Christmas traditions in America and England: Let’s Compare!

As with so many other things, there are far more differences than one would think between America and England. And when it comes to the Christmas holidays, this is true too! Over the past several years I’ve noticed all the little differences that add up to a very different holiday experience, and here I have compiled them for you. Ta-da!

Movies: As we Americans know, the quintessential Christmas eve films are “A Christmas Story” (you’ll shoot yer eye out!) and the classic Dr. Seuss animated version of “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas”. In the UK you get the much more staid “The Snowman”, which is mostly silent and only 30ish minutes long. Anticlimactic!

Treats for Santa: In England children leave a carrot for the reindeer, and a mince pie and some sherry (!!) for the fat man, while in the States we do cookies and milk, which seems far more wholesome if you ask me.

Songs: It seems to me that here in the UK the most popular holiday tunes  (aka, the ones I hear allllll the timmmmeeee) are a few decades old: Slade and Band Aid and The Pogues seem to be on a never-ending loop, accompanied by Wham’s “Last Christmas”.  In America I think Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” is the big song of the season, and whatever other pop songs get released each year (NSYNC and Justin Bieber and Christina Aguilera singing their remakes of classics, plus dudes like Michael Buble doing the Xmas crooning thang). It seems that these, plus a sprinkling of traditional carols, like Silent Night and all of that, make up the American musical repertoire at the holidays. And don’t forget about Nat King Cole and Bing Crosby! (America skips the past few decades and heads straight for the fifties and sixties).

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Happy 4th of July!

Happy American Independence Day dudes and ladies!

Mine started out with a great treat-Jon woke up early and surprised me with American-style pancakes. He’s a keeper, that guy. We didn’t have any syrup, but who cares, right?image

The weather was completely terrible and rainy for most of the day (and even kind of cold, it’s been in the low 60s) but the sun came just in time for my work day to end and for me to hit the gym. Which was needed…..image

because we had dinner plans at this place. image

And I ate this. And a footlong coney. imageAnd the place was rockin! There was an entire table of 20 dressed up in costume. Which I thought was dumb and partially offensive, since I didn’t hear a single American accent at the table, only Brits, but I’m not going to let their ignorance ruin my holiday. (Who dresses up as Mickey Mouse for the 4th of July? Marilyn Monroe? A football player? AN IPOD?? WHAT DOES THAT HAVE TO DO WITH AMERICAN FREEDOM)

Anyway, it was nice. Not as nice as having the day off of work and hanging out in the sunshine drinking beers and cooking out, but it was about as nice as it could get. So happy 4th everyone!