Christmas in the United Kingdom: keep reading to find out more

Do you know the history behind Christmas in the United Kingdom?

What is served for Christmas Eve dinner?

What two plants can you find in every home?

Find out how Christmas is celebrated in England.

When is Christmas celebrated in the UK?

Families in the UK (or Great Britain and Northern Ireland) often celebrate Christmas together, so they can watch each other open their presents!

Most families have a Christmas Tree (or maybe even two!) in their house for Christmas. Decorating the tree is usually a family occasion, with everyone helping.

Christmas Trees were first popularised in the UK by Prince Albert, the husband of Queen Victoria. Prince Albert was German and thought that it would be good to use one of his ways of celebrating Christmas in England.

People in the UK love Christmas and prepare for it throughout Advent when streets and homes are decorated with various Christmas decorations and lights.

Christmas Eve is a working day in Britain. Only Christmas Day, December 25, and December 26, which is known as Boxing Day, are public holidays.

Although there are many different theories about the origin of the name Boxing Day, it is generally believed to have originated from the tradition of people packing small gifts and “junk” into boxes to give to the poor on this day. Gift boxes were also given to servants on this day.

Do you know Christmas traditions in the United Kingdom?

Although many traditions have changed, Christmas in the UK is still associated with many customs that date back to the 19th century. These include sending Christmas cards, caroling, kissing under the mistletoe, and making Christmas dinner, which is often actually Christmas lunch.

The tradition of sending Christmas cards dates back to the early 19th century. Although the internet and social media have reduced the number of cards sent, the custom is still alive and well. In addition, many Christmas cards are sold by charities, and by buying them, people are doing a good deed at the same time.

In the days before Christmas, especially on Christmas Day, carolers appear in towns and villages, singing carols and collecting money for charitable purposes.

Decorating Christmas trees became widespread in England during Queen Victoria’s reign. Her husband Albert came from Germany, where trees were commonly decorated, and brought the custom to England. The most famous Christmas tree is the one in Trafalgar Square in London, which Norway dedicates to Britain every year as part of a tradition that began in 1947.

In addition to the tree, homes are often decorated with mistletoe and holly. The thorny leaves are supposed to resemble the crown of thorns of Jesus Christ and the red berries of his blood. Where did the tradition of kissing under the mistletoe come from?

For almost 90 years, Christmas in England has also included the King’s or Queen’s Christmas speech. The tradition of the royal Christmas message was started in 1932 by King George V. It is broadcast on December 25 at three o’clock in the afternoon.


Who brings the children’s presents?

British children believe that Father Christmas brings them presents on the night between December 24 and 25. He looks much like Santa Claus, but his clothes are green instead of red. He leaves smaller gifts in stockings that the children hang by the fireplace or on the bed and larger ones under the tree.

They leave candy coins, pies, and brandy as snacks for Father Christmas. Before Christmas, children also write letters to Father Christmas describing what they would like. Traditionally, letters are thrown into the fireplace. Christmas presents are unwrapped either in the morning or after lunch.

What do you eat in England at Christmas?

The main Christmas meal in the UK is lunch on 25 December. It usually consists of a roasted turkey or turkey stuffed with stuffing, baked potatoes, Brussels sprouts, and other vegetables, such as carrots or parsley. The meat is served with cranberry or bread sauce.

The table often features a Christmas cracker, a festive candy-like decoration that hides a small gift, usually a paper crown, and a joke. Invented by London confectioner Tom Smith in the mid-19th century, to popularize them, he created a mechanism that makes a typical sound when broken.

A traditional Christmas pudding is served as dessert, and a coin is inserted during preparation. It brings happiness to whoever finds it. Brandy is often poured over the pudding and set alight before consumption.

Trifle is also a popular dessert at English Christmas. It is prepared in a large bowl and consists of a layer of sponge cake or sponges, often dipped in sherry or brandy, followed by a layer of fruit and topped with a layer of custard and whipped cream.

Christmas in England is also associated with a special “five o’clock Christmas tea.” Traditional Christmas cake, a dessert full of dried fruit and nuts, gingerbread and mince pie, and sweets filled with candied fruit and spices are served.


How to prepare the famous Christmas pudding?

There are many different recipes for Christmas pudding. Some also contain nuts, dried figs, dates, rum, dark beer, or apple cider. Pudding is usually prepared at the beginning of Advent to spread well.


  • 1 cup of raisins or sultanas
  • 1/2 cup of dried currants
  • 1/2 cup of pitted prunes
  • 1/2 cup cane sugar
  • 1/4 cup of blanched almonds
  • 1/2 cup of candied citrus peel
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 1/2 cup of butter
  • 2 apples
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 Tbsp brandy
  • 1/2 teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves


  1. Roughly chop the almonds and chop the candied peel.
  2. Peel the apples, remove the cores, and cut them.
  3. Combine the almonds, apples, candied peel, nutmeg, raisins, flour, breadcrumbs, sugar, eggs, and brandy in a large bowl.
  4. Grate a quarter of the cold butter into a bowl and mix everything.
  5. Repeat until all the butter is grated, then mix for 3-4 minutes.
  6. Grease a pudding mold with butter and place a circle of baking paper on the bottom.
  7. Fold in the custard mixture.
  8. Cover with a double layer of baking paper and then tie it with string.
  9. Cut off the excess paper.
  10. Then, place the mold on a large sheet of aluminum foil and pull the edges up.
  11. Then, place another sheet of aluminum foil over the top edge and pull it down to create a double wrap, making the mold watertight.
  12. If necessary, tie it with string.
  13. Steam the puddings for 8 hours, adding water as needed.
  14. After removing, let cool overnight.
  15. After cooling, remove the pudding from the packaging and rewrap it in new baking paper and aluminum foil.
  16. Store in a cool, dry place until Christmas.
  17. Steam for 1 hour before serving.
  18. Unpack and flip out.

What places to visit in the UK at Christmas?

Christmas in the UK is especially a visit to London, which is beautifully decorated yearly and hosts many exciting events. But the United Kingdom is not only England, so why not go to Scotland or Wales?

  • London—Regent Street, Oxford Street, and many other famous tourist spots attract rich lighting decorations. If you want to save steps, you can admire Christmas London from a special double-decker Christmas bus. Carols are sung in many places, and special holiday events are also held at the famous Royal Albert Hall.
  • North Yorkshire—Every child who has seen the animated movie The Polar Express hopes their journey on the special Santa train will end up at the North Pole, but they settle for Yorkshire. The trains run between Pickering and Grosmont throughout December, and Santa Claus distributes gifts to good children during the ride.
  • Edinburgh – the Scottish capital- looks magical at any time of the year but is incredibly charming during Christmas. Even the famous local castle will be enveloped in the Christmas atmosphere.

Milan & Ondra

We simply enjoy Christmas. On the website, we want to show you the best recipes, decorations and information about Christmas in one place. Are we missing something here? Let us know and get inspired with us! :)

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