Christmas is arguably the most magical time of the year. Families reunite, children wonder in awe at the gifts brought by St Nick, and food is shared in the glow of a lit up Christmas tree. Many families have traditions that continue year after year, so it can be hard when one family member makes a lifestyle change that means they can no longer participate in these family traditions. The good news is, with a little bit of creativity, these traditions can be adapted to fit a cruelty-free lifestyle too.
- The obvious tradition that springs to mind is Christmas Dinner. Plates piled high with turkey, sausages, and potatoes cooked in goose-fat. There has been a stereotype of vegan Christmas Dinners being boring, however, the last few years have changed that. Turkey can be replaced with a traditional Nut Roast, or a less traditional seitan replacement. Roast potatoes are just as delicious when cooked using vegetable oil (tip to get the delicious crispy outsides that will leave your family members wondering why they even use goose-fat in the first place – par-boil the potatoes and then shake in a sieve to fluff up the edges before roasting).
- Tradition states that if you’ve been good, Father Chrismtas will leave an orange in the bottom of your stocking. Nowadays, we’ve replaced these oranges with a chocolate version that isn’t vegan-friendly. However, we could just revert back to the original tradition, and gift each other actual oranges. Who thought being vegan would lead to you being MORE tradition, eh?
- After dinner, a coffee with a tipple is a delicious treat enjoyed by many. Bailey’s is a classic choice, but unfortunately Bailey’s isn’t vegan. Luckily you can find an almond version of Bailey’s that IS vegan. If this isn’t available in your area here are a few alternatives you can try. Brandy is a very Christmas-sy spirit and if you haven’t had your fill from the Christmas Pudding (many of which are already vegan!) you can try stirring it into an oat milk latte to create a boozy treat everyone will enjoy. The same goes for the classic eggnog. Simply switch out the milk and eggs for some coconut cream and plant based milk.
- What is more festive than a Christmas Tree? Well, how about making a festive drink out of pine needles? As a family, you could go on a lovely walk and find some pine needles. You can then crush these with a pestle and mortar and infuse into hot water to create a delicious festive drink that is high in vitamin C and brilliant for the cold winter months.
- Dog racing is a common boxing day tradition, but this is a cruel tradition that is becoming outdated. Nevertheless, if your family still partakes, there are some other fun activities you could do instead that still involve betting and family togetherness. Why not place a bet on your local football team instead and go and watch the boxing day game?
Spending quality time with those you love
- The most important Christmas tradition, however, is already vegan. Spending quality time with those you love is the most vegan thing you can do – after all veganism is all about reducing unnecessary suffering, which perfectly embodies the spirit of Christmas. Laughter, music, love; these are all vegan and are the best parts of Christmas.