What do you miss about Christmas in the UK

There are some pretty heavy topics going on, interesting - yes, but let's lighten up. What things do you miss about Christmas in the UK compared to France. They do not seem to make such a big thing of it in France, or do they but they do it differently. We miss all the goodies in the shops, he says just as we're about to leave to collect our Asda delivery at Mussidan. Maybe it is just our part of France. Be nice to know how differently it is done in other areas. In our village the Christmas light goes on mid December, yes I do mean singular, and we have a few trees attached to the signposts at the corner of the road, with a bit of tinsel on them, and they are still there at mid january. In the UK they would be in someone's living room by teatime.

I think I mostly miss the food! Especially the christmas cake and other delicious treats! Normally my family also prepares christmas hampers for every one. This is also something which I miss... but well the christmas celebrations how I celebrate now isn't bad, so I shouldn't complain!

And thanks for sharing the christmas curry packs! I think I will consider this for next year.

The secret of roast potatoes, Helene, is to par-boil them first -- ie just boil them till the outsides start to soften. Then drain them thoroughly, put a lid on the pan, and shake it hard for a minute or so. This will make the outsides become a little rough. Then put them at once into a pan with very hot oil and straight into the oven. They will come out deliciously crunchy.

Pantomime, husband and I started going for about 4 years before we moved over here children so not interested, so really miss that. Oh yes we doooooo ...............


Hi, sorry to do a cheeky plug, but we've just added a couple of christmas curry packs (with christmas pudding) that may be of interest for those looking to do a boxing day curry as well as have a family xmas pud on Christmas day... http://bit.ly/uUOQff


I miss the singing! I left 35 years ago and have only been back a couple of times for Christmas so I'm probably completely out of date and no one goes out carol singing any more.

As for the food, the first year I was here, although I hated Christmas cake, I found myself making it for all my pupils (50 or so) at the collège where I taught to persuade them it was actually edible ('Don't you leave it to rot for a year?" ) They were wary even to try it. There's still a lot of suspician around mince pies filled, I'm reliably told, with raw pig fat.

So now every year I make cake for other people at our Christmas shows plus mulled wine and the combined calories are the only thing that keeps them from freezing - once in our old workshop in Saumur it got down to -4°and our feet were practically adhering to the concrete floor.

This year the exhibition room is at last heated but the Christmas Tea will be in a warehouse- Le Hangar - in Le Mans which is unheated -old traditions die hard.

We'll be doing silly games to warm up (I can't think of many, all ideas welcome!) and a comparative study of Pudding and Cake. I think I'm going to have to replace the tea with mulled something. Does anyone know the where I can find Cake, Pudding, crackers etc in the Le Mans area or over the internet but not too expensive?

Thanks in advance!

Staying at the Strand Palace Hotel, taking in 10 shows in one week, tea at the Ritz, December 31st first the theatre and then Trafalgar Square, kissing Bobbies, buying an extra suitcase to 'schlep' home all the books we bought ... shopping, or just looking at the gorgeous shop windows, the general atmosphere ... och, those were the days, my friends.

Would second that, it's just a case of weighing it and throwing it in the tin. Grating the lemons is the longest bit and it tastes so much better than bought!

Thank you ! I think I'll try again this weekend. I shall let you know how I got on !

I make mine, it is really easy and can be made now until the day before really.

There are plenty of recipes on the internet some with suet ( which you probably won;t get here) but loads of vegetarian one's

Once you've tried homemade, you will probably not have shop bought again.


If you are in Paris you will be able to get it in Le Bonmarché the food section and we are waiting for the opening in december of Mark and spencer champs elysée

Does anyone know where I can buy some mincemeat to make mince pies?? Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas if I didn’t make the usual mahooossive quantity of these little fellas!! Thank you :slight_smile:

And the biggest thing is choosing the RIGHT dress! Long, cocktail, bright or the little black frock, decisions, decisions.... might be a little gold number for the 9th this year, lol xxx

Try giving them a good shake in that colander to 'rough up' the edges, it gives them nice crispy bits! Or cut the spuds in half, slice through a couple of mm apart cut side down, but not all the way through, & roast as normal, yummy!

Actually, ours is called the 'Rigley Recorder' and I have been doing this for nearly 15 years (albeit now it is electronically produced due to arthritic hands, but a personally written ps is added to all)! I didn't do it one year, and everyone thought we (or I should say, I, as it's usually down to me) had departed from our earthly coil, so have kept it up ever since......

The secret for the roast potatoes is to peel them and then half boil them, let them dry but really dry in a colander, then heat up the oil in the roasting tin as hot as possible, put potatoes into the oil and then put into a HOT oven, turn occasionally and you will NOT be sorry, my family LOVE my roasties and yes even my french rellies, (but I dont tell them how to do it) LOL LOL

oohhhh Stuart I forgot about that !!! YES definitley the office party :-)

Hi all - my first post on SFN, glad it's on my favourite topic :) I love Christmas, everything about it, trees and tinsel and loads and loads of Christmas songs playing all day on my cd player! Most of these things we've managed to bring with us to France, but I guess what I most miss is walking into a cosy pub on a frosty December day, Slade paying on the juke box and the promise of a pint of tasty winter ale before me. Also because I now work along from home, I miss a good Works Christmas party with silly games and everyone dressed up in their best party outfits wearing tinsel in their hair.