Real people's Christmas traditions

There are some things that unite us all at Christmas. But away from the tree and the presents, every household has their own traditions. These family favourites are what makes Christmas such a special time.

If you’re looking for inspiration to make your Christmas even better, read on to find out about real people’s traditions.


Christmas decorations on Christmas marketWhen we go on holiday we always try and get a Christmas decoration from wherever we go. Over the years we’ve collected decorations from places including Spain, Italy, Turkey, Portugal, Singapore and Australia.

It means we get a souvenir, but we don’t have them cluttering up the house all year round. Plus, when we put up the tree in the darkest days of December, we’re always reminded of some great holidays in the sun.

James, Manchester


We never get an advent calendar stuffed with chocolate. Instead we have one we use every year, with a pouch for each day in the run up to Christmas.

We fill it with the decorations from a small wooden Christmas tree we’ve had for years. That way the kids get to decorate their own tree day by day throughout the month. We slip in the odd chocolate treat as well to keep them happy!

Julie, Perth


Santa's hands holding a pile of Christmas presentsWhen we were children, we'd have all the presents from Santa laid out ready to open when we first went down in the morning.

Then in the afternoon, we’d always go upstairs to our bedrooms. We were told this was because Santa would often have presents left over after he had finished delivering them. So on his way back to the North Pole he would drop off a stocking full of stocking-fillers on our beds ready to be opened. It was a great way of spreading out our Christmas presents throughout the day!

Jack, Hertfordshire



Bowl of spaghetti bologneseOur family have a tradition of having non-traditional Xmas dinners. In fact we’ve never had a real turkey! We all vote for what meal to have on Christmas day. We then split the meal time duties up so that we each are responsible for breakfast, lunch or tea.

For our main Christmas lunch we’ve had: steak and chips, lasagne, curry, spaghetti  Bolognese, slow cooked lamb, bacon and cabbage, fish and chips, red Thai curry, seabass and scallops. 

Rachel, London


I always cook several Christmas puddings using my Mum’s old recipe. I then send them to my family, wherever they are, so they can enjoy it on Christmas Day. One year, I even sent one to Zambia when one of my relatives was living out there.

Louise, Lincolnshire


Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer cuddly toyIn our house we have a tradition of reading the story of Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer to the kids on Christmas Eve.

What makes this particularly special is that the book we read from is the one my wife was read when she was a little girl. It only comes out for this one reading a year.

Marlyn, London


My husband always creates a quiz for Boxing Day. He starts working on it months before Christmas. It has music rounds, picture rounds, celebrity rounds and anything else he can think of.

There’s no prize for whoever wins it though. They just get the opportunity to brag for a whole year.

Sue, West Sussex


We always go to a carol concert on Christmas Eve with about four other families. We take it in turns to host a party afterwards, which makes it even more special.

We’ve got an app that tells you when the International Space Station is going overhead. We rush all the kids outside, point to the light moving across the sky and tell them it’s Father Christmas heading off on his journey.

David, South Wales