This year is our very first time having Christmas just us. Our little family. As much as we wish we were back in the states celebrating with family it is actually super nice to have Christmas Eve and Day all to ourselves.
One of the highlights is planning my first Christmas Eve dinner entirely.
Homemade Cranberry Sauce
My mother-in-law's famous stuffing
Pear Hazelnut Salad
Sparkling Apple Juice
Homemade Pumpkin Pie
I have to toot my own horn for this dinner. It was seriously so DE-VINE. Tim thinks this dinner may be a tradition for us from now on.
Speaking of traditions, I wanted to incorporate English Christmas traditions this year as much as possible, and probably will do so from here on out. We will always carry London in our hearts. It is customary here in the UK to have "Christmas Crackers" before the Christmas dinner. I was at the grocery store when I first came across these Chrismas Crackers and my thought was "Wow, that is fancy wrapping for crackers. They must be some fancy, tasty crackers."
It wasn't until Tim told me when he himself learned about them at his work Christmas party when I figured out what they were. The "cracker" is actually short for "firecracker". So they are these small packaged tubes that are pulled by everyone before Christmas dinner by everyone crossing their arms, sitting around the table, then pulling your neighbours cracker with the free left hand. The packaging allows the tube to make a fire cracker sound when opened and out pop 3 things: -A paper crown, -A joke, and -A toy.
You can read the history here.
I of course jumped on buying these when I realized what they were. It is British tradition! And they have these everywhere. At the luxury department store, Harrods, they even sell some for £599! What's in it? Gold?
It was hard for the girls to pull so Tim and I had to do it ourselves.
Of course, we had to keep our American tradition of Christmas pajamas on Christmas Eve.
Another tradition in the UK is for the kids to leave mince pies instead of cookies for Father Christmas. That is one tradition I can happily leave out. :) Santa likes cookies in this house. We are excited to see what he brings tonight! Good night!