Blogmas #1 – 7 Things I miss About Christmas at Home

I know for a fact that if I was back home, I’d be moaning about how commercial Christmas has become in England. Funny how all those annoying Christmas traditions are the very things I crave now that I’m away and spending my first Christmas in the UAE.

1. Nottingham Christmas Market

Ahhhh, I can smell the lamb and mint burgers and mulled wine now. Nottingham City Council definitely pulled out all the stops for the most wonderful time of the year. Each year they turn Old Market Square into a Winter Wonderland with stocking-filler stalls, brightly-lit rides and even an ice-rink. I’ve got that warm, fuzzy feeling inside just thinking about it…

2. Secondary School

At this time of year, we’d be winding down at school. My kids would be asking me to play Justin Beiber’s ‘Mistletoe’ every second of the day whilst creating Christmas cards from Lennie Small to George Milton in ‘Of Mice and Men.’ After studying ‘A Christmas Carol’ for the whole winter term, it would get to the point where it was finally acceptable to kick back and watch the movie! Obviously, we would have had to start watching at the beginning of the week in order to finish the movie and gain the full educational experience.


3. Work Christmas Parties

Teachers like to get crunk, so it seems. After starting off the evening discussing which child deserved the biggest lump of coal, the food and drink would start to flow and the nonsense would surely begin. I remember one year an English teacher was dared to ask a bald man if she could sniff his head! She said it smelt lovely.

Got any embarrassing work Christmas party stories to share? Head to the comments section!

4. HEKMOM Christmas Dinner

By the time Christmas Day actually arrives, I’ve normally had about 73 Christmas dinners already. There’s the School Christmas Dinner, the Work Christmas Dinner and then there are your friends… Six of my closest friends (HEKMOM represents the first initials of our names; creative right?) have annual Christmas din dins. Secret Santa makes us an appearance, although most of the time he hasn’t read the Christmas list properly. It’s mandatory that Mac and Cheese and Apple Crumble are present, as well as an Afrobeats mix from our resident DJ Neptizzle. It’s always the most fun and I’m so sad we won’t get to do it this year.

5. Cheap Christmas Decorations

Living in the UAE is not easy. And if I didn’t know before, I definitely know now that Christmas has come around. This place is EX.PEN.SIVE. With no Poundland, Wilkos or Asda, we’ve spent way too much money on Christmas decorations. I refuse to cook a Christmas meal at home without the reasonable prices of Aldi. Waitrose can clear right off!

6. Christmas TV

What’s Christmas without some trash TV? I know Grant and Phil will probably be running around Albert Square putting the fear of God into people ‘for old times sake’ this year. Although I haven’t watched Eastenders for about fifteen years, I never miss the drama unfurling at Christmas! I think it’s fair to say that if you’re British and don’t watch Eastenders at Christmas time, you deserve the same slap that Peggy gave to Frank and Pat when she found out they were cheating.


7. Family Madness

In the Debrah household, Christmas actually starts on Christmas Eve. Me, my mum and bigheaded sister season, stuff and insert bacon into the skin of the Christmas bird. The next day, we open presents (although these are becoming few and far between), we go to church and we spend hours in the kitchen preparing the traditional meal, with a Ghanaian twist…

After we’ve stuffed our faces, we head over to the Ampofos where Velo forces more food down our throats – she insists – and Kojo Black teaches us the latest and coolest dance moves. Then we drive back home with our bellies and hearts full.

Reminiscing has definitely made me feel more Christmassy – I’m glad I blogged! Maybe your Christmas stories will get me in the mood even more. What are your plans for the festive season? Share them below!

Merry Christmas! Helen x


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