cumbrian christmas hamper hollygoeslightly
**The hamper in this post was gifted – many thanks to LakeLovers**

This time of year is special for so many reasons and it’s also a bit of a strange time, when people like to celebrate Christmas in just the way they like it. Christmas is often one of our key memories of childhood, growing-up and then starting your own families and it’s amazing how many people have their own traditions. These often come up when the subject of spending Christmas somewhere other than home comes up…

This is the second year we’ll be hosting Christmas at our house for two reasons:

  1. The hubby and I have spent the last 9 years travelling up and down the country (and even over to Italy) for Christmas and our holidays, though amazing, always feel like they’re spent travelling.
  2. Having two young children, it feels like it’s time to be having our own Christmases now in our own home. 

We love to have people join us for Christmas though and this year, there’ll be 11 of us (and I’m cooking! ahhh!). With us, my parents, my in-laws and brother-in-law and his partner, it’s had me thinking a lot about our separate Christmas traditions and whether it’s possible to keep everyone happy on the day itself…

Our Christmas Traditions

So for me, growing up, Christmas was always quite relaxed, and small! Usually just me, my brother and my folks. Then along came his wife and my hubby and we all started to rotate families and it’s only recently that we had a Christmas all together with our kids.

The Food

My family traditional Christmas food consisted of –

  • bucks fizz for breakfast with smoked salmon and cream cheese bagels
  • then an early Christmas Dinner at 2pm, straight into the turkey, stuffing, sausage meats, bread sauce and veg
  • trifle and sponge cake with custard for dessert
  • then an evening of nibbling at nuts, crackers, quality street
  • finished off with a glass of Baileys before bed

For me, Christmas isn’t Christmas without bread sauce with my turkey and Baileys before bed.

My hubby’s folks have their own traditions and generally larger Christmases with neighbours and extended family, which they rotate hosting each year. They like to have a sit-down starter with their Christmas meal of either paté or soup, which is eaten early evening and they cook their turkey the day before so it’s not carved at the table but is super tender and moist where it’s been soaked in gravy all night. Small but significant differences…

Somehow I’ve got to come to some sort of Christmas compromise where I combine elements so everyone feels like there’s something familiar.

A Cumbrian Christmas

cumbrian christmas hollygoeslightly

This year, Lakelovers sent us a beautiful hamper full of festive goodies from Cumbria. We talked about my Christmas traditions and they wanted to showcase some of the beautiful local food that represented a Cumbrian Christmas. Always keen on discovering new brands, particularly local and British, I couldn’t wait to delve in!

And what a veritable selection of Cumbrian treats it was…

cumbrian christmas romneys hollygoeslightly cumbrian christmas penningtons hollygoeslightly cumbrian christmas lakes distillery gin hollygoeslightly cumbrian christmas cartmel pudding hollygoeslightly

From the Cartmel Figgy Pudding, Lakeland Mues (Winter Wonder Muesli),Romney’s Mint Cake and Pennington’s Christmas Blend GroundCoffee – it’s a Northern feast fit for a King!

I really do love championing local produce and smaller, family run businesses so it’s lovely to see a great selection of brands like this, true to Cumbria! I can’t wait to tuck in and see what it’s like to have a Cumbrian Christmas.

Your Christmas

What are your Christmas non-negotiables? The things that have to be present for it to mean Christmas for you?