Nothing screams friends and family like Christmas day. There are the people who excitedly count the days until Christmas morning breaks, there are those who are just celebrating the Christmas season being almost over. Either way, it’s a generally convivial time where families get together and mostly feel very warm inside about how very special theirs is.
Truth is all Maltese families share equal Christmas day traditions. Here’s some that make it to every household’s list.
1. Everyone becomes an instant compliment-generator
It’s the one day in the year that your nanna won’t back-handedly call you fat, and might even give you a throw-back cheek pinch even though you’re 28. Most compliments are reserved for the food though, where everyone insists that “din l-aħjar lasagne li qatt għamilt, Doris!“
2. Lighting the pudding on fire is the event of the year
A mild hysteria descends on every Maltese family as a flame is held to the brandy soaked Christmas pudding that will be consumed in five seconds. Also “switch the lights off!” is repeated on a loop by twenty different whispering voices.
3. Someone will insist on board games
Bloody hell Sarah, can’t we just digest without having to live through you getting so competitive that it will all inevitably end up in tears?
4. You discover the racist in the family
Three glasses of brandy into tea time and the casual bigotry kicks in.
5. Someone can’t pretend they like their gift
“Ah, illa, it’s really nice”, she says as she covertly tucks the gift receipt into her pocket.
6. Boyfriend/girlfriend roulette
There’s always that one cousin who can’t hold a boyfriend/girlfriend down. The family does their best welcome act and gets the standard family history, but everyone knows not to fully commit.
7. Someone will always suggest Love Actually
But you end up watching Sound of Music because it’s on TV anyway and no one’s lucid enough to sort shit out.
BONUS: Your nanna will slip you an extra €10
“Għax inti l-favurit/a ta‘“. Never happened to you? Maybe this is a tradition for the select few… #awkward