Christmas in the UK
In this article I use the present to write a story about the recent past.
I’ve gone home for Christmas this year, to my small town outside London. My parents pick me up from Heathrow Airport and we drive around the M25 until we got off at Sevenoaks. On the journey to my childhood home, it is easy to see that it’s Christmas. As well as being extremely cold, there are Christmas lights on almost every house that we pass.
When we arrive at my parents’ house, my parent’s have a wreath hanging from the doorknob. It is only 5pm but already pitch black outside, and the temperature is 5’C. As we walk in, my Dad turns on the heating, and my Mum puts the kettle on, to make some tea. We accompany our tea with biscuits and mince pies. All available spaces in the kitchen and dining room are taken by Christmas cards from friends and relatives.
The next day, my mum and I go to Central London. We take the train to Charing Cross Station and walk to Trafalgar Square, where we meet my sister. We take a walk through St. James’s Park, past Buckingham Palace, and drink a coffee by the lake. Then, we take a big red bus to Oxford Street. All of the shop windows have Christmas decorations, with fake snow and moving dolls. My Mum and sister want to buy presents in Primark, but it is incredibly busy because it’s Christmas Eve. As we leave the huge shop, the sun is already setting, and the Christmas lights of Oxford Street have been turned on. We walk around the Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, and drink a mulled wine.
On Christmas morning, I go downstairs to have breakfast, and find a stocking filled with little gifts lying on the table. When I was a child my parents left the stocking on my bedroom door handle, but my Mum still likes to keep the tradition. When I was little it was filled with small toys and sweets – today it is filled with socks, deodorant and dark chocolate! At midday, my sisters arrive with their children, and we help Mum set up the dinner table. There is a roast turkey, roast potatoes, roast carrots and parsnips, fried chestnuts and brussel sprouts. There is gravy, apple-mint sauce, and cranberry sauce. Before we eat, we pull crackers, and put on the paper hats found inside. One of my sisters has made a merengue for dessert.
After a long, slow, delicious lunch, we go into the living room where we exchange presents. I have 6 young nephews and nieces, so the attention is mostly on them. When all the presents are opened, we go back to the dining room, and my Dad lights a Christmas cake on fire with rum. We eat it (with tea, of course) and play board-games, like Trivial Pursuit and Pictionary.
What do you do for Christmas? What is the most important day or night? What do you eat? Do you follow any other traditions? Let us know in the comments section below.