Christmas Abroad

It sounds so foreign and exciting, doesn’t it?  “Christmas abroad;” makes me sounds so cultured!  But really, Christmas in London is a pretty traditional affair.

It all starts with Christmas Eve.  Everyone gets together and has a huge dinner of traditional Christmasy finger food (sausage rolls, roast beef, cheese and crackers and so on).  There’s loads of wine and food and dessert, and then everyone sits around a nice fire in the fireplace (if you have one) and watches Christmas carols on television.  And then, slowly, everyone goes off to bed.

So then there’s Christmas Day.  I don’t know if it’s like this in all houses, but people just kind of wake up on their own and wait for everyone else to get up before they open gifts.  In my house, first up wakes everyone up–no matter if it’s 3am or 10am!  And there’s sort of an orderly chaos to the gift opening–just like any other household!  I got lots of nice things from everyone, like:

  • The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  • 35 quid gift voucher to Marks and Spencer
  • A fantastic cake serving spatula from “Royal Worcester”, where the Queen buys her fine china and things.
  • Lovely bath set from Sanctuary Day Spa in London  (from N)
  • A voucher for a full day at Sanctuary Spa (50 minute treatment, pool, champagne lunch and afternoon tea), also from N… I love him.
  • Lots of joint vouchers/cash for N and I, which will be used for the new flat!

So after gifts comes breakfast.  Where I’m from, breakfast can go in several directions–we’ve had the “do it yourself” mornings of cereal, or else someone steps up and makes pancakes or french toast or whatever.  Breakfast here is just as formal and traditional as everything else!!  We’ve had ham, mustard, cheese and panettone, also laid out on the table.  Fantastic.

The day is then spent lounging in front of the fire with the sporadic bouts of chaos as stuff is whipped together in the kitchen for Christmas lunch.  Lunch/dinner is a lavish affair.  We had a starter of raw salmon stuffed with something or another.  Then there was turkey, parsnips, roasted potatoes, sausage, sausage stuffing, brussel sprouts, carrots, green beans and gravy.  Ohhhhh lordy was I stuffed!  Then dessert–profiteroles…. again, amazing!  Then coffee and chocolates or crackers and cheese and grapes for those so inclined.  And there was plenty of wine throughout, so we’re all a bit on the tip of being “buzzed.”

That’s a Christmas in London sorted.  It seems that the rest of the evening shall be spent around the fire watching Christmas programs, mainly the Queen’s address to the nation… after a brisk walk in the cold, of course.  Oh, and I’m webcamming with the folks back home, which, to be honest, I’m really excited about!  I miss them all more than words can say.

Next up, Boxing Day.


If you’re interested in getting in touch, tweet me at @stephanie_khani or @londondiaries1.  Alternatively you can email me at emailthelondondiaries [at]


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