The 5 Best (and Worst) Things About Being An American In London During Christmas
First, the best…
1. No Waiting
Halloween (which isn’t even widely celebrated) is over? Let Christmas begin! Christmas here just feels more Christmasy as well. Maybe it’s the old buildings, maybe it’s the geographic proximity to Jerusalem – I dunno.
2. Boxing Day
We don’t have Boxing Day in the states, but our friends up North do. Essentially, from what I’ve seen of the day, it’s another day off work and there are tons of sales. It originated
when people used to box up their unwanted crap after Christmas and give it to the poor people.
3. “Merry Christmas”
While Americans have slowly and surely moved to “Happy Holidays” you won’t hear that stuff in London. It’s Christmas. Full stop.
4. Ice Skating!
From in front of the Natural History Museum (Dinos + skating = ROARFUN) to Somerset House (Sponsored by Coach of course) to at the Tower of London (Off with their skates!) you can strap on a pair of skates and recreate Mighty Ducks (or that one movie where the hockey player becomes a figure skater)
5. Christmas Crackers
Yeah, you can buy them at some places in the states, but they’ve got nothing on the ones here. What’s more fun than fighting over a prize that involves a minimal amount of gun powder?
1. Winter Wonderland
Yes, it made both lists. While it looks amazing and sounds even better, this place can also be hell on earth. Lines. Lines. Lines.
2. Sending Gifts to the U.S.
Oh, you got some biscuits and an ornament to send home? That’s nice. You’ll pay 3x the cost of the contents to send things home for the holidays if they weigh over 2kg. So, get a scale and use the Royal Mail’s service – much cheaper than FedEx or UPS
3. Who the F*** is Father Christmas?
Yeah, they say Santa as well, but you’re likely to hear the Jolly Old Elf called Father Christmas more often than not.
4. “What are you doing for Christmas?”
It’s the question that replaces the standard British weather conversation from Nov. 1 – December 24th. Start getting a good 4-5 bullet points together.
5. Pre-Christmas Stock Up
Things shut down on Christmas and Boxing Day too depending on where you are. The pre-Christmas shop is already being planned by everyone in London. My suggestion? Use a .com and have stuff delivered prior to the big shutdown.
Merry Christmas, Expats! You may not be home, but you’re not in that bad of place… unless you’re South of the Thames.
Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/ronschott/the-10-best-and-worst-things-about-being-an-amer-7rvg