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To wonder if other countries make such a palava and have so much angst over Xmas

(76 Posts)
EnlightenmentwasaPassingPhase Mon 13-Nov-17 16:03:13

Bloody love Xmas, me. DH, DD, Ddog and I get to spend it at home relaxing, eating, drinking and opening presents because no fucker invites us over

But the angst on here - sometimes genuine, sometimes contrived!

So, I wondered if other countries do Xmas in a more laid back way. I'd love to live somewhere where it wasn't mentioned until mid December, the shops weren't full of seasonal tat from September and there wasn't a lot of family politics about who spends the "special" day where and with whom.

MissConductUS Mon 13-Nov-17 16:09:01

Don't come to the US then. We're gaga over Christmas here, just like in the UK.

MrsTerryPratchett Mon 13-Nov-17 16:10:50

Canada is worse too.

Freshprincess Mon 13-Nov-17 16:16:07

i bought some Christmas baubles in a shop that just sold baubles in US in July once! New York in December was like being in every Christmas film you've ever seen.

My Oz cousins seem to be pretty low key about it.

GemmaB78 Mon 13-Nov-17 16:17:50

The only other comparison I have is German (husband) and their Christmas is much more low key, relaxed and generally lovely.

MissConductUS Mon 13-Nov-17 16:18:58

New York in December was like being in every Christmas film you've ever seen.

Yes we are, thanks. We love it and the tourists expect it, and we do a jolly good job of it too! smile

YellowFlower201 Mon 13-Nov-17 16:21:15

I agree with pp German Christmas is lovely. I think more low key

Judashascomeintosomemoney Mon 13-Nov-17 16:21:19

I used to live in the Philippines, they bloody love Christmas, it starts round about July grin

NoNoCharlieRascal Mon 13-Nov-17 16:21:48

My husband is Portuguese and it's a much simpler affair over there. Small token gifts are given after mass on Christmas eve, Christmas day is about food and family but not it the crazy over the top way you see here. (Of course this is generalised as I only see his family and friends way of doing Christmas)

My family do a low key Christmas celebration and he thinks even that is over the top, although he does enjoy it.

Council Mon 13-Nov-17 16:22:50

It's what you decide to make it isn't it?

I'm hosting this year, admittedly not for a lot of people, but I haven't started anything yet. I keep thinking maybe I should get on with it, but honestly can't see that there's any rush.

I'll do all the shopping on-line, I'll write a few cards in my lunch break, the DC will put up the tree a week or two beforehand, I'll do some wrapping and baking 21 & 22 Dec (I work in school).

What else am I supposed to be fussing over?

Mrskeats Mon 13-Nov-17 16:24:47

I lived in Italy and it was so much more relaxed and fun there.
It’s become just a buying crap fest here which appears to start in October.

CruellasDaughter Mon 13-Nov-17 16:27:31

When we went to Lapland to visit Santa, there was a huge group of young Norwegians who were celebrating the end of their compulsory service (by getting very drunk and vomitting everywhere grin) staying in the same complex as us. We got chatting and one young woman asked me why so many British people were in Lapland. She laughed when I told her to see Santa. She just didn't get it! They celebrate Christmas Eve there apparently.

CruCru Mon 13-Nov-17 16:29:32

A friend who lived in Spain said that it was far more low key there. However, I think their big day is 6 January rather than 25 December.

OlennasWimple Mon 13-Nov-17 16:30:56

PLaces that don't go to town over Christmas tend to have another festival nearby that they splurge on instead

Ausparent Mon 13-Nov-17 16:33:28

We are in Austria and Christmas is really relaxed. Christmas dinner is sausages and sauerkraut and kids don't seem to discuss presents at all. Tree doesn't go up until Christmas eve. We love it as we get to keep all the traditions from home we love but are able to opt out of the bullshit.

BaronessBomburst Mon 13-Nov-17 16:36:30

Yep, it's a total non-event in the Netherlands.

Sinterklaas however is much hyped and despite not being until the 5th of December is about to kick off in just 30 minutes time with the first episode of the Sinterklaas Journaal on the main TV channel.

By the time the evening of 5th actually arrives, most children will be pretty hysterical as there is a Sinterklaas-based activity EVERY FRICKIN DAY at school as well. including the teachers blacking-up to play Piet

BeALert Mon 13-Nov-17 16:48:46

Don't come to the US then. We're gaga over Christmas here, just like in the UK.

I don't think it's quite the same level of angst though. Because a lot of people don't get Boxing Day off work and because families have already got together at Thanksgiving, you're more likely to be able to have a smaller Christmas where you don't have to see all your family.

