Our Message for Christmas: Drink

Well, Christmas is almost upon us, and LSS will be closing down for a few days. But whether you believe in the Theological justification for this festival or not, it is always an occasion for fun. And for us here at LSS that means the chance for a drop or two of the stuff that cheers. So, especially for the benefit of our foreign readers, we thought we’d show case how Christmas in England is celebrated, from the convivialist’s point of view, over the key days of the period.

Christmas Eve We usually like to close the office at around 12.30, and a crowd of us head over to the Porters Arms at East Croydon Station, apart from a few po-faced individuals who head off to their families and suchlike. Generally it’s beer all the way, with good old traditional brands like Fosters, Kronenburg and Fullers, though some of the ladies often go for a little white wine. such as a nice Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc. Of course people from that big insurance company next door have to spoil things by making it difficult to get to the bar, but we just ignore them as far as possible. It is Christmas and all that.

The next part of the day usually involves a little rest, which can often be taken on the train, provided you don’t miss your stop! A taxi from Littlehampton back to London can be quite expensive if you find you have arrived there and all the train drivers have gone home. But let bygones be bygones as wives often say, and what’s in the past stays in the past.

It’s probably best to avoid the pub again. We recommend staying at home with a couple of shorts. Gin and Tonic is a good stand-by, or whisky and spoarkling mineral water with lots of ice. Get a good night’s sleep. Tomorrow will be a long one.

Christmas Day There are two perils here: 1) the arrival of endless unwanted relatives and neighbours with the consequent strictly enforced jollity, and 2) the need to pull rabbits out of hats during complicated cooking duties. We suggest cutting that first coffee of the day with a good good slugger of brandy, after which you’re ready for the ordeal that is to come. Have a secret stash of something in the kitchen as well, even if its just a can of beer, tucked behind the ham in the fridge

As for those pesky visitors: Present them as early as possible with a big cheerful cocktail: we recommend Bellini or Harvey Wallbangers, as they’re brightly coloured, easy to make in bulk, most people like them and they go well with the kind of cheap noisome little nibbles the proletariat seem to favour. You can always slip a glass of your best port or burgundy to your mates, and find out what is happening in the world of football. Always have lots of cold beer handy as well, as a well placed can can terminate many a tedious conversation before it has started.

Now to dinner: Traditionally, the rich bathed their Christmas Turkeys in Champagne, and the poor in Asti Spumante, a kind of distant ancestor of Prosecco, in the way that VHS was to DVDs. Cremont can offer a lovely middle way here. Though, as we move away from Turkey towards Beef, why not change to something classy and still, like a really good Chablis? Or, if you prefer a red, try a bottle or two of Primitivo, Sicily’s finest.

Always volunteer to do the Christmas pudding as you can swig from the brandy used to set it on fire when no one’s looking This trope melds seamlessly into after dinner liqueurs, when basically anything goes. Sherry, Baileys, Madeira, Port were all traditional ways of surviving present-giving, the Queen’s speech (RIP) and Top of the Pops (RIP also)

We doubt you feel like anything much now, so we’ll pass to:

Boxing Day Often dawns surprisingly bright and sparkling, though some may be up a little late. A good shower, shave and sandwich may give you enough strength for a walk to the local pub. Light beers and lagers are to be preferred. And cold white wines will do wonders to wash down all those cold meats , cold potatoes, cold sausages, cold stuffing, cold parsnips, cold cheeses, cold christmas puddings and all those other cold leftovers which somehow have to be eaten, before we start those new year diets which would be entirely unnecessary if we hadn’t pigged out like a bunch of Roman Emperors for three long days

Happy Christmas and see you in the New Year

#christmas

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