How not to go unseasoned this Christmas season

Anna Allgaier

Salt-N-Pepa the iconic hip hop group = ❤️ love
Salt and pepper, AKA the only seasoning I used as a university student = 🥲sigh
Taking the Spice Girls advice about our lives = 💯100%

Wise’s Christmas Without Borders campaign is a love letter to internationalism. Our goal is to make living a borderless life as easy as possible so we teamed up with renowned chef and food-and-culture expert, Mallika Basu. We’re celebrating how the UKs traditional Christmas Dinner has had a multicultural glow up. Thanks to more of us embracing a life without borders, Christmas traditions around the world are changing, and multiculturalism has become the foundation of what makes Britain so fabulous. While many of us still put up Xmas trees and sing carols at the top of our lungs, we’re putting a twist on the traditional.

I happen to be a horrific cook, so the likelihood of me perfecting the recipes Mallika put together for us is slim. I happen to also be a sufferer of FOMO - fear of missing out.

In a bid to join in with spicing up festivities, I’ve compiled a list of British Christmas traditions and suggested spruce ups.

Make Mallika’s recipes

Christmas Cracker "jokes" 😐

If you aren’t familiar with the tradition, Christmas Crackers are glorified party poppers filled with a gift, a paper crown and a joke. It may be a British tradition, but it was French inspired. London-based confectioner and baker Tom Smith was visiting Paris in the 1800s when he came across the ‘bon bon.’ He loved the sugared almond wrapped in twisted tissue paper and voila, upon returning to Ol’ Blighty the cracker was born.

Individuals pull at either end of said cracker, hoping to tear open the winning side and gloat over their winnings.

Competition is fundamental in achieving the Christmas spirit.

The buzz you get when winning is second to none - Until you’re asked to read your joke aloud to the table. No matter how hard you pulled that cracker, the joke is never a knee slapper.

Like a stand up comic failed by their material, you’re often met with radio silence or a booing crowd.

I’ve found an example of an awful joke, and an example of an acceptable - neigh - fabulous joke. If you too have suffered at the hands of a bad lol, you’ll understand the importance of petitioning for spicier stuff.


What do snowmen wear on their heads? Ice caps


Who's Rudolph's favourite singer? Beyon-sleigh

Christmas lights 🎄

Chrismtas lights go up around early November in the UK. Arguably, too early. But we take them down in January, despite January and February being the most depressing months of the year.

Yes, we love to light up the nation before we hit November, but Christmas tree lights were invented in the States. Edward H. Johnson made the first string of electric Christmas tree lights in 1882. Nice work.

Anyway, after weeks of festivities, wanting to put Xmas decorations back in storage is understandable. But going from hero to zero is a painful experience and fairy light withdrawal is very real.

So, put your Santa sparkles away this year, but pull out and put up new decorations to get through the grey months; neon signs, disco balls and lava lamps to name a few. If you live somewhere like Australia or South Africa, you’ll be basking in the sun that time of year. I’m not jealous, promise.

Gifts 🎁

It’s time to erase disappointed gift face by following in the footsteps of other countries. Every Chinese Lunar New Year, it’s customary to give a red envelope with money inside - Hongbao - to bring luck and ward off evil spirits.

Never has anyone received cash and had to force a smile. So don’t spend £5 on a pair of socks, send a transfer instead.

Carols 🎤

Singing Christmas Carols is as wholesome as it gets. But how about mixing it up? Perhaps swap the ‘O Christmas Tree’ lyrics sheet to the original German version ‘O Tannenbaum.’ Or request singing the heavy metal version of ‘Silent Night’.

O Tannebaum was composed in Germany but the first ever carol dates back to 129, when a Roman Bishop sent a DJ request to the Choir and declared a song called 'Angel’s Hymn' should be sung at a service in Rome. Next thing you know, composers across Europe and then the world were entering the hymn genre, making the hits we know today.

You’ve reached the end of my FOMO article. Hopefully, you’ve been inspired to spice up your Xmas.

Treat yourself to Wise🎁

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