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We Asked British People What Makes Christmas “Christmas”

However you do Christmas, Everyone’s Welcome at Tesco. #EveryonesWelcome

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We asked 10 Brits to tell us the one item, food, decoration, or tradition that makes their Christmas truly unique. Whether that’s starting off the morning with a lethally strong glass of mulled wine or a particularly crude decoration that you can’t help but love, everyone has something that just makes Christmas “Christmas”. Here’s what they said.

Sandwiching Christmas Dinner With an Entire Italian Meal

Christmas in our home has always been both British and Italian. So every year, before the Turkey roast (with all the trimmings), we always have homemade lasagne. And not just a tiny bit, either – we each have a full serving. After the roast is done, dessert is always panettone.

It's a lot of food. But it’s not Christmas if I don’t send myself into a food coma.

– Sabrina, Hackney

Eating the Best of Both Worlds

For my family, it's pepper soup. Being British Ghanaian, we have a British Christmas lunch with all the trimmings early on in the day with my parents, siblings, children, and everyone’s partners.

Then at about 5pm, we bring out a huge pot of Ghanaian pepper soup, so it’s ready just before all the aunts, uncles, and cousins arrive to spend the evening together.

– Ananda, Dartford

Being Determined to Out-Stuff the Turkey

Eating a whole tub of Twiglets (to myself) before I've had breakfast is the first of many, many acts of utter gluttony I indulge in throughout the day.

If my stomach isn't medically close to bursting by the end of the day, it's just not Christmas.

– Nyall, Bath

Making the Most of It Actually Being Acceptable to Drink in the Morning

My family go on a super-early Christmas morning dog walk every year. We bring along lethally strong mulled wine in a flask (spiked with extra spirit) and wear our pyjamas, wellies, and a novelty Christmas hat that has to be bought new each year. The hat is mandatory.

My dad often brings along a few mince pies in his pocket, but everyone, apart from him, tends to stay well clear of them. Gross.

– Laurie, Bedfordshire

Attaching Sentimental Value to a Decoration That Should Probably Call It Quits

For me, Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without all the ancient, tacky decorations that have been in the family for decades and that specific “old tinsel” smell when my dad gets the box from the attic. My favourite is a dishevelled fairy who must be about 73 years old in doll years. Her hair is matted, her eyes look dead, and she’s had a fairy light stuck up her skirt every single year, but she’s still kickin'. What a gal.

– Suky, Swansea

Eating a Deliciously Spicy Stew for Brekkie

What makes Christmas for me is breakfast. Every year, my dad makes a West Indian dish called Pepper Pot (like a beef stew), which we have with homemade bread made by my mum. I wake up every Christmas to the smell of Pepper Pot and homemade bread, and it is immense!

Pepper Pot is the one tradition my parents kept for Christmas when they moved to England – and the one I couldn't have a Christmas without.

– Sarah, Croydon

Shamelessly Embracing a Culture That Isn’t Even Yours

Every year – without fail – we eat cheese fondue on Christmas Eve. We also have to wear traditional German clothes while eating it – I always wear a dirndl. There’s simply no reason for this tradition, except that my mum spent time in Germany as a child. It’s pretty ridiculous, to be honest, but I love spending my Christmas celebrating German culture.

– Caroline, Maida Vale

Getting Outshined by Your Own Flesh and Blood

Every year, my mum announces a Christmas theme colour. In our Christmas Day family picture, my dad and siblings are all uniform, wearing the same colour. Yet every year my mum wears the complete opposite to that theme colour so she is truly the centre of attention in the photo.

– Ada, Manchester

Using It as an Excuse to Sit in Front of the TV All Day

Every Christmas, I get up really early and put on my PJs and bathrobe. I go downstairs, pull out a TV guide from the newspaper or magazine – it has to be a paper guide – and map out all the Christmas movies I’m going to watch that day. Sitting down to watch a whole day’s worth of festive films, while stuffing my face and ignoring everyone else just makes Christmas to me.

– Charles, Greenwich

What makes your Christmas unique? Share your story in the comments! However you do Christmas, Everyone's Welcome at Tesco. #EveryonesWelcome

Photos © Emilia Buggins & Antonia Bonello / BuzzFeed

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