Strachan Xmas Traditions

Yesterday, I’d a conversation with an old acquaintance about Christmas gifts. It wasn’t a long conversation, moreover me asking him “Where the chuff’s my Christmas present, you tight get?!”

xmas presents

Knowing I was joking he laughed and the conversation moved on. He confided in me he’d just undergone a minor hospital procedure to remove something on his head. I asked if it was a suspect growth that needed a biopsy, to which he responded “No, a bowler hat! ….. It’s the last bloody time I go to a fancy dress party dressed as Stan Laurel!”

Despite the hospital visit though, he was in decent spirits after last week’s positive news his son’s wife gave birth to a baby girl. It’s his first grandchild, which the overjoyed parents have named her Winter Sun!…… I wanted to ask him if his daughter-in-law had given birth to a little girl or a holiday brochure! However, I thought it inappropriate under the circumstances, instead choosing to congratulate him on his family’s joyful news.

After a disorganised week or two, I’m relieved to have finally got my presents bought for the big day. The only thing I have left to do is write the Christmas blog I promised my mum as a festive gift.

I can’t tell you how thrilled she was when I told her of the personalised gift I propose to pen her.……. No, seriously I can’t tell you how pleased she was, as she didn’t say anything in response. She just walked into her kitchen and poured my only half consumed cuppa into the sink.

I’ve no idea what the fat bearded bloke with a red face (that’s St Nick, not me!) will bring yours truly this year. Not that I’m bothered, as I prefer surprises and will be happy with any token bequeathed to me ……… Just as long as it’s not a blog written by some idiot like my mum will receive – That’d really hack me off!

On Christmas morning, being ‘old school’, we follow the same traditions every year. It starts with a brief regimental ceremony, when we are piped into the living room by a piper from the Ainsley Scragg Dragoon Guards. This precedes the opening of the families presents.

I’ve no idea how the piper gets into the house (I assume it’s the same way as Santa), but he’s an amiable chap and it’s a novel way to start a special day, so I don’t question it.

The only time it didn’t go so well was the year my Carpenters cd went missing.! I don’t like making accusations, but when he piped us in with the song ‘Yesterday Once More’, the following Christmas, fingers started being pointed.

After the presents have been opened, I’ll no doubt mull over which tombola will be the recipient of a Jeremy Clarkson soap on a rope gift…… The unwanted gift from Aunt Edna. I’ve nothing against Clarkson per se, but I do have a problem with using soap.

I’ll then make us a full English breakfast, which sets us up until we crack open the box of Celebrations chocolates mid morning. While I cook breakfast, the turkey will be placed in the oven by a companion. I’m hoping it’s going to be a smaller bird than last year. Poultry so gargantuan if it d still been alive I could’ve ridden it home!!

Its mammoth size resulted in having to baste it in Vaseline to get it in the oven; not to mention using a crowbar to get it out when cooked.

A turkey not dissimilar in size to last years!


To be honest I’m not a big fan of turkey, but I’ll eat it on Christmas Day out of tradition. I feel strongly these should be maintained and, hopefully, passed on through generations! If truth be told, I find turkey a very dry meat with not particularly pleasant a taste….. Especially when basted in Vaseline!

After the turkey dinner, there’s Christmas pudding, followed by cheese and crackers. We tend get a selection of cheeses from around Europe. I’m not sure why we keep up this particular tradition, as it costs a chuffing fortune in air fares, and the cheeses we select are available in Sainsburys around the corner!…… I might have to revisit that strategy.

There is a saying that “It’s not over until the fat lady sings!”, but as that refers to opera not Christmas dinner that’s irrelevant to this blog!

We leave the table when everyone has finished their cheese, crackers and a coffee. The caffeine hit is essential to negate drowsiness while watching TV, playing a board game or finding a room to hide in to mask the inevitable sprout induced flatulence.

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