back to article On the first day of Christmas my true love gave me tea... pigs-in-blankets-flavoured tea

It's common knowledge that the British are a nation of tea drinkers but – yikes – Sainsbury's launch of pigs in blankets and Brussels sprout-flavoured teas ahead of the Christmas mania are a little beyond the pale brown water. Greggs_sausage_roll_manger Pastry in a manger: We're soz, Greggs man said READ MORE The UK …

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Devil

I love sprouts!

But the sprouts don't love me, I can clear the top deck of a bus after eating the blighters ;->

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Mushroom

Re: I love sprouts!

Thank goodness smoking is banned on buses these days

The otherwise inevitable consequences -->

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Anonymous Coward

Christmas is essentially Page 71 of the Brand New Monty Python Bok

Companies who start "Christmas" in early October (or even late September) are a large part of the reason I've grown to hate it.

Boots, for example, already had festive-themed sandwiches on sale last week (i.e. early October, barely a month past the end of summer). In that case, they can't even use the excuse that people might want to do their shopping in advance.

Christmas has become the obnoxious attention whore that spreads itself across the final three months of the year, doing its best to ruin the pleasure of a nice autumn, promising the earth for three months then consistently failing to deliver anything more than the usual anticlimactic shite that didn't come close to warranting the endless hype (because realistically, what *could*- especially as by that point you're sick of it?).

And then nine months later the cycle starts all over again, whether you like having it shoved in your face or not.

No apologies or self-deprecating "humbug" comments- I fucking despise this.

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Re: Christmas is essentially Page 71 of the Brand New Monty Python Bok

Don't hold back, tell us what you really think.

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Re: Christmas is essentially Page 71 of the Brand New Monty Python Bok

Well said sir, I wholeheartedly endorse your comments.

Christmas should be a thing only in December, not plastered across a quarter of the year.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Christmas is essentially Page 71 of the Brand New Monty Python Bok

I have to say, it's one plus point for being USAnian. Having Thanksgiving at the end of November effectively takes up everyone's party attention, so Christmas doesn't really get going until after that.

The price for that is Black Friday, of course. That abomination is even spreading to Europe, and the French don't even have the good manners to call it "vendredi noir".

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Christmas is essentially Page 71 of the Brand New Monty Python Bok

> Christmas has become the obnoxious attention whore that spreads itself across the final three months of the year

Heartily agree. One of the few cultural advantages the Yanks have over the Brits is Thanksgiving - because it prevents Christmas from starting too early.

I was going to suggest we create another festival in the run-up to Christmas - perhaps a second Guy Fawke's night when effigies[1] of those responsible for the Brexit referendum could be burnt on bonfires across the country. But then I realised that would entail having to endure weeks of David Cameron masks in the tat shops. :-(

[1] for the second year onwards ;-)

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Re: Christmas is essentially Page 71 of the Brand New Monty Python Bok

Companies who start "Christmas" in early October (or even late September) are a large part of the reason I've grown to hate it.

Some of the shops around here started with the Christmas guff in *early* September.

I totally agree with you in my hatred for all of this.

I've got nothing at all against Mr & Mrs Christ's little boy, but I really do think we're making far too much of a fuss over his birthday.

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Re: Christmas is essentially Page 71 of the Brand New Monty Python Bok

The moneywankers at Tescos have had an Xmas aisle in their superstore in Portsmouth since early September.

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Re: Christmas is essentially Page 71 of the Brand New Monty Python Bok

In Blighty we have our own early pre-Christmas celebration - the burning of Papists on the 5th of November.

That's been overtaken by the bloody awful American style Halloween and Christmas still manages to encroach.

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Re: Christmas is essentially Page 71 of the Brand New Monty Python Bok

What about the "12 Days of Christmas". You know the period AFTER Christmas ending on January 6th.

Don't worry El reg and others will get it wrong yet again.

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Re: Christmas is essentially Page 71 of the Brand New Monty Python Bok

*Thunderous standing ovation*

Thank you! I'll add my name to the list of people sick & fekkin tired of having the holiday shoved down our throats at ever earlier times of the year.

I was at my doctor's office yesterday & they were playing "light jazz Christmas music" in their lobby. It made me want to strangle someone. "We've not even bought Halloween candy yet, we've not even had Thanksgiving pie, and you're playing CHRISTMAS music?!? Who do I get to maul for this attrocity?"

