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Learning about Christmas in London

ChristmasLondonDrawing We have noticed a few things that are different about Christmas in London compared to the US. None are bad, just different, which makes it fun for us. These are:

1. Christmas Crackers: As our friend Alan explains, the Christmas Cracker is a fun way to get a little gift. I have only seen this at dinners around Christmas time, but I’m not sure if it is just a meal-time thing.

2. Dinner at a pub:  A month or more ago, you could reserve a table at a pub for Christmas lunch or dinner. You have to reserve early because they do fill up. I think this is partially because many houses in the city are too small to host a big dinner party. So you could have your Christmas dinner at the Crab & Winkle, the Zigfrid von Underbelly, or any other number of strangely named pub names. I doubt I can get lefsa like Mom makes at any of these places though. She makes great tynnlefse.

3. Lights: Most homes in the city don’t have their own Christmas lights, but many of the shops downtown have big light displays.

4. Trees: Of the people who buy Christmas trees in the city, they buy them wrapped up in some netting and often I see people carrying them down the sidewalk. There probably aren’t many U-cut places near London! I saw this in Paris too though, so it might happen in cities in the US too, except Seattle.

5. Ice skating: There are a variety of small ice skating rinks setup around the city, including one in what should be the moat at the Tower of London. We did our ice skating at Kew Gardens. OK, lots of US cities have this too, but there seem to be quite a few; possibly because London is so big.

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