Christmas is a wonderful time full of festivities and long upheld traditions that differ from place to place.

The United Kingdom is no exception to this, with plenty of weird and wonderful customs. These range from decorations and deadlines to adverts and food, yet each is just as quintessentially British as the last and so in this article i will be exploring my favourite christmas traditions and how they contribute to a truly perfect british christmas.

Firstly, there is the matter of decorating your homes. Whilst the supermarkets are seemingly trying to inflict Christmas on the country earlier and earlier each year, it is my firm belief that anything after bonfire night is fair game. Furthermore, I am not a believer in the saying less is more, when it comes to Christmas, no amount of decoration is too much so go big or go home! There is ,however, a deadline for these decorations to be taken down - Christmas cannot last forever. All decorations should be taken down by the 12th day of christmas (the 5th of january). This is due to the popular belief that if you leave it any later than this date then you could be setting yourself up for a year of bad luck. Whilst this tradition is of the modern nature it may derive from the mediaeval notion that decorations left up after Candlemas eve would become possessed by goblins. 

Next there is the tradition of sending christmas cards - a personal favourite of mine due to the way in which it allows for a show of appreciation and acknowledgment without having to be extremely personal. For example, simply receiving a card with the words ‘merry christmas’ on it makes you feel seen without having the added pressure of having to think of something as equally heartfelt. This British tradition dates all the way back to 1843. At the time, a gentleman named Sir Henry Cole didn’t have time to send personal messages, so he hired an artist called John Calcott Horsley to design him a card which he could send to lots of people, and that’s how Christmas cards were born. Today, over a BILLION cards are sent every year in Great Britain alone - a staggering figure!

Finally, it wouldn't be christmas in britain without the iconic and long awaited arrival of the john lewis advert. Many people across the country don't acknowledge the start of Christmas until the john lewis christmas advert is released. This is often a short film telling a rather emotional story whilst conveying the joys and importance of community at christmas. The advert always pulls on the heart-strings while spreading some festive cheer. Furthermore, in recent years these adverts have sparked some friendly competition amongst british brands such as Sainsbury’, Asda, and even Heathrow! Although it may feel like this tradition has been a part of British life forever, the John Lewis advert only dates back to 2007! 

And so, it is clear to see that Britain is a country full of wonderful traditions, and while some of them may be considered strange, it just wouldn't be Christmas without them.