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Christmas is the largest holiday in England. It celebrates the birth of Jesus on the 25th December. The day before and after Christmas Day are also celebrated.

On the 24th December (Christmas Eve) it is tradition to spend time with family. It is an especially exciting day for families that believe in Father Christmas (Santa in America) as this is the night that he will visit, bringing with him a sack full of presents. On Christmas Eve night, children prepare a small tray of food; (normally milk, cookies and carrots) to leave out for Father Christmas and his reindeer. They will leave their Christmas stockings hung on the fireplace ready to be filled with presents.

Christmas Day normally starts very early, as children can’t wait to open their presents. At around 1pm a huge dinner will be served, consisting of Turkey, roast and mashed potatoes, sprouts, carrots, parsnips and gravy. The whole family will eat together and the table will be decorated with Christmas crackers, one for each person.
In the evening, religious families may attend church and other families will stay in their homes for a quiet, relaxing day.

Boxing day (26th December) is a day where families visit each other and another large meal is eaten, normally consisting of the leftover food from the day before. It is called Boxing Day because it used to be tradition on this day to box up any unwanted food or gifts and give them to people who needed it more. It is very normal for people to spend this day relaxing at home, although many people do head out to the town centres as the sales start on this day and all shops reduce the prices of almost everything! It is completely normal for people to use these sales to buy Christmas presents for the following year!

christmas

Merry Christmas

 

Although Christmas is a religious holiday, it has also become very commercial in England. Christmas lights and trees normally can be seen in English shops as early as October and it is tradition to buy presents for friends, family and even pets! Millions and millions of pounds are spent during the Christmas season! Some Christmas traditions in England include: chocolate advent calendars (starting on the 1st December), ice skating, Christmas markets and of course, decorating a christmas tree. The Christmas tree was originally a German tradition, but in 1841, Queen Victoria’s husband, Prince Charles, brought a tree to England to decorate and display in Windsor Castle. When the public saw it it immediately became fashionable.The tree represents Jesus and his love for everyone and the star on top of the tree represents the star in Bethlehem.