Christmas Traditions in England
Many English Christmas traditions have been adopted by the United States, making the two countries very similar on this holiday celebration. The decorations associated with Christmas such as holly, mistletoe, and ivy actually date back hundreds of years to ancient pagan traditions rather than those associated with Christianity. However, trees weren’t brought inside to be decorations of their own until the activity was popularized by Queen Victoria’s husband Albert who insisted on trying the tradition by bringing a tree into the Royal House during the Christmas of 1840.
Christmas Eve sees children hanging stockings or socks at the foot of their bed or by the fireside so that they can receive gifts from Father Christmas while presents to and from family members are generally placed underneath the Christmas tree instead. While some English families attend church on Christmas morning, some prefer to stay in and open presents while having bonding time with their families until a huge Christmas feast is presented for dinner. This large meal is generally made of a roast bird of some kind (goose, turkey, or chicken) with plenty of potatoes and stuffing on the side. Another popular tradition of English is that of the Christmas cracker. These brightly colored paper tubes were actually invented in London and are still widely distributed at Christmas parties and gatherings today. When two people come together to pull the cracker apart, it releases a loud snap and then drops a small trinket or gift.