And don't even get me started on how early that shite starts in shopping malls, if you work in one & get subjected to it for nearly half the year "to put you in the spirit of the holiday" then it should be legal to find the fucker in charge of the music & strangle them to death with their own ear canals.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Christmas is essentially Page 71 of the Brand New Monty Python Bok

You're lucky!

My autistic son (very low functioning) loves Christmas music and he'll play Christmas carols on a continuous loop from around February until November (funnily enough, not actually at Christmas) - usually one particular song over and over again. If I ever see three sailing ships I'll probably have a melt down.

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Re: Christmas is essentially Page 71 of the Brand New Monty Python Bok

I heartily agree with the addendum that the thing that REALLY pisses me off about Christmas is being told to "cheer up, it's Christmas" by miserable bastards who wouldn't give you the steam off their shite the other 11 months of the year.

Back on topic, what was wrong with tea flavoured tea and coffee flavoured coffee? I know the usual consensus round these parts is everything is better with bacon (just read the comments sections on any article about food by the sorely missed Lester Haines) but I draw the line at adding pork products (or the taste of them) to beverages.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Christmas is essentially Page 71 of the Brand New Monty Python Bok

when effigies[1] of those responsible for the Brexit referendum could be burnt on bonfires across the country

Well, 48% could burn effigies of Cameron, the other 52% could open some fine kentish ale and make rude gestures towards the continent. As long as we get a 4-day weekend we all win.

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Coffee/keyboard

Re: Christmas is essentially Page 71 of the Brand New Monty Python Bok

...then it should be legal to find the fucker in charge of the music & strangle them to death with their own ear canals.

That. Conjured up some bizarre imagery. Thanks for the laugh!

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SVV
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Re: Christmas is essentially Page 71 of the Brand New Monty Python Bok

I went to a supermarket today, in a teeshirt, due to the warm clear sunny weather. As I ended up down the aisle festooned with chocolate santas' snowmen, etc the audible groans of disapproval of other shoppers passing by them brought a bit of summer cheer into my heart.

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Re: Christmas is essentially Page 71 of the Brand New Monty Python Bok

Mr Anon,

I feel your pain, of your autistic son's music choices. That really seems to be a thing with the condition. The autistic daughter of friends had a thing for the 15-to-1 theme tune. Which they were required to play in the car more times than any human being should have to put up with. While the autistic girl we used to do respite care for had a real passion for 'King of the Swingers' from the 'Jungle Book'. I've sung that song more times than I care to remember - although amazingly I still don't hate it. I reserve that loathing for her other favourite, off a children's music tape, which was a talentless arse singing the names of the colours to the worst cheap keyboard backing imaginable. Arrggghhh!! Sometimes though, the choice is screaming or awful music (alongside the quieter but more insistent screaming inside your own head). I hope for better music choices for you in future. To quote Churchill, "keep buggering on."

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Re: Christmas is essentially Page 71 of the Brand New Monty Python Bok

Christmas has been lost in the quest for profit. Corporate greed is the new religion.

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Re: Christmas is essentially Page 71 of the Brand New Monty Python Bok

Back on topic, what was wrong with tea flavoured tea and coffee flavoured coffee? I know the usual consensus round these parts is everything is better with bacon (just read the comments sections on any article about food by the sorely missed Lester Haines) but I draw the line at adding pork products (or the taste of them) to beverages.

Right now, the current fad in the States is pumpkin flavored tea and coffee... <gag>

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Re: Christmas is essentially Page 71 of the Brand New Monty Python Bok

"not plastered across a quarter of the year."

Only a quarter? SWMBO volunteers in a charity shop. They were supplied with Christmas cards and instructions to display them in late August.

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Re: Christmas is essentially Page 71 of the Brand New Monty Python Bok

Having Thanksgiving at the end of November effectively takes up everyone's party attention, so Christmas doesn't really get going until after that.

We have a family birthday in early December, so Christmas preparations are effectively banned until that is well and truly over. Does the job.

What really annoys the children though is that the shops are full of "back to school" branding in mid July, before the Summer holidays have even started!

M.

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Re: Christmas is essentially Page 71 of the Brand New Monty Python Bok

"so Christmas doesn't really get going until after that."

