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Our Christmas Traditions

Published on 19/12/18

As we start the final countdown to Christmas, we’ve been getting in the festive spirit by swapping Secret Santa presents, decorating the office and trading stories about the traditions that we celebrate annually with our families each December. We’ve also been sharing tales about the history of Christmas and the stories that we’ve grown up with.

A Brief History of Christmas

Christmas Day is traditionally celebrated on the 25th December and for many people across the world, it signifies the annual religious festival celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ in a stable in Bethlehem. 

During the month of December, people also gather to remember ‘Saint Nicholas’; an early Christian bishop in Greek times who was later revered as a saint for his generosity and gift-giving to those in need.

This representation of Saint Nicholas has evolved over time, merging with the Dutch ‘Sinterklaas’ and the English post-Victorian folklore tradition of ‘Father Christmas’ to become the personification of ‘Santa Claus’ that we know and love today – the jolly, fatherly figure who is synonymous with giving gifts to the good and nice children on Christmas Eve.

Each year, these stories are told and retold – continuing the historical traditions of Christmas that have evolved through the centuries – with school productions of nativity scenes, giving and receiving presents and swapping stockings filled with gifts with family and friends on Christmas Day.

Our Individual Annual Traditions

As well as more traditional Christmas activities, our team also have their own individual annual traditions that they undertake with their family each year.

We’ve highlighted a selection of these below to help share our thoughts and to get you all in the festive spirit: 

“Making Christmas biscuits on Christmas Eve to leave out for Santa Claus.”


“When I was younger, my parents would get us new pyjamas for Christmas Eve. We’d then sit on the sofa as a family with a cup of hot chocolate and watch films until I fell asleep. I’d always wake up in my bed the next morning and there would be a few presents in my room and footprints next to the bed – either in talcum powder or flour – as though Santa had been!”


"The Pantomime! It started when we were small, but even though we’re all over 20 years old now, we still go every year as a family.”


“Our family watch all of the Harry Potter movies over the Christmas period, without fail.”


“Elf on the Shelf. A whole month of moving the elf around the house to entertain the children until Christmas Day…. (not to mention waking up in the middle of the night to organise it when we forget!)!” 


"We make a Christmas Eve box for our daughter, filled with pyjamas, slippers, popcorn, sweets and activity packs. We then settle down as a family for a few hours before she goes to bed, to enjoy some quality downtime together before the Christmas chaos begins."


"A Chinese takeaway on Christmas Eve and a trip to the cinema is our favourite pre-Christmas tradition."


"Brie & Bacon with Bucks Fizz or Eggs Royale for Christmas Day breakfast!"


"Christmas Day wouldn't be complete without Doctor Who, Call the Midwife, Strictly Come Dancing and the Queen's Speech!" 

“Our family has always had two Trees – a ‘Main’ tree and a ‘Tree’ tree. We would put our normal presents under the ‘Main’ tree and any jokey presents and little bits under the smaller ‘Tree’ tree. We’ve always done it, and even now our presents are labelled ‘Main’ and ‘Tree’ depending on where they need to go!”


"Years ago, me and my brother created a Christmas tree topper with Dawson on (from Dawson’s Creek) to wind our Mum up! It started off as a joke but has now become an annual tradition – even though we no longer live at home, it’s still in the decoration box at our parents’ house and comes out every year."


"Every year on Christmas Eve, I’ll go to church with my Mum and then on Christmas Day, we’ll all take a family walk before lunch."


“Visiting the local villages with our children to show them the different Christmas trees, houses and lights.”


“We have Caribbean heritage, so our usual Christmas drink of choice is Sorrel – which is a red tea made of hibiscus flowers. There is sometimes the addition of rum for the adults!” 


“My uncle always ends up dozing off after Christmas dinner, without fail, so the rest of the family take £1 bets on the time he will fall asleep. The person closest to the time prediction wins the pot!” 


"Good old-fashioned family games like Charades, Monopoly, Scrabble or Guess Who I Am?' 

Are any of our traditions familiar to you? Do you have any traditions that you carry out each year for Christmas with your friends, family or school?

We hope our stories made you smile, and we’d love to hear some of your own - please do share them with us via Twitter,  Facebook or LinkedIn.

Katie Sixsmith

Katie joined e4education in November 2015 as a Project Co-ordinator in our Production Team. She was promoted to Production Supervisor in 2017 and then moved over to join the Commercial Team as our Marketing and Communications Executive in the summer of 2018. She has a 2.1 BA (Hons) in English Language and Literature from the Open University. 

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