Herald Journal - Enterprise Dispatch - Delano Herald Journal
English immigrant remembers Christmases past

Dec. 1, 2008

By Caroline Wigmore
Staff Writer

“Generally, I miss the traditions of Christmas that were formed in childhood,” Dan Green said, an Englishman who immigrated to Minnesota eight years ago in order to take a job at Tetra Pak in Winsted.

Green fondly remembers his former church in England, which was a major part of his family’s Christmas celebration. The church was 500 years old, with thick stone walls, seven pealing bells, and a quaint graveyard.

“This was all very ‘Charles Dickens,’ and added to the excitement,” Green said.

Some of the traditions Green misses most are “Christmas pudding, mince pies, and watching the BBC to see if one snowflake would land on the roof of the broadcasting house and therefore declare it, officially, a white Christmas.”

Snow is uncommon in England, and a light dusting of snow is enough to give British children a real thrill around the holidays.

Despite the endearing traditions Green left behind, when he immigrated to the US, he found new traditions that have come to mean just as much to him.

“As I’ve gotten older, I have migrated from presents to a rich service at church with the full choir, hand bells, and children’s nativity to celebrate the birth of our Lord,” Green said.

The tradition of overeating remains the same between the US and England, observed Green.

“A constant, which I don’t see changing, is the traditional Christmas dinner: turkey, stuffing, brussels sprouts, roast potatoes and English Trifle for dessert,” Green said.

“We would eat so much we could barely walk away from the table only to collapse in front of the telly (TV) and patiently wait for the first round of turkey sandwiches to be offered to much groaning and holding of stomachs,” Green added.

The recipe for Christmas pudding was taken from recipeland.com. Translating recipes from “British” to “American” can be difficult, due to different measurements and terms. An English-American translation web site such as septicscompanion.com may prove useful.


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