Santa could be in for a feast of Playdoh cakes and Cornettos this year with Rudolph nibbling on Twiglets and carrot cake – if the Mug Shot’s hilarious and heart-warming snapshot into Christmas traditions is anything to go by.
And rest assured children have all his travelling needs and present delivery welfare well catered for too according to the insights unearthed in instant hot snack brand’s Tree-riffic Christmas Survey*.
One thing is for sure, when Mug Shot decided to stoke up some early festival cheer among its thousands of social media followers to celebrate the launch of its new festival flavour Pigs in Blankets, it’s clear it’s the wonderfully British Christmas traditions – and a few quirky ones – which help to keep the magic alive, no matter what age you are.
Risotto and Spam butties await!
Depending on how you look at it, Santa is in for a treat of some kind this year largely due to children having both a creative and practical way of looking at what Santa would fancy for that warm and welcome midnight snack.
For many Mug Shot followers the traditional mince and sherry or cookies and milk are shunned for a whole host of bizarre snacks and ‘helpful items’.
When asked what their youngsters like to leave out on the most magical night of the year lettuce and sugar sandwiches, soup, Spam butties, risotto, Playdoh cakes, Kombucha and a Cornetto all made it on to the list.
Responses also included Jack Daniels and an After Eight, red wine and pizza and salt and vinegar crisps and a can of lager which tends to suggest parents might have been planning their own supper.
Rudolph has also been enjoying a feast.
Reindeer nibbles including cat biscuits, parsnips, Twiglets (‘because they look like tiny antlers’), sweet potatoes, carrot cake, sprouts (‘wind power for the sleigh’) boiled red cabbage and moss.
And the ingenuity of a child’s mind also ensures the health, safety and welfare of Santa and his reindeers are taken into full and careful consideration on their potentially hazardous rooftop journey around the world on a cold Christmas Eve night.
Alongside refreshments, little ones have insisted on leaving woolly tights in case he gets cold, hats ‘in case he loses his own’, gloves, a hair bobble so his beard doesn’t catch fire, flea treatment for the reindeers and dog poo bags to scoop up the reindeer droppings.
Families embrace generational traditions
For many, children are the focus of Christmas, helping us to reignite the magic and special memories of our own childhood Christmases – and that’s certainly the case for our Mug Shot followers.
When asked how they keep the Christmas magic alive as their kids get older, our Mug Shot followers all had their own special little ways to help their youngsters to keep believing.
And that magic seems to last until the little kids become big kids and have children of their own.
Keeping the same tried and tested traditions going year after year was voted as the way to stop the wonder from waning including hanging up stockings, baking, Christmas stories, crafts, listening to classic Christmas tunes, watching films and plenty of festive family outings such as markets and pantomimes.
Many of Mug Shot’s social media followers said that more than anything, if grown-ups keep dreaming and believing it helps to keep the magic and Christmas spirit alive for all the whole family.
Pigs in blankets gets the thumbs up
With Christmas dinner being one of the main events, Mug Shot asked their followers to dish up their likes, dislikes and favourite trimmings – even how they’ll be cooking it.
With the air fryer now a kitchen gadget staple, followers were asked which elements of Christmas dinner they’ll be bunging in there this year.
36% said roast potatoes, a fifth said pigs in blankets and almost 10% said they were bravely attempting to cook to the whole thing in an air fryer.
For those who don’t have an air fryer, many are hoping Santa will bring them one!
Overwhelmingly the most popular part of Christmas dinner was pigs in blankets – music to the Mug Shot ears! – followed by, no not the turkey, but roast potatoes (20%).
Other favourites included parsnips, gravy, Yorkshire puddings, bread sauce, stuffing and a rogue lobster.
They were also asked what accompaniment should never be part of Christmas dinner – tomato ketchup, mayonnaise, mushy peas or Yorkshire pudding.
Ketchup got the thumbs down from 40% of Christmas dinner devotees followed by mayonnaise at 27% and a quarter pushed mushy peas to one side.
One much maligned festive food which did surprisingly come out on top was the humble sprout.
When asked what the best thing was to do with them – eat them, bin them, don’t go within a mile of them or use them for an amusing game, a whopping 70% said eat them.
Trips to A&E and very awkward text messages
With the weeks of prep, stress and military precision planning that goes into Christmas you want it to run as smoothly as possible but that’s sometimes not the case.
From drunkenly falling into a Christmas tree and ending up in A&E looking like a pin cushion to being unable to turn down invitations and forcing down five Christmas dinners in one day, there was a whole raft of hilarious festive faux pas.
In the awkwardness stakes, a daughter messaged her boyfriend to tell him what a terrible Christmas day she was having at her mum’s – and accidentally sent the message to her mum.
Tales of exploding kitchen appliances, defrosting prawns with a hairdryer, forgetting the presents and having to buy substitutes from a service station on the M1 and forgetting to the turn oven on in a Prosecco haze were on the list.
There were also wonderful and heart-warmingly memorable Christmases for many respondents including a mum who rushed home from hospital with her new-born son because all her daughter wanted for Christmas was a baby brother.
And sticking with the baby theme a gran-to-be who was given a ‘Find the Peanut’ game for Christmas which turned out to be an early scan of her first grandchild which she described as “the best present ever and the gift that keeps on giving”.
Husbands rightly get the brush off for ‘housework’ gifts
When asked what was strangest present found under the tree top honours went to a deactivated First World War hand grenade.
And it seems many husbands have been in the dog house over the years thanks to their choice of more practical gifts for their wives including dusters, an extendable paint roller, a washing up bowl and cleaning products and two serving spoons.
Work place Secret Santas often result in a combination of hilarious and controversial gifts with participants ranging from thoughtful and mischievous to downright ambivalent.
Asked what the worst gift was that they’d received in a Secret Santa revealed an eye patch, a ‘Grow your own Boyfriend’ kit, a Cliff Richard calendar, a Busted poster, used body cream and a 39p bag of sweets.
Recycling and repurposing at its best
Mug Shot asked its followers to be completely upfront and honest and confess whether they’d ever re-wrapped a present they’d received and given it to someone else – which you could argue is recycling and repurposing at its best.
50% said they had and skincare product and toiletries were the most regifted items along with scarves and candles.
Emma Boyle, Senior Brand Manager at Mug Shot said: “We love hearing from our Mug Shot social media followers and this was a great way to find out more about how they like to spend this special time of year.
“We’ve had lots of laughs and really enjoyed reading the responses which show that despite these difficult times families everywhere cherish Christmas and spending time with their loved ones.
“It’s reassuring to know the wonderful traditions which have kept the magic going for many, many years – and the little traditions we invent as families and are personal to us – are still the things people turn to to make memories.”
“At Mug Shot as well as creating delicious, warm and comforting healthy lunch options, we like to have a bit of fun with our festive flavours.
“Pigs in blankets have been around since the mid 20th Century and are now an absolute Christmas Dinner favourite so it was an obvious choice for us.”
Festive Limited Edition Pigs in Blankets Mug Shot is available at B&M stores nationwide. Featuring pasta twists and the favours of bacon, sausage and sage, it’s good to go in five minutes as a tasty, healthy and low in fat lunch or snack.