It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! At this time of year, the office talk turns to festive traditions, and our team have got some great ones. Here are some family favourites from the TLK office. Season’s greetings!
Damian loves turkey but he loves Stollen even more! He stockpiles it so he can eat it long after Christmas – and he’s already had his first Christmas dinner of the year!
London is home for Christmas, we always do a cinema trip on Christmas eve, and a boozy lunch. On Christmas Day we have a bacon sarnie to start off, with bucks fizz for the more conservative, champagne for the rest of us. Lunch is a full on feast! The starter is rocket, peach and Parma ham salad with glaze. Our main is turkey, pigs in blankets, roast potatoes, red cabbage, carrots, brussels sprouts and parsnips, heaps of stuffing, peas and sweet corn. Puddings are chocolate fondant and cheese – never a Christmas pudding. At our house, if you have an empty glass in your hand then you are doing something wrong!
Everyone goes to Church and I stay behind and make smoked salmon sandwiches for their return as we always have Christmas dinner. What my family don’t know is I have a squeeze of all the presents under the tree! Our dinner consists of great food, lots of booze, a bit of fighting with brothers and falling asleep after dad tries to play charades with the longest film names none of us know!
Coming from SA, our family Christmas is always at our beach cottage in Ballito. We have a hot three-course Christmas dinner (Dad’s family tradition) and a cold three course Christmas lunch (Mom’s family tradition). During the day we make Christmas cocktails, play family beer pong and spend the day around the pool. In the evening we take a walk along the beach with a few sundowners.
Every Christmas Eve we go back to our German roots and have bratwurst and potato salad, with warm gluhwein. Then on Christmas morning we go for a walk on the beach in North Norfolk, and then back for turkey. Everyone helps out and we cook everything from scratch including cranberry jelly, stuffing, bread sauce plus loads of veg and all the trimmings. We never have room for Christmas pudding but we always have room for trifle with lots of sherry!
My family Christmas is slightly mental! I’m from a family of 7, so even a small lunch for us still 7 though we often have friends over also, so more like 15-20 people at one long table for Christmas lunch. Then it gets even bigger with Boxing day being held at my aunt’s house, where we have up to 70 family members in the one place for a very large bbq. The idea was we bring leftovers from Christmas day but it kind of escalated into a main event also. We start the day off at 7am when we do presents, nowadays a Secret Santa as we don’t all live in the same place anymore (sisters in Canada and Perth) and it saves posting 6 presents out. Then we have a champagne breakfast and canapé style grazing till the main event is ready around 2pm, a roast comprising of turkey, marinated pork loin, roast vegetables, broccoli cheese, beans, sauces and gravies. Dessert is Christmas pudding but for me there is a sticky date pudding with home-made pistachio and vanilla ice cream as I don’t like dried fruit (a treat I made for my housemates this year in London at our housemate Christmas). Then in the evening, after a sleep (looking at 9pm here) we have leftovers in sandwiches and watch Love Actually. Though not technically Christmas day, two weeks before Christmas we also have a big summer feast to decorate the tree, with sets of decorations from the European Christmas markets sent each year from an uncle meaning the tree gets very full! Enough in fact to decorate five of our own trees now we live out of home.
Smoked salmon and champagne or bucks fizz for breakfast, before present opening. For the last few years we have decided against turkey so it’s been something different each time. The most recent favourite being beef en croute. Still with all the usual Christmas trimmings though – Christmas isn’t Christmas with sausages wrapped in bacon! Dessert is always a choice of sticky toffee pudding or chocolate log.