It is the day before Halloween and I was just at our local Tesco store (sort of like a scaled back version of Super Target but not really Target because nothing can ever BE Target :) doing some end of the week grocery shopping when what do I spy but this…
This my friends is a Christmas jumper as they are called here in the UK (aka ugly Christmas sweater) and this may be the ugliest of them all. If you’ll recall I did a blog post about these lovelies back in December called The Christmas Jumper. The British love their Christmas jumpers and in case you are thinking this thing will only, and I repeat ONLY, be worn to an ugly Christmas sweater party because no one would ever knowingly be seen in public wearing this green knit covered in puff balls piece of holiday cheer, you are sadly mistaken for I guarantee, come December, I will see someone donning this, this – I don’t even know how to describe it – this festive wear in the grocery store, or at the library, or roaming the streets of the local town, or eating at a restaurant.
But here is the thing - the British LOVE Christmas and they are not afraid to show it and I think that is awesome! They really know how to do Christmas here and everywhere in Europe for that matter. The Christmas markets we visited last year were one of the most magical Christmas things I have ever seen. And much like the U.S. putting out holiday items months in advance, the British do the same with Christmas – but only with Christmas mind you.
Leah turned 8 years old on October 2. We decided to have a Halloween themed birthday party for her the day after her birthday (partly because she wanted to share the Charlie Brown Halloween special with her British friends because they have no idea who the Great Pumpkin is and that is just sad). In the couple of weeks leading up to the big day, every time I visited Tesco I searched for anything Halloween related to use at the party, but I couldn't find anything. There was no sign of Halloween in the entire store. The week of the party I kept my fingers crossed thinking surely they will at least start putting some Halloween candy and decorations out on October 1, a mere two days before the party. So on the morning of October 1 I headed to the store looking for anything Halloween like and guess what I found – nothing! Thirty-one days before Halloween and there was not one single Halloween related item available in the entire store, not even a pumpkin. In fact, I had to stop at a farm shop to ask if they had any pumpkins available and the girl behind the counter picked up the phone and called down to the actual farm and had someone go out into the field to personally pick eight pumpkins for me which Eric picked up the next day, still covered in wet mud from the field.
But do you know what they did have half an aisle dedicated to back on October 1? Christmas goodies! Christmas crackers and Christmas candy and Christmas cookies and Christmas cards. We could have thrown a Christmas themed birthday party for Leah back on October 3 with no problem. Now, the Christmas jumpers are back and I for one am excited to see them. I haven’t been here long enough to actually want to spend money on one and be seen in public in it, but I am looking forward to the warm, giggly holiday cheer that fills me up when I see someone else wearing one.
On another note, while at the store I stopped by the Kleenex aisle to pick up a box when I see a whole selection of Kleenex boxes labeled as "Mansized Tissues." I kid you not. The boxes are twice the size of a regular Kleenex box, and I don't mean twice as tall, but twice as long and wide. Those are some biiiiig tissues. Is a man's nose really that much bigger than a woman's???