The Tudor Society

British Christmas Traditions

Our family's Christmas is now a real mix of British and Spanish traditions, with an Icelandic tradition thrown in for good measure! In today's Claire Chats video talk, I look at the popular Christmas traditions of the UK, and I'd love it if you could tell me about your country's traditions, or those that are personal to your family.

And here are those links and videos I promised you, I've also included my videos for drinks you can make at Christmas, and also a Tudor fool, which is similar to a trifle:


Some great websites for Christmas recipes are:

There are 2 comments Go To Comment

  1. M

    Thank you, Claire, very interesting! Thanks for the videos, too, I’ll be sure to check them out over the weekend. I’m in the U.S. We don’t have Boxing Day here. It seems just about everyone is different. The Immaculate Conception doesn’t really play a role in when to get our Christmas trees, at least that I’m aware. We (meaning me and my family) usually don’t get our trees until well into December, but this year, we got ours right after Thanksgiving. That’s early for us as a family. I have lots of old ornaments. They all tell a story, represents something or someone. My kids each have their own ornaments that I’ll give them when they leave for their own lives. As far as good goes, a turkey or a ham, and my husband’s family always has kielbasa and pierogies. Something pasta too. And everyone’s different. Different cultures, backgrounds. I’m not much of a baker, but we all like all different kinds of Christmas cookies. Sugar cookies, snickerdoodles, snowballs, a whole bunch more. I don’t send Christmas cards anymore (I have an illness, and a few years back I was in the hospital for several weeks this time of year, and I never got back to it). But lots of people send cards. We have favorite movies and cartoons this time of year. Some of ours are, Charlie Brown Christmas, Year Without A Santa Claus, Rudolph, Frosty, and more. Favorite movies are A Christmas Carol (the George C Scott version is our fave), Christmas Vacation, and a Christmas Story. Have a great holiday season! Michelle t

  2. C

    Just watched your English Christmas video and my mouth was watering. We share a few traditions e.g. Turkey with the trimmings, Cranberry sauce, stuffing peas and carrots, gravy, mashed potatoes yams. Prior to that there is shrimp dip and crackers and drinks galore Actually there was a traditional Christmas Eve. Party @ my friend of now 56 years would host the party 2 blocks away from where I grew up in Montreal. @ 1100 the Anglicans would go to Candlelight service and the Catholic partiers would go to Midnight Mass. Following the Services it is back to more food and drinks and we would open 1 present. Wish French Canadian families and many “wannabes” would make tortieres or meat pies made with lard and minced meat and pork. Then we would have the Buche de Noel. somewhere around 3:00 we would head home, then sleep in until 10:00 . Some would sleep further and some like me would watch the Queen’s speech. After that open the rest of the presents and relax. I really like the Icelandic tradition of reading and relaxing.
    Christmas dinner would be the aforementioned food followed by the Christmas crackers and Mom’s trifle with Bird’s Custard sauce and her famous light fruit cake made the way you described. she also made short breads , peanut butter balls and assorted squares.When I was a child I used to get a Rupert book sent from England and I started that tradition with my daughter.
    I have a tree decorated with ornaments from my childhood and ones that my daughter made in school. I have several music ornaments, trumpet playing angels as I pray trumpet and to represent Gabriel ,.Nurse ornaments from where we have travelled ranging from Mexico, Colombia, Great Britain,Hawaii and Iceland. I have 2 Creches(mangers) which I will photograph and send to you which have always been popular here I have one made of corn husks complete with an Icelandic Sheep. At one point I had to glue the figures down onto the straw as my late cat Slinky ran off with Baby Jesus!

    We like to watch Merry Christmas Charlie Brown, Rudolf, Frosty the Snowman and of course Scrooge with Alastair Sim- only in Black and White! Here, for some reason the Sound of Music has become a Christmas Tradition.
    Like you Boxing Day is a holiday but has fallen in popularity to Black Friday which is the Friday before our Thanksgiving which is the 2nd Monday in October in Canada. That’s all I can think of for now. Thanks for sharing pics to follow.
    Have a restful weekend.

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British Christmas Traditions