Family traditions are a crucial part of Christmas, as important as cheesy Christmas sweaters, the begrudging consumption of Brussel sprouts, and copious day-drinking. But some of them can also be pretty strange, at least to the outside observer. Here, qmunicate’s editors and contributors come together to share their strangest party games, house rules, and culinary experiments. They may be a little unusual, but Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without them.
“For Christmas Eve, we celebrate with my mum’s side of the family (so, around 30 people give or take). We all get really drunk and do a choreographed dance to the Spanish version of ‘Achy Breaky Heart’.
This has happened every year for as long as I can remember.”
– Celia Varela Sixto
“When I worked in a bar everyone rinsed me for playing pegs in bottles with my grandparents at Christmas. You kneel on a chair facing the back, elbows on the the top of the back and drop old wooden clothes pegs into an old glass milk bottle. Most landed inside wins. I look forward to it every year because it’s the best.”
– Ben Taysum
“We have guacamole before Christmas dinner and we’ve done it for as long as I remember and no one recalls how or why it started.”
– Jimmy Donaghy
“My family do ‘present pie’ where we put everyone’s presents in a pile on the floor and cover them with a blanket, and my wee cousins sing that blackbird nursery rhyme. Then you have to take turns picking out a present, and whoever’s name is on it has to pick out the next present before they can open theirs. I always assumed this was an Irish thing, but after googling it with no results, I have no idea where my family got it from”
– Georgia Keatley-Barclay
“Dad doesn’t let us open our family and friends presents until after the Queen’s speech (to which we have to stand for and be in complete revenant silence). Mum, on the other hand, one year drank one glass of prosecco, said “fuck the queen”, passed out and woke up with a hangover all in the space of 20 minutes.”
– Isaac Roy
“Every winter we build a fire, and take the goats up around it. The family gathers and watches as the firstborn leads the youngest of the generation to perform the ritual sacrifice. It’s great fun. Would recommend.”
– Ray Syed
[Clare Patterson – @clarepttrsn]