A Merry Kelly Christmas
My name is Mark Kelly and I am an English man in Finland. I was torn away from my homeland for my Finnish sweetheart. I have been living in Jyväskylä just short of 2 years now and have been studying the Finnish language for just over a year and I am more confused than when I started.
I have been asked to write about a traditional English Christmas, but I’m having a small problem as I’m sure that me and my family have never celebrated a traditional Christmas but just made up our own traditions.
The day we celebrate Christmas is December 25th. We would normally start the day with me and my family waking up between 8-10, it all depends on how much alcohol was consumed the night before as it is compulsary to share a few glasses of beer/wine with friends and family on Christmas Eve. We would start with opening presents around the Christmas tree and our cat would be diving into all the used wrapping paper. At this point there would be some form of Christmas show on the television, normally ’The Snowman’ and my dad’s interpretation of ’We are walking in the air’ ringing throughout the house.
When we finished opening our gifts it was time to put the Christmas turkey in the oven. For me that was the true sign of Christmas day when the smell of turkey resinated through the house. Now it would be the time for our neighbours to come over to our house and have a celebratory drink (any excuse on Christmas day). This would normally conclude around 1pm. We would all be helping out in the kitchen as an English christmas dinner takes alot of care and attention. It normally consists of a large turkey (how big depends on how many you are feeding) a joint of beef or lamb, boiled/mashed potatoes, carrots, turnips, pigs in blankets (small sausages wrapped in bacon) sproats, cabbage and home made gravy made out of the beef/lamb juices. (Gravy is similar to Finnish ruskea kastike, but much better if i say so myself.) An important part of our Christmas dinner is the pre food crackers, and no I dont mean the edible ones. The English Christmas crackers are small packages that include a small paper hat, a joke and a suprise gift. In order to receive these items you must pull the cracker apart with the person sitting next to you. (Dont get scared of the bang they make.)
We would normally sit down to eat at around 3pm, this is when the annual ’Queen’s speech’ would start. She talks for 15 minutes about the year that has passed and the triumphts of Britain and how we strive for peace. The champaign cork pops at our dinner table and we raise our glasses to each other. Christmas dinner is normally followed by an afternoon nap as all the food and alcohol has caught up to us by this point. The evening would concist of a few of my friends coming over for drinks and would conclude with me and my family sitting down and watching a Christmas movie or a comedy DVD that I bought for my dad.
Some may go to church on Christmas day or visit their families but this was mine and my family’s tradition, so needless to say I love Christmas day.
Kirjoitus: Mark Kelly, Veturitallien harjoittelija
Avainsanat: English, joulu