Damn, I'm a USian, but that's not how it works in my neck of the woods. I'm already seeing Christmas decorations, and we have a whole holiday before Thanksgiving even arrives. Admittedly, though, at least the stores are "nice" enough to wait until after Thanksgiving before they start assaulting us with that damned Christmas music.

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Re: Christmas is essentially Page 71 of the Brand New Monty Python Bok

At JohnFen, re: American Christmas.

Your local stores have NOT started assaulting you with Christmas crap yet?

You. Lucky. Bastard. =-)p

I'm in California near the Bay Area & our local stores are already playing the music, putting up their displays, & forcing folks to play Hunt The Wocket to try & find stuff that's not part of the Christmas crap. Like the milk display now has eggnogg in it at the cost of the space where other brands would be. If you want $OtherBrand then you have to shove stuff aside & look all the way in the back, but if you want over priced eggnogg then it's right up front & in your face. If you want regular, plain, simple plastic trash bags then you've got two or three choices, but if you want "holiday themed" crap then there were no fewer than *TWELVE* different kinds on the shelf where I shop. Even the fucking *breakfast cereal boxes* were holiday theme shit. It's enough to drive me even more insane than I already am. =-J

My next door neighbor tends to build elaborate light displays for his home. It can take a while to set it all up. I understand that. But it's fuckin OCTOBER FFS & the cheery chump is already hammering & painting & stringing lights & singing carols. I retaliated by putting my speakers to the window & cranking up anti-Christmas music as loud as I dared in protest. "I hear your Twelve Days & raise you techno polka bagpipe music! HA!"

*Cough*

Your local stores haven't started assaulting you with Christmassy shit yet? Where do you live? It sounds almost sane!

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Thumb Up

Re: Christmas is essentially Page 71 of the Brand New Monty Python Bok

"techno polka bagpipe music! "

Your ideas intrigue me, and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter and Soundcloud.

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Re: Christmas is essentially Page 71 of the Brand New Monty Python Bok

Oh, you have my deepest sympathies! (Although I wouldn't actually mind if they sold egg nog year round...)

"Where do you live? It sounds almost sane!"

The pacific northwest. I wouldn't call it "sane", but I do think it's the closest to paradise you can get in the continental US. (Oh no! I broke the social rule designed to keep people from wanting to move here. I meant to say "it's cold, wet, and miserable all year long.")

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Re: Christmas is essentially Page 71 of the Brand New Monty Python Bok

> One of the few cultural advantages the Yanks have over the Brits is Thanksgiving - because it prevents Christmas from starting too early.

Sorry, no. Certain 'warehouse' stores (Costco, etc.) put out big stacks of Christmas stuff weeks ago. The giant stacks of Thanksgiving pumpkin pies won't be there for another few weeks. Ironically, most of their Christmas stock will be gone by the time December begins, because the early shoppers know it will be gone.

At least the music has not started.

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Re: Christmas is essentially Page 71 of the Brand New Monty Python Bok

@ hplasm "techno polka bagpipe music! "

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zuG9rNG_QHw

There you go... ;)

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Re: Christmas is essentially Page 71 of the Brand New Monty Python Bok

"Right now, the current fad in the States is pumpkin flavored tea and coffee... <gag>"

In Blighty we had pumpkin beer call 'Good God' from a local micro brewery in the 90's.

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Anonymous Coward

Crimble Free Zone?

Can we please make this site a Christmas free zone until say... 1st December.

We already have Mince Pies (Best Before Date 2nd Nov????) and other stuff on sale in supermarkets. Then there is at least one TV channel already showing Christmas Movies almost 24/7.

Effing Halloween is bad enough but Christmas stuff on sale before the end of October?

No. Please No. Can we please stop the world I want to get off until December.

How about it El Reg?

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Crimble Free Zone?

We can't even point and laugh at how silly it is? You sound like a right Scrooge McDuck.

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Pint

Re: Crimble Free Zone?

> Can we please make this site a Christmas free zone until say... 1st December.

Please, Please, Please, not just this site but this whole country!

Anyone marketing or even mentioning Christmas should be banned from celebrating it in any way shape or form for at least 7 years.

AC, just be glad you don't live in Oz. Since Christmas day arrives midsummer lots of places down there have added a second commercial Christmas in the middle of their winter too. ARGH!

Now why isn't there a humbug icon when I need one, oh well beer will have to do, role on December when I'm more than happy to fall over with a few jars of Christmas Ale, but even that has a time when it's acceptable.

