Tuesday, 6 December 2011

UK Holiday Spirit

The holiday season has felt a little off in Edinburgh.  This is in part due to not having a Thanksgiving break to kick-start the season, partly due to not having great access to family (thanks to a ailing computer!) and then partly due to the funny, UK-holiday traditions that haven't worked their way into my heart yet!  I will say that downtown Edinburgh is a bit magical with holiday fairs, ferris wheels, and a big tree (though quite lacking in decorative appeal...whose decision was it to hang just a few strand of lights vertically on the town's tree and call it a day??  There was a giant tree-lighting ceremony, complete with pyrotechnics, on Thanksgiving only to end with a barely decorated tree being turned on. Let down!) I think I have underestimated how much the little US holiday commericals, songs, and festive traditions have played a role in getting me in the holiday spirit.  It's only now that I am without the Coca-cola polar bears and train commericals and am not bombarded by signs for Starbucks Peppermint Mochas that I realize how much I miss them!  *note-they will make Peppermint Mochas, but they're not considered one of their 'festive drinks' which instead include Toffee Nut and Praline Mocha Lattes*

So, I thought I'd now share with everyone at home a few of the UK festive treats that I guess I'm going to have to accept as part of my holiday gear-up for the next 5 years.  [Brian would like to make sure he gets credit for coming up with this blog post idea...but I think it should be given to me for actually putting the effort into doing it :)]

We start with a commerical for Irn Bru. This is a mystery soda drink that I have no desire to try (partly b/c of the weird name) but everyone seems to be ga-ga for!  I admit this commerical is witty...but it also ruins one of the last pure things in the world...The Snowman! 

"But what I'd REALLY like..."  They love their mince pies...Brian and I are trying our hand at making our own mince meat (with veggie suet!) this weekend.

Ok, this one's adorable, too!

But, there is just no rationalizing this one!  It keeps getting played as a Christmas song!  I can't stand it...the video is ridiculous...and, yet, I find myself humming it on the bus!

The semester is just about wrapping up for me.  Unfortunately I don't have exams until Feb. so I'm left with some studying to keep up with over the holiday break.  Luckily, I've stayed on top of things enough that I at least won't be playing catch-up.  As my dear friend, Sabrina, would say "Future Kim is very proud" of the effort Present-day Kim has put in!

Brian and I have continued to attend church at St. Giles Cathedral in Old Town, Edinburgh.  This weekend was a service in honor of St. Andrew (St. of Scotland evidently!) and they had distinguished people from a variety of organizations and professions there.  Fun fact- In addition to the kilts with capes and giant velour cloaks that I've only seen in Disney movies, there were a number of people wearing white powdered wigs!  Who would have thought those still were in use!! 

Snow fell this weekend for the first time, and has continued to blanket the hills on the way to school.  It looks magical having  beautiful snow covered hills as a backdrop to fields of sheep one direction, and the decorated downtown Edinburgh the other!

I miss everyone so much, especially this time of year. Please do email a quick update on how everything is going whenever you find a spare moment!  I hope everyone's holiday season has started off well, thus far!

Stay warm!
Happy Holidays.