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Our Merry Moose Milk Christmas

With Christmas almost upon us, 44’s Bryan Jones takes a look at crazy festive traditions around the world and why our own doesn’t seem that weird after all…

Here at 44 we’re quick to embrace Christmas and its traditions.

We’ve decorated a small but perfectly formed tree, there’s tinsel around the laptops, festive jumpers are being worn (one of them even sings carols), and we’re all looking forward to getting together for our big pre-holiday lunch.

It’s become accepted practice that before we head off to feast on turkey and trimmings, pull our crackers and don our paper crowns, we meet up in the design studio and enjoy a glass of Moose Milk together.

If you’ve never tried it (and why would you have?), Moose Milk is a delicious (and slightly scary) mix of rum, cream and festive spices.

It’s a tradition all the way from the frozen wastes of Canada – brought to these shores and to our offices by our beloved friend and colleague Chuck.

Chuck’s now living and working in France, but spent many happy years with us in Leamington. But I’m guessing the Moose Milk quaffing will always be a 44 Christmas staple – along with decking the halls, singing along tunelessly to A Fairytale of New York, and eating too much panettone.

Toasting our successes with Moose Milk may sound unusual – but it’s far from the strangest Christmas tradition.
Here are my top three silliest traditions from around the world:

1) Japan

Historically, Japan does not celebrate Christmas and it’s not a national holiday unlike many countries in the West, but a December 25th tradition has grown up around eating Kentucky Fried Chicken. The craze began in the 70s, when KFC bosses unveiled their first festive meal for visiting foreigners who wanted something that resembled a traditional Christmas dinner. Thanks to the successful ‘Kurisumasu ni wa kentakkii!’ (Kentucky for Christmas!) marketing campaign in 1974, Japan now can’t get enough festive bargain buckets.

2) South Africa:

Rather than pass around the cheese board on Christmas Day, in South Africa it’s traditional to snack on caterpillars from the Emperor moth. They deep-fry them first, of course – yummy!

3) Spain:

By far the strangest tradition comes from Catalonia where, as well as baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph, there’s an extra character in the nativity scene. He’s a bloke in a red cap (A caganer) who’s depicted in the corner of the nativity scene with his trousers down taking a poo. I’m not making this up, honestly…

The fun traditions above make us feel a little less self-conscious about our love of Moose Milk here at 44. On that note, Merry Christmas everyone – we hope you enjoy a happy and peaceful festive period!

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