Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Christmas vs. Jul - The Date and Weird Traditions

My photo editing skills are still gold

In this final round of Christmas vs. Jul we're talking dates. Should Christmas be on the 24th or the 25th? And what other weird things do people do on Christmas day? Who will win the battle?

The Date
English Christmas is on the 25th, with Christmas Eve on the 24th. In Denmark we kick things off a day early, and celebrate on the 24th, in line with the majority of Central Europe and some of South America.

In my family, it’s always meant that we spent Christmas Eve with my mum’s family for Danish Christmas, and Christmas Day was spent at home with my parents and brothers. As we’ve got older we’ve dispersed a bit. One of my brothers spent last Christmas Day with his girlfriend’s family, and my dad is currently stationed in Afghanistan, but I plan to carry on the tradition when I have a family of my own.

I don’t think one is strictly “better” than the other, unless you’re especially impatient. This heat is a dead tie.

England – 1        Denmark – 1

Other Weird Traditions
Here are some odd things English people do on Christmas Day:
Go to church even when they don’t go on any of the other 51 Sundays in any given year. Make children perform in universally dull plays and say the word “virgin” a lot while singing carols about farm animals, wandering royalty, starlight navigation and mass infanticide. Watch the Queen talk about things on TV, occasionally while reverently standing up in your own living room. The Doctor Who Christmas Special. Get really drunk on sloe gin and complain about how families aren’t like they used to be.

Here are some, arguably weirder, things Danish people do:
Put actual candles on their actual trees and light them. Because fire and wood is totally sensible. Hold hands in a circle around the aforementioned flaming fir tree and walk awkwardly around it. Open your presents painfully slowly, one by one, under the painfully acute stares of all in attendance and then enthuse about the gift regardless of who gave it to you and what it is. Get really drunk on disgusting potato-based spirits called Snaps (NOT the same as Schnapps) and complain about the Swedes.

This one is really tough to call because, frankly, Christmas turns usually reasonable people into complete oddballs all in the name of Christmas cheer. However, flames are scary and Snaps is revolting, so England gets the point.

England – 2        Denmark – 1

The Verdict
Taking into account the food, the folklore and the flames the overall score is a dead tie, with four points apiece. This is pretty appropriate because there’s a lot to be said for both versions of Christmas. Danish Christmas has too many biscuits, but English Advent Calendars suck. Danish elves are adorable but Father Christmas is the OG plus-size papa. And, coming from a bi-National family, having two Christmases is kind of the bomb.


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