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14 Christmas Struggles That Are All Too Real For Expats In The UK

Turns out the British REALLY love Christmas.

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1. We need to talk about Christmas crackers.

BBC / Via aminoapps.com

Everyone goes barmy for a Christmas cracker! Luckily, Brits are always very excited to introduce and guide anyone new to the tradition.

4. Boxing Day. What is it?

Fotostorm / Getty Images / BuzzFeed

People generally won't be able to tell you why it's called Boxing Day or what the point of it actually is (other than it being when all the sales start). But nobody questions it – and it's a public holiday too, so you might as well go along with it!

5. People will assume you're celebrating Christmas, even if your religion doesn't necessarily recognise it.

BBC / Via diypw.tumblr.com

In Britain, whether you're Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu, or practising any kind of religion, Christmas seems to transcend all that. It's now as much a British thing, as it is a religious one.

6. And it's definitely NOT the holidays. It's Christmas!

Me, seeing Halloween décor in September: WAY too early! Me, turning to see Christmas décor: It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!🎅🏼

In most parts of the world, Christmas is just a single day: the 25th of December. In the UK, Christmas refers to the entire season. And in some shops, that starts around mid-September!

8. Christmas adverts are a national cultural event.

NBC / Via teens-instagram.tumblr.com

This is only a recent phenomenon, but each year it's BIG news when the department stores release their Christmas TV adverts. And if they don't manage to make you cry, they'll definitely be hearing about it on social media.

10. They get very excited about advent calendars.

Russ Rohde / Getty Images

Germans and Scandinavians are also proud partakers in this tradition, but to many other visitors, it's a new one.

11. Mince pies...

Alexpro9500 / Getty Images

The English language has its nuances, but few are as weird as mincemeat.

You see mincemeat has no meat in it, but instead is made of dried fruit and spices. Meanwhile, mince IS literal minced meat. Very tasty, but very confusing!

12. In fact, Christmas seems to have a lot of spiced things. Like mulled wine!

December - Christmas enters 4th month - Chocolate for breakfast - Fridge visits triple - Scissors/tape vanish - Mulled everything

It's a delicious tradition that, like most traditions, sometimes gets taken a bit too far. Mulled wine? Yes. Mulled beer? Not so sure!

14. Also, Christmas sandwiches?

BBC / Via thenerdyteacher.com

Not only is this a thing, but Brits love a Christmas sandwich. Usually they involve some combination of Brie, cranberry, and turkey. It's just all-Christmas everything!

Better things happen when different traditions are shared at Christmas in new places with new people.

As part of Western Union’s chain of good deeds all around the world, this December, the Chain of Betters is supporting people celebrating Christmas somewhere new.

Every day from 1 to 24 December, Western Union is giving away $100 eVouchers* to US and UK residents, to help share your favourite traditions with the people around you.

Simply comment on this Facebook post and tell us what holiday tradition you or someone you know is celebrating away from home. Make sure to include the hashtags #WUXMAS and #SWEEPSENTRY in your comment.

How will you make someone’s Christmas special this year?


*Prize will be $100 (or £ equivalent) Amazon eVouchers. Open to residents of US and UK. No Purchase Necessary. Official Rules at bit.ly/xmas-terms. Void Where Prohibited. bit.ly/WUxmas for more info.

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