Monday, December 7, 2009

Making Christmas just like Christmas

Making Christmas overseas feel like it does back home takes some planning and forward thinking - and most likely a visit to your local expat shop. This weekend I headed to my local expat shop in The Hague and picked up the essentials for a traditional "British" Christmas which I will be hosting for the in-laws: crackers (the 'pulling' variety and not the 'biscuits for cheese' variety), Christmas pudding, mince pies, a big turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce. I amount to your average Brit shopping in Kelly's Expat Shop.

Kelly Kelly, the owner of the shop, told me that the British tend to buy baking products, kid's stocking fillers, mince pies, mincemeat, cakes and turkeys. Americans are also buying turkeys in their droves, along with stuffing and pumpkin pie mix. Other nationalities tend to follow the purchasing habits of the Brits, having either once lived there or just become addicted to mince pies.....

Kelly herself is Dutch but is married to an Englishman (if you want to read more about Kelly and the origins of her expat shop read my article on Hague Online) so I was curious to know what they have for a Christmas meal,

"We have a traditional Christmas dinner: turkey, stuffing, Christmas pudding, mince pies, we buy everything out of our shop for our Christmas dinner," Kelly replied.

Top sellers In Kelly's shop are unsurprisingly all the things that you are hard pushed to find in the Dutch supermarkets - mince pies, Christmas puddings, Christmas crackers and mincemeat for those making their homemade mince pies. All the things that make the Christmas meal a traditional one for me!

If you are looking for a turkey this Christmas time then you can place pre-orders with Kelly and also check the stock levels on her website at You can also keep posted with special offers over the festive period by signing up to Kelly's newsletter or checking out the website.

Kelly explained, "We do have some special offers in the shop at the moment (and online): Mcvities biscuit tin 7.95 euros, Jacobs biscuit tubs 900gr at 6.95 euros and Duchy mini xmas pudding over 1/2 price off, at 2.75 euros."

And if you have never had the pleasure of mince pies with brandy butter, maybe this year is the year to start a tradition.... you can't beat them. The box of mince pies I bought have been sat glaring at me now for 24 hours and I wonder if they will actually see Christmas......

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