I also find that the supermarkets in the US are much less crazy at Christmas than in the UK - I've never had to queue half the length of an aisle. And where I live we don't really have online grocery shopping so everyone is having to go to the actual shop. But that might just be where I live being a bit less populated, and the fact that they have people packing for you which speeds things up massively.

And no one talks too much about Christmas till Thanksgiving is over, so it's delayed a bit.

But when it comes to over-purchasing of food and presents, I totally agree...

KC225 Mon 13-Nov-17 16:53:52

I have moved from London to rural Sweden. It seems less full on here, still a big thing but not as 'whoah in your face' It us lovely here though, with the some on the phone trees and all the candle arches in the windows. Worst Christmas ever for me was spent in Cairo on my own.

EnlightenmentwasaPassingPhase Mon 13-Nov-17 17:06:54

I don't think you can compare Christmas in Manhattan to Xmas in Milton Keynes!

The MN Xmas angst is already beginning with family politics and people wanting to spend it with their "own little family". Xmas dinner (cooking of) seems to be a major cause of stress. Admittedly, I leave it to DH, but MNetters do love to play the martyr over it.

melj1213 Mon 13-Nov-17 17:59:27

I lived in Spain with DD till two years ago and Christmas was so much more low key over there, the big one is El Día de los Reyes Magos (Kings Day) on January 6th.

In Spain Christmas is a family affair - you have dinner with your family and Santa will usually leave one or two small gifts under the tree.

The big celebration is for los Reyes - there are huge parades on the 5th where people will dress up as the three kings - Balthazar, Casper and Melchior - and hand out sweets to the children lining the route. When they go to bed that night children traditionally leave their shoes out for the Kings to put their presents in/under and this is when they usually get all their big presents.

January 6th is the big celebration with all the traditional foods - including Roscón de Reyes, a Three Kings cake baked in a ring and decorated with candied fruit and hiding a small figure (usually a baby Jesus or a crown) and a bean - if you find the figure you are crowned the king/queen of the day and if you find the bean, you have to buy the cake next year.

One of the other big Christmas traditions in Spain are the Christmas Lotteries, which are unlike the lottery we do here every week - El Gordo y El Niño. Last year's "El Gordo" prize money totalled €2.31 billion, with the top individual prize being €4 million and El Niño had an estimated prize pool of €630 million.

allegretto Mon 13-Nov-17 18:03:00

In Italy it's a bit more low key. Public transport runs on Christmas Day - it's a bit more like a normal Sunday.

Evelynismyspyname Mon 13-Nov-17 18:16:59

We also live in Germany and I also vote for German Christmas grin 🌲

The Christmas/ advent markets are a big deal, but the key is they don't start til advent !

There are some Christmas food products in the shops - this seems to have got earlier over the ten years we've lived here, but it's just 1/4 of an aisle of gingerbread and Stollen, not much else.

My favourite thing is schools, including kindergarten for the littlest and primary, don't go all Christmas fever and hype the kids up about it - despite the part of Germany we live in being very traditional and very Catholic. There's an optional navity as an extra curricular activity but only about 20% of kids do it. I'm so glad they do it this way, I think it's better than devoting half a term to card making and class parties and rehearsing endlessly for a Nativity play most kids have token made up walk on parts in (or worse still they're told to be the chorus rather than find something more useful to do while the 5 or 6 kids with proper parts rehearse).

There is still some family pressure, but not nearly as much.

Schools don't break up til 23rd and 24th is the main day, which I love too - no endlessly waiting for what almost has to be an anticlimactic day.

We go to a forest market and cut a tree the week before Christmas, and put it up and decorate it on the morning of 24th, nice lunch, kids have to tidy upstairs as the Christkind only comes when it's tidy and quiet - presents "appear" for the first time under the tree about 3pm - late afternoon and evening with presents. 25th is a day for extended family - then you're done.

I much prefer not dragging it out!

WorraLiberty Mon 13-Nov-17 18:18:50

You can't compare Mumsnet Christmas angst to ordinary RL though.

And I think that goes for any country.

I mean for every person with an 'angsty' thread, there will be 1000s who are just sailing through Christmas, relaxed about everything.

blackteasplease Mon 13-Nov-17 18:20:00

In Russia they make a Pavlova of it I believe. grin

I think most other European countries don't make such as big deal as in the UK.

londonlookout Mon 13-Nov-17 18:34:12

We didn't 'do' Christmas one year and went to Spain instead. It was fab; lovely lights up but it didn't feel in any way commercialized. People were walking around shops on Christmas eve as if it was a normal day.

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