Christmas Day in England

Christmas Day in England

December the 25th starts early (often before dawn) when children  open their Christmas stockings amid shouts of delight and great glee.

Then there is a rapid breakfast, usually of cold meat and the round of present giving begins. In many households, presents are collected over a period of weeks before the day and then placed around the base of the Christmas tree for distribution on Christmas morning.In other households , present giving does not take place until the evening, causing everyone to get into a state of great excitement for the whole day as the presents can be seen for a full 24 hours before they are opened.

After present giving comes dinner. Traditional English Cristmas  dinner  consists of an enormous piece of  beef, often accompanied by a large piece of pork or even a whole boar´s head,a goose and several varieties of fowl. Vegetables are also abundant.

Then, there could be a pause for the drinking of  of home-brewed ale and then the “plum-duff” or Christmas pudding would be brought in decorated with a sprig of holly and  and flaming in brandy. After a short period of relaxation comes tea! After tea further presents are cut from the tree and then there are the traditional games in some families.

There are such things as ”Hunt the thimble”, “postman´s knock”,” I spy” and a host of  common parlour games. In older times, charades were popular.

Boxing Day, December 26th, is so  called because it was upon this day that family servants and tradesmen received their Christmas boxes. This custom has died out and the day is now used for visiting close friends and relatives, exchanging gifts with them or is devoted  to recovering from the excesses of the day before.

To some extent or other, Christmas is then extended to  “Twelfth Night” (January 4th) when decorations are taken down and everything returns to normal.