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Coat

Re: Crimble Free Zone?

Hmm you sound like Inspector Fowler from "The Thin Blue Line"

Stop Fannying about!

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Re: Crimble Free Zone?

It's reasonable to have a small selection of Festive Greetings cards on sale in late Nov, so that people can catch the cheap post for Australia. Advent calendars can go on sale at the same time (and should not include chocolates, gin miniatures or other treats behind each door). Then it's nothing until a week before Christmas, that's plenty of time to buy presents. And a total ban on Christmas music except in association with Christian religious observances.

And no New Year sales to start until Jan 1st.

But otherwise, I'm fine with the whole season.

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Re: Crimble Free Zone?

One of my biggest bugbears is how early the local council puts up the Xmas lights. Last year, the photographs in the local paper of the Remembrance Day ceremony featured a load of solemn-looking people stood with bowed heads around the war memorial, with a load of flashing-light Santas, reindeer and snowmen in the background. Just plain wrong.

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Flame

Re: Crimble Free Zone?

"We can't even point and laugh at how silly it is? You sound like a right Scrooge McDuck."

This always bothers me. Scrooge was mean at the story but by the end he had become one of the finest men the City of London had ever known and was famed for his generosity. Is this remembered? No. Instead he is a byword for meanness. Why did he waste his time?

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Re: Crimble Free Zone?

I mostly agree, but about 5 years ago I was driving home and nearly crashed my car I was laughing so hard at what I saw.

I was driving through Allanton in North Lanarkshire and the council lights were designed to resemble candles. However the light at the top representing the flame was in two stages and flashed on and off, and combined with the holly wreath round the base meant that driving down the street you would quire literally feel that Christmas had "come" early.

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Happy

Re: Crimble Free Zone?

Bah. Everton Mints!

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Trollface

What if they weren't called Brussels Sprouts

but Newcastle Sprouts or Shropshire Sprouts?

I like them no matter the name. Cooked properly and served warm of course...

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Re: What if they weren't called Brussels Sprouts

or Shropshire Sprouts?

Don't suggest it. There would be whole restaurants in Ludlow selling nothing but sprout-based fare.

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Joke

Re: What if they weren't called Brussels Sprouts

You're correct, come the Glorious Day of Freedom next March, we should call them something more British. Dagenham Sprouts has a nice ring to it...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What if they weren't called Brussels Sprouts

A lump of shite by any other name...

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Mushroom

Brussel sprouts are an abomination

I literally choke on the things. I hate them with a passion. And now they do tea bags of it ?

Let me show you where you can put your tea bags . .

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Re: Brussel sprouts are an abomination

Have you tried chewing before swallowing?

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Anonymous Coward

Tea

Should be dark, taste of tea, splash of cold milk (after the brewing you heathen). You can stuff your green, fruit, camomile (dont you put that on kids with a rash?), mint, hippy concoctions that claim to be tea. Saussage and sprout tea? - Its just WRONG!!eleven!one!

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Re: Tea

I think we need a campaign for real tea.

Just as the meat-growers are campaigning to ban calling anything 'milk' which doesn't come from a mammal's udders (so no Soya, almond, oat, rice milk etc) we should insist that only the leaves of the Camellia sinensis can be used to make tea. Preferably black tea, not this poncey green stuff. If you want other strange flavours call it a herbal tisanne.

It can only be drunk with milk (sugar optional) or, if you're European, lemon.

For real ethnic diversity yak butter would also be acceptable.

And don't get me started on flavoured coffees - the world does not need christmas pudding flavour coffee. And if you want almond-flavoured coffee just add a slug of Amaretto.

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Re: Tea

>It can only be drunk with milk (sugar optional) or, if you're European, lemon.

Brits should be allowed to drink Earl Grey with lemon though; those who insist on putting milk into EG should be removed from the gene pool forthwith.

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FAIL

Re: Tea

Its just WRONG!!

Made by people who thought the Harry Potter stories were documentaries.

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Re: Tea "not this poncey green stuff."

You do realise that that "poncy green stuff" is exactly the same as the "non poncy black stuff" right?? (I'll make the assumption that that is how you pigeonhole things).

The only difference is that the leaves are not withered or steamed prior to being air dried, sliced and diced and then packed etc. The only reason it is called "black tea" is because the leaves are withered i.e. blackened prior to packing.

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