Christmas traditions: The good, the bad and the just plain weird!

Christmas is once again upon us, and all of us here at Hattrick HQ are feeling festive! To celebrate Santa dusting off his sleigh for the first time in a year, we’ve asked the team what their family Christmas traditions are. With a melting pot of British, Swedish, Italian, and Scottish influences – the responses were quite varied and in some cases, amusingly surprising. To spread the Christmas cheer and help you get into the holiday spirit, we’re sharing some of the most cracking examples in this blog. Happy reading and Merry Christmas!

1. A very ‘snappy’ Christmas 

Paul, our Head of Content & Outreach, has a rather unusual Christmas tradition in his family, which we don’t see anyone poaching any time soon. He has no idea when this tradition started, but after sinking their teeth into Christmas dinner, his family religiously settles down for an annual viewing of the iconic 80’s movie hit, Crocodile Dundee. Want to give it a go? Just add Doritos and croc-amole to complete the Christmas experience…

2. Rockin’ around the Christmas tree

Drawing on her Swedish roots, our MD Malin offered up some of the most interesting traditions in the office, that’s for sure. ‘Lucia Day’ is a mainstay in Swedish tradition. Originating from the religious celebration of St Lucia of Syracuse in Italy, according to old Swedish pagan myth on the night of St Lucia dark spirits and beasts came out to roam and animals became possessed and began to talk. 

Today, Swedes celebrate the occasion with dawn-to-dusk processions taking place at a number of locations, including schools, hospitals, churches and offices. During the processions, people dress up in white robes, with one person acting as ‘Lucia’ and leading the way wearing a crown of candles (find out more here). As part of the celebrations everyone gobbles gingerbread, guzzled down with mulled wine! Sounds pretty fun to us!

Can you spot little Malin in her Lucia Day robes?

According to Malin, the strangest element of her family Swedish Christmas traditions, is dancing around the Christmas tree to several songs, mainly about nature! Her personal favourite however, is ‘uppesittarkväll’, which means ‘staying-up-late-night’. The reason for staying up late, is to write a rhyme for every gift you give and then the person who receives it has to guess what’s inside. There are even TV programmes with live phone-ins to help people who struggle to write the perfect prose for their presents. Now that’s what you call dedication!

3. ‘Dough’ you hear what I hear?

Food is on everyone’s mind at Christmas time, but it’s particularly important for our in-house Italian, Caterina. No Christmas is complete in her household without multiple servings of the traditional Panettone (fruity bread cake) and Pandoro (‘golden’ bread). These traditional sweet Italian bread cakes are in every household in Italy throughout December. Going from sweet to savoury, another tradition for Caterina and her family, is to eat Snails for lunch on Christmas Eve, along with Polenta, which is made from a corn variety in Italy known as flint-corn. Quite the contrast from the pigs in blankets fan favourite in the UK!

4. ‘Chicken’ drummer boys

After spending a few years living in Japan, for our content manager Rebecca, Christmas Day is no longer complete without a full KFC Christmas set! On Christmas Day over there, everyone rushes to get their pre-orders in and queues round the block for their annual intake of Kentucky fried chicken. Marketing moguls have worked their magic, and it’s now become a firm tradition instilled into Japanese society. The complete 2019 Christmas set includes a bucket of chicken, a gratin, a mixed berry tiramisu and a limited edition Kentucky Christmas plate. Who needs turkey, when you can have KFC?!

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