‘The fussy eater’ is a column in the Observer written by Ariel S. Leve, an American journalist. Sunday, 12 December, I read her article ‘I can’t eat mince pies, and you smother everything in brandy. What is it with the British Christmas?’ with undisguised pleasure. I think she has a right to share her experiences, as her idea of Christmas food is different from the indigenous British people. So, my idea of celebrating Christmas is contradictory too, and I don’t just mean cuisine.
I look around me and what do I see? At my College there is a little blue house with a snowman inside; at the Bonaccord Centre there are a few ‘flowers’ with a snowman and other fairytale characters. Christmas time also means new promotional menus at restaurants, with special dishes and Christmas crackers with crowns, which I find very funny and I ask myself, ‘Is that because of the Three Wise Men or does everyone feel like a king tonight?’ A few days ago at one of the restaurants, I saw a kitchen porter wearing the same crown as the customers. I guess he was jealous of the customers’ one.
Christmas also means shopping. I can’t help laughing when people constantly ask me ’Did you do your Christmas shopping?’ Obviously, I always answer ‘No’, because I don’t get their big concern about the shopping. I don’t have to overeat during Christmas because eating too much doesn’t mean celebrating the event better. And I always know what to buy for my friends and family. By the way, I heard from one of my lecturers the amusing fact that on December 24th shops are mainly occupied by men.
Last Sunday, The Observer served its readers portions of Christmas meals like mincemeat, cheesecake, prune brownies, apple galette, walnut praline ice cream and many other posh-sounding dishes. So, celebrating this even is also about testing new recipes and drinking; few days ago I had to escape to the other side of the Union Street to avoid being trodden underfoot by a flock of drunk girls.
Christmas means also singing Christmas carols at the beginning of December without considering the Advent has only just started. There could be many other things on this list, for example complaining about the Royal Mail’s delays.
In Aberdeen Christmas time means also a new bus time table. I mean, now it’s clear and no one has to calculate and answer the question, ‘What time will the bus come if it should come every 12 minutes after each hour after 9.40?’
In only a few days, it will be Christmas; for many of us it will be just a time of fun, but maybe sometimes it is worth to bringing the eating and drinking to stop and feel the real meaning of Christmas.