British Christmas Traditions

  1. Christmas crackers – These are always placed on the table for Christmas dinner and pulled before eating. They should be pulled with the person sitting next to you and often contain a joke, a paper/foil hat and a small item such as a yoyo, pack of playing cards or toenail clippers
  2. The coin in the Christmas Pudding – Christmas pudding is made up from dried fruits and peel, brandy, flour, sugar, almonds and spices and is steamed and matured. It is eaten hot with usually custard, ice cream, pouring or whipped cream or brandy butter. Brandy is often poured over the pudding then set alight. Traditionally a coin (often a silver sixpence) is hidden inside the pudding and whoever finds it is said to
    have good fortune for the year!
  3. Presents on 25th December – Contrary to some countries, in the UK we don’t open gifts normally until Christmas Day on 25th November.
  4. Eating mince pies – Small pastry pies filled with mincemeat (not actual meat but dried fruits and peel in brandy and juice are a treat eaten around Christmas time either cold or heated up with cream, ice cream or brandy butter.
  5. Boxing Day – The day following Christmas Day on 26th December is usually for visiting relatives and less formal than Christmas day. Party food is often eaten as opposed to a big Christmas dinner. Presents to and from relatives you will see on boxing day should wait until that day to give or receive and open them.
  6. Christmas Dinner – This is often a big multi-course event. The meat of choice is often turkey, but also frequently beef or lamb. To accompany the meat there are also many sides including roast potatoes, roast parsnips, broccoli, carrots, peas, Brussel sprouts, stuffing, cauliflower cheese, Yorkshire puddings and pigs in blankets (small sausages wrapped in bacon) all topped off with gravy. Christmas pudding is generally
    served after the meal!
  7. Leaving something out for Santa Claus – Children in the UK leave out a mince pie a glass of milk for Santa on Christmas Eve and a carrot for the Reindeers. It’s thirsty work delivering all those presents!
  8. Watching the Queen’s Speech – Every year on Christmas Day the monarch of Great British gives a speech with a summary of events from the past year. This has seen tradition since 1932 when King George V gave his speech by radio, nowadays it broadcast live to TV in The Queen’s Christmas Message.
  1. Hanging out stockings – stockings are hung out on Christmas Eve often over the fireplace or at the ends of beds to be filled with presents, but the person doing the filling mustn’t be seen or the magic will be lost!
  2. Going to the pantomime – “Oh no he didn’t!”, “Oh yes, he did!”. These phrases are very common in pantomimes, comedy plays aimed at the whole family that encourage audience participation. Christmas pantomimes are a long-standing British the tradition to watch in the run-up to Christmas, with many schools taking students to watch them!

I hope you and your family had an awesome Christmas!



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