Skip To Content

    21 British Christmas Traditions America Needs To Adopt

    America, you need to get on board with brandy butter.

    1. Going to pantomimes.

    Miles Willis / Getty Images

    Why it's great: Christmas pantomimes involve terrible jokes, shouting, men in drag, and occasionally getting to throw things at the stage.

    2. Obscure celebrities turning up to switch on the town Christmas lights.,

    Why it's great: The more obscure the reality show, the better. Some of the fancy streets in London might get a legit celebrity for the occasion, but these are far less thrilling than someone who didn't win The X Factor turning on the Stevenage lights.

    3. Eating exclusively mince pies for the entire month of December.

    oatsy40 / Via Flickr: oatsy40

    Why it's great: They're genuinely awful the first five times you try them as a kid but once you get used to them they taste like Christmas.

    4. Leaving booze out for Father Christmas.

    Mince pie, carrot and sherry set - Santa and Rudolph are in for a treat!

    Why it's great: While American kids might leave out milk and cookies for Santa we leave out some sort of booze and a mince pie, so he can drink And a carrot for Rudolph of course.

    5. Having Christmas crackers.

    Sophie Gadd/BuzzFeed

    Why it's great: Christmas crackers contain a small amount of gunpowder, toys, paper hats, and jokes. All of the jokes are genuinely terrible and everyone has to read them out and groan at how bad they are.

    6. Wearing paper hats to eat Christmas dinner.

    Cleavers / Via Flickr: cleaversincanada

    Why it's great: Because everyone looks universally silly.

    7. Having Quality Street, Roses, and other barrel-sized tins of chocolates in your house.

    Why it's great: At Christmas in the UK it is traditional to have large tins of sweets in your house that you never really buy, but sort of "acquire". Every family has one sweet that they hate and try to give away to guests for the duration of the Christmas period (looking at you, orange cream).

    8. Smashing, then eating Terry's Chocolate Oranges.

    Why it's great: Oranges. But they're made of chocolate. GLORIOUS.

    9. Displaying Twiglets in bowls around your house at parties.

    Russell102 / Getty Images

    Why it's great: Seemingly present at every Christmas party in the UK, they taste a bit like Marmite and are weirdly addictive.

    10. Serving the turkey with PROPER pigs in blankets.

    Stevie-B / Via Flickr: steve_brace

    Why it's great: Not those tiny American pastry things with a sausage in the middle, but sausages wrapped in delicious, delicious bacon. America, bring these to your Christmas dinners we promise they will change your lives.

    11. Eating Yorkshire puddings.

    Kim Siever / Via Flickr: kmsiever

    Why it's great: Not ~everyone~ in the UK has these with their Christmas dinner because they're traditionally served with beef, but quite frankly they SHOULD. The fluffy batter makes an excellent gravy holder and they improve basically all meals.

    12. Having bread sauce.

    13. Setting fire to a Christmas pudding.

    Christmas-pudding / Via Flickr: whiper

    Why it's great: Like most things at British Christmas the plum pudding contains loads of booze. It is traditionally doused in brandy and set on fire. And then served with more brandy.

    14. Eating sugary alcoholic butter with all your desserts.

    Harrods / Via

    Why it's great: Brandy butter is a gift from the heavens and America should definitely adopt it. You can put it on Christmas pudding, or mince pies, or just eat it out of the tub with a spoon like a heathen.

    15. Pouring brandy sauce over everything.

    Tesco / Via

    Why it's great: Another alternative Christmas pudding topping. It's loads of cream mixed with Cognac and it is verrryyy good.

    16. Making, and not really liking, a Christmas cake.

    17. Watching the EastEnders Christmas Day episode as a family.

    BBC / Via

    Why it's great: EastEnders is an important British TV institution and the Christmas Day episode is where we find out who died/did the murder/cheated on their wife. It's generally all very dramatic and tragic, but it brings people together.

    18. Drinking shitloads of ridiculous booze.

    19. Going on a bracing Christmas Day walk.

    20. Boxing Day.

    21. Spending a whole week off work.

    BBC / Via

    Why it's great: A lot of workplaces in the UK totally shut over the Christmas period and don't properly open again until after New Year (except retail, doctors, pubs, etc. sadly). It gives everyone time to sit in their parents' houses with the heating up too high and get annoyed with their relatives, then rush back to their own houses to actually relax. It's great.

    BuzzFeed Daily

    Keep up with the latest daily buzz with the BuzzFeed Daily newsletter!

    Newsletter signup form