Christmas is celebrated in a different way in every country: in Egypt, Christmas day is on the 7th of January, served with a hearty helping of lamb soup. In Costa Rica, tropical flowers are used to decorate houses instead of lights; and in France, a few drops of wine are spilt onto a yule log before letting it burn in the fireplace (for that deep, mulled wine scent). But in the UK? Britain celebrates Christmas with an amalgamation of mince pies, Christmas crackers and an attentive watching of the Queen’s Speech.
A stereotypical British Christmas starts with un-wrapping presents from underneath a carefully decorated Christmas tree- in some households, real-life pine trees are collected from forests and displayed, firmly potted and watered daily. What follows is a shredded, colourful mess of wrapping paper and gifts sprawled out on the floor, as well as the snap! of Christmas Crackers. These card contraptions are tugged between family and friends, with the person pulling the majority of the cracker away winning a brightly coloured paper crown; a cheesy Christmas joke and a small toy or puzzle (although it can be a fairly even gamble on if the toy works or not). There isn’t a Christmas without a classic Roast Dinner: a selection of turkey, chicken, pork or lamb served in a large helping of thick, smooth gravy and a healthy collection of vegetables. For dessert, a platter of mince pies or Christmas Pudding is usually served, just in time to watch the Queen make her televised Christmas Speech.
For the entire of December, Christmas adverts are played on repeat (especially the highly anticipated adverts from John Lewis or Coca-Cola), and fairy-tale pantomimes are performed at local theatres. As well as Christmas Day, the UK celebrates the 26th of December for Boxing Day, where the majority of the population goes on a frantic shopping spree to find the best deals possible. Christmas songs are played loudly and often drunkenly sung to, and Christmas films are watched by the dozen. With the crinkling sound of trodden on wrapping paper, the sweet smell of sugary mince pies and the cosy fluff of a Christmas jumper, Brits all over the country celebrate in one of the best ways out there.
Disclaimer: I’m not the best photographer (yet!), but I’m hoping that with the following Tea-Stained Photo Journals (TSPJ) I can practice my skills in both photography and editing so that I can eventually look back on such blog posts to see my improvements over time. These pictures were particularly hard for me, so if you have any advice on how to take pictures in different lightings or how to edit them, please post them in the comments below. It’d really help me out 🙂 For now, I hope you enjoy spontaneous pictures!
(All pictures are taken with Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, and edited with the free version of Photoshop Express.)