Dreaming Of A White Christmas
Bring light and laughter to the darkest months of the year, celebrating Christmas in the traditional English style! With snow already on the mountains, we’re guaranteed a white Christmas here in Madrid. So forget your worries, put your homework down and share some festive joy with your friends and family. Here are a few ideas to help you to get started!
1) Put up a Christmas tree in your living room.
This is the best way to start the festive season! Make a space for your Christmas tree in the corner of your lounge and decorate it with fairy lights, baubles and tinsel. Then pile your presents under the tree, ready to open on Christmas morning! If you’re environmentally friendly or are worried about pine needles dropping and making a mess, synthetic or potted trees are a good option.
Yes, real handwritten cards… e-cards, Christmas GIFs or Facebook greetings do not count! Write Christmas greetings for your friends and family, especially those who live far away, and post your cards to arrive in time for Christmas. It is traditional in England to hang the cards you receive on the wall in your lounge, and to include a letter with your year’s news. Buying your cards from a reputable charity will help to make Christmas special for those in need, too.
3) Bake Christmas goodies
Traditional English Christmas sweets include mince pies, Christmas cake and Christmas pudding with brandy butter. Making and icing the Christmas cake is a fun family activity, and children will enjoy icing the mince pies and stirring the cake mixture. Wash it all down with a glass or two of mulled wine (hot red wine prepared with spices) – it will help you with your carol singing!
Count the days leading up to Christmas with an advent calendar, opening a numbered door every day. If it’s too late to start this year, remember to buy your calendar in November next year! Traditional calendars have beautiful pictures behind every door, and can be re-used from one year to another. Pop-up calendars are a fun alternative and chocolate calendars are now available in most Spanish supermarkets.
On Christmas Eve, around midnight, Father Christmas will climb down the chimney and leave presents for children who have been good throughout the year! Hang your children’s stockings over the end of the bed or over the fireplace and see if Santa comes to visit! A stocking is a very long woolly sock – if you don’t have any you can always sacrifice a pair of tights to make one. Ideal stocking fillers are chocolate money, tangerines and small toys. Leaving a mince pie and a glass of brandy out for Father Christmas is essential – he will be tired after visiting so many houses! Ah, and don’t forget to leave a carrot or two for Rudolf the red-nosed reindeer.
Singing carols (traditional Christmas songs) is a lovely way to celebrate with your friends. Traditionally, crowds gather around the Christmas tree in the centre of the village to sing carols on Christmas Eve. Small choirs or groups of friends also go around singing from door to door, often to raise money for charity, knocking at people’s houses, singing a carol or two and being rewarded with sweets and donations. Popular Christmas carols include ‘We Wish You A Merry Christmas’, ‘Silent Night’, ‘Ding Dong Merrily On High’ or ‘Jingle Bells’. And if you’re shy about singing in public, you can always sing along to a playlist of your favourite carols as you wrap your presents!
Decorating your home doesn’t stop with putting up your Christmas tree! Decorate your windows and garden with Christmas lights and Christmas models (statues of reindeer, sleighs and Santa gnomes) and bring a festive feeling to your neighbourhood. Go looking for holly and make a Christmas wreath to hang on your door to welcome the friends and family who come to visit at this special time of year. And if you’re feeing creative, make decorations to hang on your Christmas tree or design your very own nativity scene with houses, animals, real plants and moss, sand, waterfalls… your imagination is the limit!
Traditional English Christmas dinner is eaten either at dinnertime or lunchtime on Christmas day, and includes roast turkey and stuffing, Yorkshire puddings, roast potatoes and roast parsnips, and boiled vegetables (carrots and brussel sprouts) served with gravy and cranberry sauce. Set the table with candles and before the meal, pull your Christmas crackers, read the terrible jokes aloud and put on your party hats! For dessert, serve Christmas pudding with brandy butter or white sauce. For added effect you can pour brandy over the whole Christmas pudding before it is served, set it alight and turn off the lights to watch your pudding flambée in a beautiful blue glow.
9) Steal a Christmas kiss
In England it is the custom to hang Mistletoe over the doors of your home… and if two people are caught standing under the mistletoe, tradition requires them to kiss! What better way to steal a Christmas kiss with that special someone? Hang up your mistletoe and create some magical moments!
Come to see Face 2 Face’s production of ‘A Christmas Carol’, at the Teatro Fígaro! Suitable for all the family, this popular F2F Christmas classic is showing this Saturday afternoon, 17th December, at 4.30pm and this Sunday morning, 18th December, at 12.30. There are still a few tickets available. To book now: Click Here
Don’t forget to share your Christmas Festivities with Face 2 Face by using the hashtag: #F2FTheatre or #AChristmasCarol via your preferred choice of social media: Facebook, Twitter or Instagram!
From everyone here at Face 2 Face, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!