Lighting the Christmas Pudding

Main Piece: KC: Every christmas we have a Christmas pudding, which is, y’know, made from fruit… it’s like a gross fruit cake! And for some reason in my family it’s tradition– and I didn’t think it was weird… here i have a video! And basically you pour brandy in a ladle and light it on fire and put it over the cake, and it makes these beautiful flames, and then we sing “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” and then we eat it!


Context: KC’s family regularly performs this Christmas tradition on Christmas Eve after dinner.


Background: KC is very tied to her British roots, as her parents moved from England while her mother was pregnant with her, and so she has grown up with this and countless other British traditions being passed onto her through her direct and extended family.


Analysis: Hearing this part of KC’s Christmas traditions was particularly interesting, as she told it as if it were a completely normal thing– as you can see by her saying “I didn’t think it was weird”. In telling this story, and seeing reactions to her story, it seemed to be her first inkling that this tradition was not something that every family practices. This Christmas pudding is a very regular practice in England, learned upon more research, and it is particularly interesting due to its heavy requirements in the types of fruit involved, the necessary custard, and the quintessential lighting of the brandy on top.


For another version of this Christmas tradition, see The Telegraph, a British news-source.