The best thing about Christmas is the food, let's be honest. So I have compiled a list of my favourite Christmas foods that have a special place in our hearts. From Terry's Chocolate Orange to the many variations of Percy Pig, there is not one thing on this list that we don't all have in our cupboards at Christmas time.
My family has always been a big Terrys Chocolate Orange advocate at Christmas. The competition and sound of everyone hitting their chocolate oranges against the dining room table on Christmas day repeatedly trying to get it to crack is a long-standing tradition and one I look forward to every year. However, this year there seems to be a national uproar over Terry’s Chocolate Oranges, and it fills me with joy to imagine everyone having competitions to see who can crack theirs first all over the country.
This is a staple at Christmas. However, it’s an unspoken rule that you never buy your own. They are always bought for you or offered when you go to (normally an elderly) relative’s house. Still, it wouldn’t be Christmas without someone offering you a thin chocolate mint in a little wrapper, which I never understood the use of other than to make little kids feel fancy.
Pringles are a Christmas favourite in everyone’s houses, offered around if you turn down the sweet offerings of biscuits and chocolate. Everyone always has every flavour ready to go, with the cans lined up in a row like a crunchy rainbow. Once you pop you can't stop, and there hasn't been a Christmas where this hasn't been the case.
Pigs in Blankets
Every year, pigs in blankets selections in supermarkets get bigger and better. I thought we had reached the peak with a meter long pig in a blanket, but this year Aldi have introduced their ‘Porky Delights’ selection which includes but is not limited to pigs in quilts, stags in quilts and the return of chilli pigs in blankets.
A special Christmas biscuit tin
I see so many people buying not one fancy Christmas biscuit tin but multiple for when people visit. Long gone are the simple tins of Aldi special shortbread; now, there are six different biscuit tin options for you to choose from at every house you visit. No doubt, these tins will be reused later in the year for something less exciting - grandparent’s sewingkit - that will lull you into a false sense of security.
Edible Christmas tree decorations
As a pet owner and older cousin to many toddlers, I feel like this is a dangerous endeavour. I think we are already testing the boundaries with wrapped up chocolates on the tree, and adding freshly baked biscuits may be a disaster waiting to happen.
Brandy cream seems to be everywhere. I see everyone’s Instagram stories of putting brandy cream on anything they can think of.
I’m not a fan of mince pies, but I know the nation was divided this year, half starting to eat mince pies as early as September and the other half waiting until December 1st.
Christmas dinner leftovers in a sandwich the next day
The thing I look forward to the most at Christmas is the next day’s leftover Christmas dinner sandwich, and it looks like this year, everyone is getting on board. So many people are buying extra food or considering what will work well in their leftover sandwiches when shopping for their Christmas dinner this year.
2021 saw the explosion of the Percy Pig, first came more varieties in the sweet itself - a veggie option and a less sugar option, a Halloween limited edition etc. And then there were towels and bathmats and bed sets that have been sold out all year and re-sold on e-Bay for extortionate prices (£70 for a £12 bathmat are you having a laugh?), and it seems Christmas is no exception. Marks and Spencers used the nation’s love for the sweet pig to their advantage in their 2021 Christmas advert. Not only showcasing Percy and the potential other Percy Pig-related items they sell but also having Percy show off their Christmas food. Two birds, one stone. I don’t know one person that didn’t either fall in love with that little animated pig or immediately get a craving for Christmas food and Percy Pigs. Well done, Marks and Spencers. Well done.
Overall, this year I think the nation is getting a lot laxer when it comes to the date they start eating ‘Christmas’ foods. Pret a Manger advertised and started to sell their Christmas selection at the start of November, which of course caused a national divide - some thinking it’s too early and others excited to get their Christmas food fix early and for longer.