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It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The (Footballing) Year

There’s nothing more exciting than the festive period for a football fan. Becka looks at why the Christmas time fixtures are her favourite.

Manchester City v Reading - Premier League Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

Firstly, I’m really gutted that I can’t make the football game on Boxing Day. It’s always one of the first fixtures I look for when they’re released in June. Not only is everyone in good spirits from the time of year, but the fact that 26th December marks half way in the season, a couple of poor results can see your team slip quite quickly in a week.

But alas, my shifts haven’t fallen so kindly for me this year and I’m not sure I’d fancy the M25 gridlock anyway whilst others are dragged out by loved ones to go and grab a bargain because they can’t deal with the shops being closed for one day.

I’ve never been interested in Boxing Day sales. Maybe working in customer facing roles for the past eight years has put me off of them. In fact, there’s nothing I’d rather be doing other than going to football. Just like a perfect Christmas dinner, I think everyone who is a football regular all follow similar traditions for the festive period, but each routine is slightly different to make it special for the individual.

Here’s my recipe for an enjoyable festive football period:

Football on Boxing Day should be at 3pm

It doesn’t matter what day of the week it is, it always feels like a Saturday on Boxing Day, therefore football should be at 3pm. I’m always in the West Midlands for Christmas so it wasn’t so much of an issue for me, but the 5:15pm kick off at Wolves last season was just a nightmare. Sky televising the game basically killed off any chance of a half decent away following (that and Wolves higher than average ticket prices). Plus keeping it at 3pm means that there’s a better opportunity to watch the obligatory crappy Christmas telly once you get home.

Leftover Christmas Dinner sandwiches are a must

Who cares about carbs when its Christmas?! Turkey and Gammon with stuffing and a bit of cold bread sauce for me. Mum does the stuffing and bread sauce from scratch, which taste amazing, trust me. I also like a leftover blanketed piggy if there’s any going. I’m usually a fan of a pie at football, but anything less than these beautiful sandwiches on Boxing Day is disappointing. And usually there’s enough meat left to stretch it out for the game in between Christmas and New Year as long as it hasn’t all been put into a Turkey Curry.

Christmas Songs in the car are definitely still allowed

Step Into Christmas by Elton John is at the top of my Christmas football playlist, for the way he unnecessarily and irrelevantly reveals his shiny Watford season ticket from the tinsel on the top of his piano in the video. I tried mimicking it in the car with my Boyfriend the other day, and he looked at me as if I was losing my baubles. The Pogues, Dean Martin and Slade are other big names on my festive playlist.

Everyone is wearing something new

Don’t deny it, you know it’s true. It’s almost like people feel obliged to wear a gift they’ve received the day before from a long lost relative, and more often than not it gets shoved in the wardrobe and not seen again for a while. I’m pretty sure I’ve worn a few new scarves or hats over the years. I always say I prefer football in the winter anyway; there’s something I quite like about wearing 43827649678 layers and sitting out in the freezing cold all for the love of the game.

It’s just the right thing to be doing

Whether you attend football over the festive period or watch from the comfort of home or the pub, can you just imagine this time of year without our beautiful game? I think it would make it a lot less special.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all. Here’s to a successful 2017!