The only time you'll ever hear anyone at Clearbox say the words 'we've always done it that way' is when we're talking about traditions.
Perhaps the most traditional time of the year, Christmas is when all the old routines come out to play, comforting and exciting us all in equal measures.
Tell you who loves Christmas - Jess on our team. So much so, she's written a blog about festive traditions in the Clearbox clan. Off you go, go, go (or should that be ho, ho, ho?) JP!
There’s been many an office discussion about how everyone spends their Christmas and I’ve decided to showcase everyone’s weird, whacky, and wonderful traditions. We’ve got some good food, some not so good food, a few wholesome activities, and football has somehow managed to make its way into the festive celebrations.
Starting off with the Preece clan.
We are Christmas in the brain…with ‘Alexa, play Christmas hits’ being repeated by my father every day from an unreasonable date in November.
It’s go hard or go home in the Preece household and that counts for everything.
You'll find a visual of what I’m talking about on our social channels...
Yes, that is my family in Christmas themed costumes and yes, we did just record ourselves reading the infamous tale, that is, The Night Before Christmas. This video graced the phone screen of my brother who lives in Australia…we couldn’t have him miss out on this very, very special family moment.
The remainder of Christmas consists of a concoction of alcoholic beverages, a karaoke machine and more than a few groovy dance moves in the living room.
Now time to hear from the rest of the Clearbox team, maybe you can resonate with a few things or maybe you think they’re completely bizarre. Probably the latter.
On Christmas Eve we always have a feast of Christmas Eve nibbles, the M&S party food selection is raided (the nibbles are planned out weeks in advance). We usually make some fun Christmas drinks, whack on the PJs, snack on the nibbles and play some board games. Usually ends up with all of us asleep in front of the fire, including Coco the OG hound.
We do things a bit weird on Christmas Day too for our dinner. We never have out dinner all at once, to avoid feeling stuffed for the whole day. We’ll have our starter about 2pm, main course at 4pm and dessert around 6/7pm. Mum hates eating it all at once as she says you “appreciate it more” the other way.
Another weird thing is we never ever have turkey. Mum watched a programme as a kid of how they breed and kill turkeys for Christmas so she’s against it.
My weird tradition over the holiday is a dish that we have on Christmas night…the 24-hour salad.
As the name states, it’s a salad that is prepared 24 hours in advance and is left in the fridge to set. Although it’s called a salad, it really doesn’t look like one. The ingredients are salad cream, whipped cream, Philadelphia cream cheese, tinned fruit cocktail, tinned mandarin, tinned (yes, they must be tinned) pineapple pieces, marshmallows, and grapes…
The tradition started with my mum’s family and will honestly end with her. She still makes a family sized portion of the salad every year even though she knows that she will be the only one eating it at the end of the night.
ALWAYS last-minute shopping with father on Christmas eve morning, literally over to Rushmere at 7am
Christmas PJs are distributed to the babies (me and sisters) and we then make our way up to my sister’s house to eat our bodyweight in Chinese, have a few drinkies and play board games.
NOBODY enters the living room without the entire family being present.
We all have to take turns to open presents, no crossovers, we want to prolong the experience as much as poss.
Everybody has a specific chair where santa presents are set out and then presents from everyone else are wrapped and distributed from under the tree after santa presents have been looked at lol
My uncle visits to give us his special stuffing hahaha
We all hop up into our warmest clothes, go grab a coffee and head to support dad at his football final
We come back and have the traditional Boxing Day sandwiches (yummy scrummy)
We all get sorted and go get drunk hehe
Every year my best friend Chloe and I go for a festive hot chocolate on Christmas Eve! This is something we’ve done since we were really young kids and plan to keep it going forever! Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without our annual trip to whatever coffee shop has the nicest festive menu that year – even through retail jobs that had us working on Christmas Eve, and time spent living in other countries, we always make sure we get our hot chocolate!
We’re fairly traditional round these parts, so there’s nothing too untoward going on at Christmas. The oddest thing I can think of is that my mum insists on the whole family going on a ‘welly walk’ through the fields around our house in the period between Christmas and New Year. I am twenty-five and my brother is twenty-three…
We don’t really have many Christmas traditions in our family. We’re very normal – eat too much and sit on our phones while James Bond, Wallace and Gromit or some other terrestrial TV stuff plays in the background. My Ma does make the same pudding every Christmas though, so I guess that’s a tradition. Chocolate yule log and trifle, in case you’re wondering.
I’m more into the tradition of Boxing Day football. Ballymena United live, Arsenal on TV after. Amazing if both games go your way, Christmas-ruining if they don’t. Will 2023 be a good year for Ballymena? Probably not. Will Arsenal win the league? I’m waiting for them to slip up as much as any of you Spurs or United fans, believe me.