Unboxing Boxing Day (and other weird parts of English Christmas)

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Ah, December. The month of the great, beloved by many, holiday season! A time of final term deadlines, packing up to go home and see the relatives, floods, and other mild natural disasters, evacuating your university accommodation in a hurry and leaving behind half the gifts you had prepared for your family –

This year it seems –touch wood- the month of Christmas markets, mulled wine, and overplayed Mariah Carey music is going off without a hitch, which means I have a lot more time to experience the Christmas season, and all the good holiday stuff.

Christmas Markets

Probably my favourite part of the season, is when all the stalls pop up, with mulled wine, and cheerful people trying to sell you overpriced handmade goods (but the real question is, if they are handmade, are they really overpriced?). The Christmas lights go up all around town, and everything feels just ever so slightly warmer and brighter even though it’s so cold your touch screen refuses to recognise your fingers sliding over the screen.

Crackers

I used to think crackers were just a thing in movies, I didn’t realise people actually condoned small explosions around the dinner table. After I actually tried it though … well, I don’t know. Somewhere between the atrocious pun I received and the colourful paper crowns, I think it might be my favourite purely English weird Christmas tradition.

And speaking of purely English and weird;

Boxing Day

A lot of other countries allow for the day after Christmas to be off. Not a lot of them have a fancy, but ultimately pointless and dysfunctional, largely unnecessary name for it. What even is the point? What are we boxing? We unboxed all the gifts the day before – on the actual Christmas Day?

Apparently, it comes from waaay back in the Middle Ages, when churches opened donation boxes for the poor on the day after Christmas. But why would anyone (the person writing this article), bother to fact-check, when they can just as easily rage in a pit of misinformation?

And speaking of confusing day-related traditions;

Advent? 12 days of Christmas?

Christmas is only one day? Hello?

Advent calendars start popping up as early as November, and even though I understand the general concept of them (you open up a little window and get a candy, or some other small type of something), I still don’t understand why that’s even a thing! Other than building up anticipation for the actual thing, that is.

Not strictly English, but certainly enjoyable traditions that deserve an honourable mention are, of course the singing of carols, which is jolly good for spreading the holiday spirit, and the consumption of mulled wine – a necessity in the winter season, and something quite easy to prepare at home as well. Then there’s such things as Christmas pudding (which I also thought was only a thing in movies until I saw one in real life). But most importantly this season, the best Christmas tradition you can enjoy is coming together with your friends and family.

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