sad.
My boyfriend’s family made me feel both welcome and a part of their Christmas. We drove up to Bedfordshire where they live on the 24th and I had been asked if I wanted to make my luxurious Swedish Kladdkaka or chocolate cake (you can find a similar recipe here on the Scandinavian Kitchen’s website), to go with the Swedish ice cream they had bought in my honour. We watched the Muppet Christmas Carol together, which believe it or not I’d never seen before and all went to bed pretty early.
We had all promised that we wouldn’t wake up too early and force the others to get up too, but we all cheated and got up early anyway. I don’t remember the last time I woke up at 6.00 but I was just too excited to go back to sleep! I thought that opening my pile of presents while sitting in my pyjamas and fluffy cosy socks next to Daniel, followed by smoked salmon scrambled egg and tea for breakfast was just the cosiest way to spend a Christmas morning. And because I got up so early, the entire day felt very nice and long. The rest of the day was followed by a traditional English Christmas Lunch of roast turkey and Bread and Butter Pudding for dessert and a hysterically funny round of Cards Against Humanity in the evening with all of Daniel’s family.
Christmas Day was followed by a just as traditional Boxing Day with a lay in, tea and bacon sandwiches for breakfast, a long walk with the family’s dogs in a country park, a lunch with all of the best snack food and a cosy evening with cake, chocolate, more tea and Harry Potter on TV. I thought it all was such a nice, relaxed and hyggelig way of spending Christmas!
But my favourite part of my first English Christmas was that I got to spend it with my boyfriend and that I was able to share his traditions with him and his family. Ok, maybe another favourite part was also my presents, one in particular, but I will write more about that in part 2!
I hope you had a really amazing Christmas, no matter where or how you celebrated it!