Best of British Christmas

18 December 2013

Christmas came early at our house this week, when a wonderful surprise parcel was delivered to our door late yesterday afternoon, topped with this lovely customised luggage tag.

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Last month I was contacted by a digital agency based in Edinburgh, who were working on a campaign for Premier Inn London Gatwick hotels. The idea was to send families living abroad a bespoke ‘Best of British’ hamper with things they miss from home at Christmas. What a great idea! Although I grew up with a German Christmas, and Lebkuchen and Spekulatius, Zimtsterne and Vanillekipferl will always come first for me – not to mention the perks of getting to open your presents on Christmas Eve – having spent more than half my life in Scotland, it was inevitable that a bit of British Christmas would rub off on me. And now, of course, as a bi-cultural expat family, the two sets of traditions will forever be intertwined.

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I was invited to chose three things I most missed about a British Christmas, and the rest of the hamper would be a surprise. For me, Christmas crackers immediately sprang to mind, followed by proper Scottish oatcakes to go with our Christmas cheeseboard and, of course, mince pies. It’s funny, because I never used to care much for mince pies, but every since we left Scotland I’ve had a craving for them every year.

So had my wishes come true?

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Yes, indeed! The much coveted crackers will take pride of place at our German-Scottish Christmas dinner table.

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The mince pies from my wish list will wash down nicely with a mug (or two) of mulled wine.

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And, at last, some quality Scottish oatcakes, with the added surprise of a little tipple of port – just add cheese. Perfect!

Other surprises in the hamper included Twinings English Breakfast Tea, a packet of Mrs Crimble’s cookies, and a selection box of chocolates – as much a part of British Christmas as the Queen’s speech and Brussels sprouts. What’s more, I had mentioned to the agency that I couldn’t eat wheat and generally followed a gluten free diet and the mince pies, oatcakes and cookies that arrived were all gluten free! There are actually a few shops around Berlin that sell British products, but I haven’t come across any gluten free ones before, so I was particularly delighted by my hamper. I’d also been a bit cheeky and asked for something extra, on top of my 3 wishes, that my husband most missed and that wish came true too. But since he reads this blog, I’ll keep it a surprise for now ;)

Many thanks to the marketing team that came up with this great idea and to Premier Inn London Gatwick hotels for making Christmas come early!

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Please note that although I was sent this hamper as a gift, all views expressed in this post are my own and were done so freely.

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