We have asked all our Code of the Gentleman contributors to tell us what is special about Christmas for them, their family traditions, the eccentricities and the little things that make Christmas unique. We hope you enjoy them and maybe you will start a new Christmas Tradition yourselves this year.
Nancy Atkinson Turner
Christmas Eve Chateaubriand. Since I was little Christmas Eve was always our BIG Christmas dinner. Christmas lunch Mum was always too drunk to cook so we’d just have left overs from the night before. And Chocolate. And Cheese.
We ALWAYS had a whole Chateaubriand and my Dad would make the best Melba Toast ever. That was my Dads whole contribution to Christmas lunches. Mum always made Pate. We still have Christmas Eve Dinner but its now not so 80’s themed. We have parma ham for starters. A huge Chateaubriand with all the turkey trimmings and then pudding. Always a strawberry and chocolate tart.
My Granddad Wally would always make hair – he was completely bald – out of the party poppers and when he died, that became tradition. So if you come to my house on Christmas Eve, you will be forced to wear party popper hair and a christmas hat.
I have continued the getting too tiddly to cook tradition. A mark of respect to my mother. Of course.
Wrapping stocking fillers until 2am. Drunk. With the last ones looking like a goat wrapped them.
Midnight mass. Drunk. Singing OH COME LET US ADORE HIM at the top of our voices.
Getting home. Midnight gifts.
The kids are NEVER awake before me on Christmas Day. I have to go and wake them up.
Bucks Fizz breakfast. Dressing the dog in tinsel for his Christmas dog walk. Which I think he hates. But he does it.
The inevitable Cat Attack Christmas tree. Alfie Bum Bum climbs the Christmas tree every single year. On Christmas Eve. Realising I am drunk before 10:30am
Our Christmas lunch. Last year was at The Ghandi. Our local Indian restaurant. It was EPIC.
And, I don’t know WHY but we play pin the tail on the donkey every Christmas. And every Christmas someone turns the donkey upside down whilst I am blindfolded. Every single year. But it is ALWAYS hilarious.
At midnight on Christmas Day the boys in our village all used to do Naked Pub Run. Where the Red Lion Drinkers would run to the Thomas Lord and the Thomas Lord drinkers would run to the Red Lion. Naked. And every year someones clothes would ‘go missing’.
Bucks Fizz breakfasts happen right the way through to New Years Day. By which point I am used to an all day headache and seriously concerned how normal it is to get downstairs at 7am, open the fridge and pour myself a stiff drink.
PG Tip – Melba Toast
Just in case any of you Gentleman don’t know how to make Melba Toast, here is how #2PG was taught:
You really need to make Melba toast under a grill rather than in a toaster as it’s much easier to control. Take two slices of bread, brown or white and ready sliced is easier in my experience. Toast the bread on both sides, remove from the grill and cut off the crusts. Now carefully with a bread knife slice down the slice between the two toasted surfaces to create two super thin slices with one toasted and one untoasted side. Now place the four slices back under the grill untoasted side uppermost. Be careful because it is very easy to burn your Melba toast at this point because it’s very thin.
There is nothing better than Melba toast with good rich Pate and a tasty chutney.