It's beginning to look a lot like...

K.E. O'Connor

Um... Christmas!? If you check the stores, you'd think it was next month. Advent calendars, Christmas pud, mince pies! I mean, it's barely September. We haven't even had Halloween or bonfire night.

Still, in the spirit of all things crazy early Christmas, I thought I'd share a few of the more unusual traditions in the UK.

Pull my cracker, baby!

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I had no idea, but not everyone celebrates Christmas by pulling a cracker over lunch. Not the savory kind with cheese, but the ones containing gunpowder, plastic toys, paper crowns, and terrible jokes.

Tom Smith, a London confectioner, created crackers in the 1840s. He must have had a few too many ales when he came up with them.

Are you a pulling a cracker household? Do you have crackers at Christmas, or have you no clue what I’m talking about? Is it even safe to have gunpowder lying around when all that eggnog gets downed?

Do you prefer your crackers to bang or with cheese?

Wassailing. Was-whating?

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Image by Nina from Pixabay

It’s another weird one. What’s a wassail? Something on a boat? Nope, it’s singing old-school style. The official (Google official) definition is brilliant. Wassailing is: drinking plentiful amounts of alcohol and enjoying oneself with others in a noisy, lively way. That sounds fun.

It stems from the Middle Ages in Britain when peasants would sing for their lords and they’d give them gifts of food and drink. It’s evolved and now involves groups of merry (usually drunk) carol singers going into pubs or knocking on doors and singing for money.

Would you like to wassail with me? If you had to pick a song to sing to strangers, what would it be? I love Good King Wenceslas. Pick a carol and tell me what it is. I’ll bring the mead.

Boxed In

Boxing Day (December 26) is an event. Today, it’s all about the sales in-store and online. It didn’t used to be. It started in the 1800s when the wealthy boxed up gifts for the poor and handed them out. It was also a day off for servants, and when they got their ‘box’ of gifts from their masters.

Churches would also collect money throughout the year in a box and open it at Christmas and give it to the poor.

Today, it’s more about reduced-price sale gifts in a box. I like the original Boxing Day tradition of giving to those less fortunate.

Do you have a similar tradition where you live?

Mystery at Christmas

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We all love a good snowy thrill.

If you'd like to investigate my festive mysteries, I have four for you to enjoy:

Sleighing of the Witch

Gift of the Witch

Mint Frosting and Murder

Ghostly Surprises

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