Just about every family in the UK will have weird Christmas traditions that they and a few others will follow, but there are some traditions that just about every British family will know and some of them are very strange.
While Christmas is said to be the most wonderful time of the year, it’s a great time for spending time with family and friends – though we do mark the big day with some odd goings-on.
TV channel Dave went to the trouble of putting together some of the weirdest traditions that are celebrated in the UK.
Sending Christmas cards
Not just any old Christmas card but we send Christmas cards to people we live with. Why?
While it’s a very touching tradition sending cards to those you may not be seeing over Christmas time, is it really worth spending money on sending a card to someone you wake up with?
Apparently, lots of Brits do believe it’s worth spending time and money on sending Christmas cards to loved ones. Even if they are in the same house.
Real Christmas trees
It is a strange concept to cut down a real tree, bring it indoors, stick it in a bucket and cover it with tinsel and Christmas lights. As weird Christmas traditions go, this is near the top of the list.
Essentially, we will be homing a tree that is slowly dying in our living rooms and shedding its needles in the process.
These needles will need to be vacuumed once or twice a day, and most people will not consider putting water in the bucket to help the tree survive longer.
And then, when the festivities are over, we have the problem of disposing of our Christmas tree effectively. Thankfully, most councils will pick up trees.
The office Christmas party
Of all the occasions for forced jollity, the office Christmas party probably takes top spot.
For some reason, we decide to spend part of the festive season holding a party with people we see every day and some of them we have grown to resent.
Add in alcohol and the potential for these resentments to spill out into confrontation becomes a very real prospect.
Weird Christmas traditions – having to bribe children
The festivities is also a time for British families to blackmail their children into behaving themselves. This is among the most popular weird Christmas traditions in the UK!
Also, when children are very young we tell them to be wary of strangers and then in the run-up to Christmas we say that if they behave themselves, then a strange man with a big white beard and a sack of presents will come into their home in the middle of the night and leave some gifts.
This has also led to the worrying trend of the ‘Elf on a shelf’ – essentially a 24-hour snitch who helps to keep children honest.
An early start on the booze
We have mentioned previously on the Christmas.co.uk site that Christmas appears to be starting earlier and on Christmas Day itself, lots of people start to drink alcohol at surprisingly early times.
While alcohol is an important part for many people in their Christmas Day routine, many people start too soon, don’t pace themselves and peak too early.
Over imbibing can also lead to family rows, chaos in the kitchen and a ruined Christmas dinner and early nights all round.
Just be careful with alcohol and while you enjoy it, don’t use it to spoil other people’s festive enjoyment.
Weird Christmas traditions for dinners
Most of us actually enjoy having roast turkey for Christmas dinner and that’s okay with it being so predictable.
Everybody knows what to expect, and there are no surprises in store with ‘unusual offerings’.
However, there appears to be a trend to do unusual dishes, and not just for duck or goose, with some people opting for Chinese dishes and other unusual offerings.
Some people take things too far and only disappointment their dinner guests when really they should only be allowed to have one dish that is a twist on their normal servings and it’s best to keep it that way.
Let’s face it, if there’s one dish that really could do with a twist, it is sprouts.
Especially since this among the weird Christmas traditions in many homes to force children to ‘eat at least one!’
The vegetarian option
Vegetarianism and veganism are growing in popularity in the UK but, sadly, Christmas appears to be no time to be a vegetarian.
For many people, the centrepiece for their Christmas dinner is roasted meat, stuffed with yet more meat.
To make things even worse, we have side dishes that consist of sausages wrapped in bacon, which are unbelievably delicious.
Thankfully, there are usually plenty of vegetables going in most homes to cater for non-meat eaters.
Recent surveys point to the declining popularity of Christmas pudding, but it’s a tradition that most families still enjoy.
Thankfully, the trend of putting in a sixpence seems to be fading out and that’s good since you no longer have a worry of biting down on a piece of metal and hurting your teeth.
There are some excellent Christmas puddings available and some home-made ones do impress though for many Brits this is still an opportunity to set fire to a pudding that may cause mayhem for everyone sat around the table.
Santa tends to bring youngsters board games and it always starts as a good idea to gather the family around the table and play one of these games once the Christmas dinner has been cleared away.
However, this means having to learn rules and then agreeing on what the rules really mean to help prevent cheating.
While the basic games are still great fun, for example snakes and ladders, it’s no point cheating at board games, particularly if there is an overtired youngster who’s been on the go since 5.30am. In this instance, there will be no winner.
Don’t forget too that it’s not just the Brits who do strange things at Christmas – other countries also have strange festive customs. If you have any weird Christmas traditions, then share them with us at Christmas.co.uk!