17 Fun & Quirky British Christmas Traditions Worth Exporting

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Offered the fact that so many Americans have British roots, you wouldn’t expect the Christmas customs of the 2 countries to be THAT different … but they are. While some American households have kept their old British traditions alive and a handful of Anglophiles have actually adopted them, there’s rather a lot that will seem downright unusual to numerous Americans.

We’ll be avoiding over those things that are basically universal to Christmas– the stress, the uncomfortable political arguments with household, carolling, nativity plays, and so on. Rather, we’ll take a look at those things probably to be unfamiliar (or not practiced) by our primarily American readers.

1|Christmas Crackers

Christmas crackers on the table– a British Christmas tradition It’s tough to envision a British Christmas without Christmas crackers. They’re totally absurd and totally required. For those who aren’t acquainted with them, they’re basically just little celebration favours that “pop” when you pull them apart (generally with another individual). Inside, you’ll find a bad joke, a paper crown, and some kind of little prize.

Want your own? Examine them out HERE.

2|Christmas Crowns Gavin and Stacey: Christmas Special With Christmas crackers come paper Christmas crowns– and yes, a great deal of individuals truly do wear them(if just for the duration of supper). The custom of wearing festive hats is thought to date back to Roman times and Saturnalia events, but contemporary Christmas crackers date back to the 1800s.

View the Gavin & Stacey Christmas episode (the old one) HERE.

3|Christmas Television Specials Mrs. Brown’s Boys Christmas Special– Airing on BritBox in December 2019 While it prevails for American TV programs to include a Christmas episode before signing off

for a winter break, British Christmas specials are frequently aired ON Christmas Day (or really near it ). The specials often happen beyond the normal season and some, like the 2019 Gavin & Stacey Christmas Reunion episode, are long gotten rid of from when the real series ran. 4|. The Queen’s Speech The Queen’s Christmas broadcast– on BritBox in December 2019 Mentioning Christmas TV, Queen Elizabeth II has actually been delivering an annual Christmas broadcast since 1957. While there are plenty of Brits who do not offer a toss about the royal family, there are at least as numerous who excitedly tune into her annual Christmas message. It’s less about”bowing down”to a queen and more about continuity and custom and normally warm and fuzzy feelings. Copying the tradition, Channel 4 does something comparable with their”alternative Christmas message “. Each year, they select a controversial figure to deliver a Christmas message in the style of QE2.

Current years have actually included Edward Snowden, kid survivors of Grenfell, the widower of Jo Cox, and Danny Dyer. You can view this year’s REAL broadcast on BritBox. Outside the UK, I’m uncertain where you can legally enjoy the other one. 5|Mummering The Mummers Parade in Philadelphia, PA, USA(yes, that’s me)This one isn’t as universal as some of the others(it’s more likely to be found in charming little villages that retain a few of the older customs)– however it’s a fun Christmas tradition shown Ireland and Newfoundland and other little pockets around Europe. Essentially, it involves a group of pals or household who dress up in disguises and run around visiting their neighbours and doing casual performances when invited in. It can likewise be related to parades through the town or plays. A couple of years back, I was lucky adequate to participate in the Mummers Day Parade in Philadelphia, which takes place on New Year’s Day each year. It’s rooted in customs brought over from England and Ireland. Philadelphia winters are a bit chillier than a typical

British winter season, so it took something like 8-9 layers of clothing to make it tolerable– but it was fantastic enjoyable. Learn more: Mummers, Maypoles, & Milkmaids: A Journey Through the English Routine Year 6|Brussels Sprouts Does not that make you hungry?Is there anything better than well-cooked Brussels sprouts? I have no idea they became called a Christmas food in the UK (for me, they’re an anytime food), however there you have it. Though not everybody likes them, it’s one of those things you need to have at the Christmas table.

One of my favourite Brussels sprouts dishes: Maple Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts

7|Mince Pies Mince pies are a British Christmas preferred Mince pies are( normally )bite-size pies full of dried fruit (typically somewhat boozy )and wintery spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Modern mince pies are sweet, but their forefathers often included meat and suet.

Get Mary Berry’s take on it HERE. If you’re not up for making your own, no concerns! Walkers has their own range, and you can buy them for delivery HERE.

8|Christmas Pudding < img src="image/svg

+xml; base64, PHN2ZyB4bWxucz0iaHR0cDovL3d3dy53My5vcmcvMjAwMC9zdmciIHZpZXdCb3g9IjAgMCA5MDAgNzA5IiB3aWR0aD0iOTAwIiBoZWlnaHQ9IjcwOSIgZGF0YS11PSJodHRwcyUzQSUyRiUyRmloZWFydGJyaXRhaW4uY29tJTJGd3AtY29udGVudCUyRnVwbG9hZHMlMkYyMDE5JTJGMTIlMkZicml0aXNoLWNocmlzdG1hcy10cmFkaXRpb25zLWNocmlzdG1hcy1wdWRkaW5nLmpwZyIgZGF0YS13PSI5MDAiIGRhdGEtaD0iNzA5IiBkYXRhLWJpcD0iIj48L3N2Zz4=”alt=””width =” 900″ height =” 709 “/ > A Christmas pudding As you may have collected by this point in the list, a British Christmas includes a lot of food you wouldn’t likely eat at an American Christmas celebration.

The Christmas pudding is another entry on that list. Christmas pudding goes back to middle ages times, and it’s generally a greatly spiced, ultra-boozy boiled fruitcake … that you set on fire (since inebriated loved ones and fire are ALWAYS an excellent concept). The fruits are usually things like plums, cherries, raisins, and sultanas (a type of golden raisin), and the alcohol is usually brandy (with the occasional addition of something like rum, depending upon the recipe). The whole thing is aged, generally in between 1-12 months.

