keep calm and get ready for christmas

Keep Calm And Get Ready For Christmas

Here at Madd For Cakes, we’re already getting ready for Christmas! We have got a few Christmas related posts going up over on our Facebook page over the next few weeks leading up to the big day, and we also have our Christmas Cupcakes up on the shop on the website!

Cupcakes being decorated
Cupcakes being decorated

We have also started getting our shopping done for Christmas presents! Yes, yes…. we know!! It is still technically November, but is it not better to be prepared and have everything ready for the big day, not worrying than having to fight your way through the crowds, trying to find the perfect present for everyone, and yes, we mean everyone! That includes the stubborn sister who only likes things in a specific colour, the Uncle who has everything already, and the Mother who says she doesn’t want anything but secretly wants that lovely silver necklace she saw on that really obscure advert on the telly.

Christmas shopping past a large decorated Christmas tree
Christmas shopping past a large decorated Christmas tree

One place we love looking at is Not On The High Street. They are just perfect if you want to buy a present that is very unique. So whether it’s a necklace with her birthstone on it for the girlfriend, or a personalised print of his favourite song for the boyfriend, or even a special personalised book to make them smile, whatever you end up getting will certainly be unique and something extra special.

Christmas certainly wouldn’t be the same without the silly board games you play with the family. Charades, Pictionary and Monopoly are just some of the games played, and now there’s other new games such as Say It, Don’t Spray It and Splatter Face. There’s even games out there that are a unique spin on the classic games, such as Harry Potter Trivial Pursuit for the Harry Potter fan in your life and Game of Thrones Monopoly, because well who HASN’T seen Game of Thrones!

Say It Don't Spray It
Say It Don’t Spray It game

One thing guaranteed for the festive period is obviously the Christmas films! We just love the festive films! Some of our favourite films include

  • National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation – because well, who hasn’t had Christmas like this at some point!
  • Die Hard – this film is kind of a given really. What’s not to like about a German Alan Rickman Pavement Pizza!
  • The Muppet Christmas Carol – Another given, The Muppets are always fun any time of the year!
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas – This is probably the only film that can be watched at Christmas AND Halloween.
  • Home Alone – Nowadays, something like this probably wouldn’t happen, what with smartphones etc! Again, what’s not to like!
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

Everyone always looks forward to Christmas Day, mostly because of the presents! Other than the unwrapping of presents, everyone looks forward to having the Christmas dinner! There’s a lot of different Christmas traditions, for example while not celebrating Christmas Day as a national holiday, the secular celebration of Christmas became popular in Japan. As a result, Japan doesn’t have a ‘dinner’ as such, however Japanese Christmas cake, a white sponge cake covered with cream and decorated with strawberries, and Stollen cake is often eaten. KFC also had a successful advertising campaign during the 1970s, and as a result, it became a national custom to have KFC during the festive period, and the chicken dishes have become so popular that the stores often start taking reservations months in advance.

KFC at Christmas in Japan
KFC at Christmas in Japan

In Jamaica, a traditional Jamaican meal includes Ackee, a type of fruit, saltfish, breadfruit, boiled bananas, and fried plantains for breakfast, chicken, rice, stewed oxtail and curried goat for dinner, and a Jamaican rum fruitcake and sorrel drink for dessert. A few British traditions, such as Father Christmas, Boxing Day and eating Roast Beef or Lamb dinners has stayed.

In Germany, roast carp and roast goose are the primary dishes, but duck and suckling pig have also been known to have been served. Side dishes for the meal are typically roast potatoes and a variety of different cabbages such as brussel sprouts, kale and red cabbage. The dinner is traditionally served on Christmas Day in some regions, and on Christmas Eve, the meal tends to be something simpler such as potato salad and sausages (either Bockwurst or Weiner).

Roast Goose on top of a bed of berries and red cabbage
Roast Goose on top of a bed of berries and red cabbage

In the UK, a traditional Christmas dinner tends to consist of roast turkey, served with cranberry sauce, gravy, and a variety of roasted vegetables, including roast potatoes, brussel sprouts, parsnips, mashed potato, pigs in blankets (chipolata sausages wrapped in bacon), and a Yorkshire pudding. Dessert in the UK is usually Christmas pudding (fruit cake), mince pies, trifle or a yule log. In England, the tradition of having turkey didn’t happen until the 16th century, and it was originally common to see either boar, goose or capon on the dinner table.

Traditional Christmas dinner in the UK
Traditional Christmas dinner in the UK

In Canada, the traditions and meals of French Canada, such as New Brunswick and Quebec, are similar to France itself. It is common to have what is known as a réveillon. A réveillon is a long dinner held in the evenings before Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, and appetizers for these dinners may include foie gras, oysters, lobster, and escargot. A traditional dish often at these dinners is turkey served with chestnuts. In English Canada, the traditions and meals are pretty similar to the traditions and meals of England. For dessert however, desserts often include raisin pudding, and either pumpkin pie or apple pie. Christmas cookies, shortbread and butter tarts are often baked in time for the holidays as well and traditionally given to visiting friends at Christmas and New Year’s parties.

Slice of Pumpkin Pie with cream on top
Slice of Pumpkin Pie with cream on top

In German speaking countries such as Austria, Germany and Switzerland, the tradition of Weihnachten is celebrated, and this tradition is also common in German speaking minorities such as Transylvania in Romania, Eupen in Belgium and South Tyrol in Italy. For this tradition, it is common to lavishly decorate the Christmas tree either in the days leading up to Christmas Eve, or on the morning of Christmas Eve and on late Christmas Eve, the tree is then shown the children and the presents are exchanged.

Hotel with three decorated Christmas trees outside in the snow
Hotel with three decorated Christmas trees outside in the snow

In the UK, one tradition is for the children to put out a plate of carrots for the reindeer, and a mince pie with either a sherry or glass of milk for Father Christmas. Decorations and Christmas lights are often put up in towns and cities some time in November, with many having either a local or regional celebrity, or someone from the community to switch on the lights. A nativity play was common place in most primary schools and some high schools, however it is becoming less popular and a Christmas pantomime may be performed instead. Norway donates a giant Christmas tree to the British every year, to be raised in Trafalgar Square as a thank you for helping out during World War Two and in Wales, there is the tradition of singing caneuon plygainwhich is often done on the week before Christmas.

Milk and Cookies for Santa
Tasty cookies on a plate and a glass of milk for Santa

So what are your favourite Christmas films? Favourite part of the Christmas dinner? Favourite games to play at Christmas? We’d LOVE to find out!

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