Celebrate good times…..not likely

It’s interesting reading many bloggers posts on Halloween this week, we don’t do it justice in the UK although it’s gathering pace over recent years.  Celebrations are not something we’re renowned for – blame the British reserve, the wallflowers sitting in the corner observing the rest of the world be the life and soul of the party.

In London we witness multiple events but none of them are ours.  Chinese New Year is a riot of music and colour, Australia day is hugely celebrated, St Patrick’s Day too, although when I say celebrated I mean it’s marked by a huge drinking binge (sometimes it’s nice to have a valid excuse to get smashed – you don’t get as many disapproving looks)

America marks the 4th of July, Thanksgiving, and Halloween itself in large fashion, the Scots are the best at ringing in the New Year, the Brazilians expert at throwing a carnival, Australia the campest Mardi Gras, and Halloween itself a theatrical extravaganza from Mexicans commemorating their loved ones in the Day of the Dead.

What about the Brits?

So, what about the Brits, we don’t even commemorate our Saint’s day, so George slayed the dragon for nothing for all the recognition we give him.  In fairness St George is the patron saint of about a dozen countries so I understand why we don’t pay homage to someone who wasn’t faithful to us, and his excuses for explaining his whereabouts were extremely far-fetched.

What about Christmas?  Everyone goes all out at Christmas right? My personal experience is a flaccid affair here, back home we would open our presents in 10 minutes, wolf our dinner down akin to Homer Simpson then watch TV all day, Christmas was officially done and dusted in about 20 minutes.

One year I was invited to a French family and we sat at the table for 6 hours.  Course after course, no one moving or stopping for a breather the food kept coming, we toasted throughout the meal.  Eventually we retired to the lounge, after an hour the mother announced,”Who’s up for Onion Soup?” and proceeded to start making it from scratch, I could sense my stomach contorting in anguish pleading with me not to digest anything else.

Last Christmas I was in Australia and with the sole intention of forgoing Xmas dinner and getting trashed with friends and hopefully hitting the beach (except the Queensland floods conspired against us that week)  we went to a friends family for Christmas breakfast, again everyone round the table (we even prayed before dinner, how alien was this to me, the closest our family got to church was when my mum went to the jumble sale for our ill-fitting school uniforms)

We’re confined to stand on the sidelines, politely waving our plastic union jacks, how I’d love a full-blown over the top letting of our hair down.   It’s going to be a long road to change the psyche, the closest I have got so far is buying a packet of Haribo Horror mix.

Happy Halloween everyone

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  1. If you ever get a chance to experience Christmas in America, you must do it. For my family it is all about traditions and the birth of Christ. We are not over the top in your face Christians. There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it. We are more of the mirror type. Food but not too much, presents, praise and family is what Christmas is to many Americans especially mine

    • I’ll be experiencing it in Thailand this year, I think some hotels make the effort for guests and throw a lunch but otherwise it’s business as usual there. I’m in Bangkok Xmas week and I expect there will be no sign of the flooding that has stricken the country, unfortunately to preserve the tourist trade they protect their interests more than the people living in surrounding areas.

      I always see my family but we get together a week or so before Christmas. It suits us well as things are open which forces us out of the house so we can take the nieces ice skating or bowling, otherwise they would just be slumped in front of the TV.

      I have never been to America, I was planning on doing a house swap for the Olympics and looked at Canada and America, but it depends on time off work

      • Oh my a house swap. What an awesome idea. I have always wanted to do that but the family’s schedule is all off. We can never get the same days off for a vacation.

        • That’s a shame, it looks popular to swap over there from when I was looking. Catching on here, only awkward as I’d need them to look after the cat, not fair for her to be sent to a cattery


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