Sound like excessive work? You can buy one HERE. Feeling fancy? Opt for the Marks and Spencer one HERE. Issues with nuts of alcohol? Here you go

9|Brandy Butter Brandy butter is the ideal accompaniment to Christmas pudding If you’re having Christmas pudding, you’ll need to make certain you’ve got the brandy butter to opt for it. It’s basically simply soft butter, a generous amount of confectioners ‘sugar, a dash of brandy, and maybe a little almond extract or orange zest/juice if you’re feeling bold.

Brandy butter is melted over the top of the Christmas pudding, however you can likewise utilize it on your mince pies, or even muffins or fruit bagels if you have actually got leftovers after Christmas.

If you do not seem like making any, you can get brandy butter HERE.

10|Bread Sauce Conventional bread sauce Bread sauce looks suspiciously like feline vomit, however it’s in fact a velvety Christmas sauce made of bread crumbs, frequently served together with a roast. Components generally include milk, cream, butter, and breadcrumbs, together with spices like pepper, garlic, cloves, bay leaf, thyme, and/or onion.

Required a recipe? Here you go

11|Happy Christmas! < img src ="image/svg+xml; base64, PHN2ZyB4bWxucz0iaHR0cDovL3d3dy53My5vcmcvMjAwMC9zdmciIHZpZXdCb3g9IjAgMCA5MDAgNTc2IiB3aWR0aD0iOTAwIiBoZWlnaHQ9IjU3NiIgZGF0YS11PSJodHRwcyUzQSUyRiUyRmloZWFydGJyaXRhaW4uY29tJTJGd3AtY29udGVudCUyRnVwbG9hZHMlMkYyMDE5JTJGMTIlMkZoYXBweS1jaHJpc3RtYXMtYnJpdGlzaC1jaHJpc3RtYXMtdHJhZGl0aW9ucy5qcGciIGRhdGEtdz0iOTAwIiBkYXRhLWg9IjU3NiIgZGF0YS1iaXA9IiI +PC9zdmc +"alt="" width= "900"height ="576"/ > A Delighted Christmas check in Belfast, Northern Ireland Though” Merry Christmas “is the phrasing in the majority of

North America

,” Pleased Christmas “is much more

typical in the UK. 12|Christmas Adverts British Christmas Adverts In the US, there are Super Bowl commercials. In the UK, it’s everything about the Christmas adverts. All the big sellers are anticipated to put out something over-the-top, festive, and totally heartwarming– and then everyone praises and/or rips them to shreds.

In 2019, the Christmas advert scene had a bit of a shake-up. This year, the most talked-about advert in fact originated from a small, family-run hardware shop in Wales. You can enjoy it in this post of Top British Christmas Adverts for 2019.


To a lot of individuals, this is among the stranger British Christmas customs. A huge percentage of theatres use pantomime shows during the season (roughly late November through February), and the campy, typically fairy tale-inspired efficiencies frequently include wild slapstick, insane costumes, and males in drag.

Whilst you may be tempted to compose this off as some weird thing that just a handful of people keep going, information recommends that roughly 13.3% of grownups in England attend a pantomime in any given year, and panto accounts for roughly 20% of ALL UK theatre earnings.


Brits have lots of fun colloquialisms– telly (tv), brolly (umbrella), cossie (swimming outfit), chippie/chippy (fish & chips shop), prossie (prostitute), bikky (biscuit, aka cookie in the US). Christmas is no exception, and it’s consistently reduced to Crimbo (or Chrimbo).

As a terrific example, I have actually embedded the video for Bo Selecta’s Crimbo classic, “Correct Crimbo”. It’s a humour not everyone will value, however it was a big hit when launched back in 2003, and lots of people continue to play it each year.

15|Christmas Lights Switch-Ons Oxford Street Christmas Lights in London The Brits don’t have Thanksgiving (save for expats and a couple of people who’ve embraced it after seeing loads of American TELEVISION shows), so the authorities start of the Christmas season is a bit less stiff. One foolproof method to know it’s time, though, is by your regional holiday lights switch-on.

At the larger display screens, celebrities are frequently hired to get involved, and you can regularly discover food, music, and general activity around the event. At smaller sized switch-on events, you’re more likely to see incredibly odd people for whom the word “star” is very generous– X Aspect participants, boy band members from two decades ago, and so on.

Learn more: The Very Best Places to See Christmas Lights in London

16|Christmas Markets Edinburgh Christmas Market– Image Credit: Graham Campbell While the US absolutely has some Christmas markets, they’re not quite on the very same scale as what you’ll find in the UK (or Germany, for that matter). Take, for instance, the massive Edinburgh Christmas Market. In the 2018-2019 season, almost 800,000 tickets were offered, and the event is said to have brought more than 113 million GBP to the regional economy. The occasion has actually gotten so ridiculously big that lots of local homeowners want it stopped, or a minimum of significantly pruned down.

Read More: The very best Christmas markets in the UK

17|Daddy Christmas Daddy Christmas with a beer While people in the UK will definitely know what you’re talking about if you state”Santa Claus”, you’re just as most likely to hear “Dad Christmas” (however just like all customs, it varies by area and household and even socioeconomic status). Whatever you call him, it’s regular to leave him a mince pie rather of biscuits (aka cookies), and it’s not at all uncommon to leave him some sort of alcohol instead of milk.

Does this list provide you any ideas of things you might like to contribute to your own list of Christmas customs? Feel free to share your ideas in the comments, or let us know about some of your own winter season holiday traditions!

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17 British Christmas Traditions Worth Trying

Christmas Stockings

Christmas Pullovers

Christmas Pullovers

Christmas Dresses

Christmas Dresses

Christmas Jewelry