Christmas Traditions

Christmas is one of my favourite time of year here. There are so many interesting traditions that start to come out and I love every minute of it. Although this is not what all families do, I have tried to compile some traditions that perhaps you can bring to your family.
  • My family has crackers (filled with paperhats, toys and jokes and you pull both ends until they pop!) on Christmas that we open by holding the end of one cracker and pulling your neighbor's end. We wear the hats that come in the crackers until the end of the Queen's Christmas Broadcast.  The cracker was designed by Thomas J. Smith in London in 1847. You cannot fly or send these home as they are considered explosives.
  • England is a Christian country. Families go to midnight mass or to church on Christmas morning to celebrate the birth of Christ and many churches hold carol services.
  • Most families eat their Christmas dinner in the early afternoon and have a light meal in the evening on Christmas.
  • A Christmas meal usually consists of roast turkey, roast potatoes, Brussels sprouts, gravy, cranberries and bread sauce. Afterwards they will have Christmas pudding and mince pies.
  • They don't say "Happy Holidays" here, they say "Merry Christmas".
  • They send Christmas cards which were commission by Sir Henry Cole in London in 1843 which came to America in 1875.
  • It is bad luck to have your Christmas tree up past the 5th of January.  The Christmas tree comes from 15th century Livonia (Estonia and Latvia). The Christmas tree became popular in England in 1841. Queen Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert, bought one from Germany and it was illustrated in a newspaper with them standing around it with their children. The Christmas Tree in Trafalgar Square is provided by Norway since 1947 to say thank you for the support in WWII.
  • They believe in Santa but call him Father Christmas. He wears a red suit but in Victorian and Tudor times he wore a green suit. Father Christmas started creeping up in Victorian times along with cards. The concept of Santa originates from Turkey. The children leave mince pies and brandy for Father Christmas and a carrot for the reindeer.
  • Christmas stockings became popular in 1870. Coins are usually found in the bottom of the stockings because Father Christmas used to drop coins down the chimney and the stockings would catch them.
  • Christmas Eve Superstitions
o    An old wives' tale says that bread baked on Christmas Eve will never go mouldy.
o    At midnight, a certain rose slowly opens and re-closes its petals to salute the birthday of Jesus.
o    Also at midnight, all the sheep in the fields turn and bow towards the East.

Whatever you do, I hope that you too have a  Merry Christmas!

All the Best!

American to Britain