Britain’s new and old Christmas traditions revealed

From the Ramsays and Rooneys to the Kardashians, festive family pyjamas have become so popular as a Christmas tradition, 25 per cent of Brits now buy them – almost four times more than those who go to a British panto.


However, whilst some festive customs are overtaking others, food and drink habits are here to stay, according to new research by heritage chocolatier, Elizabeth Shaw:


·       75 per cent of 2,000 adults surveyed said that food and drink at Christmas is more important than presents!


And not only that…


·       Four times as many adults say they prefer the tradition of sitting round the Christmas table rather than going ice skating (20 per cent versus 5 per cent).  


·       Six times more people say they would choose cooking for the family over a trendy wild Christmas Day swim (17 percent versus 3 per cent).


·       Nearly five times more people see Christmas dinner as more of a tradition than going to carol service (47 per cent versus 10 per cent).


People’s top foods for the season included:


·       Turkey! Four hundred years after Henry VIII sat on the throne as the first monarch to enjoy Christmas turkey, 43 per cent of people now say it’s still just for Christmas and no other time of year.


·       Pigs in blankets, so much so that 43 per cent of the nation will only eat them at Christmas.


·       The love-hate Brussel sprout. With an estimated 750 million individual sprouts sold each year around the holidays, more than a quarter of Brits never eat them outside of the festive season (28 per cent).


·       After dinner mints are a must-have treat for almost a quarter of sweet-toothed Brits.

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Famous for being tinsel season tipples, eggnog and sherry are now unfashionable to most of the country – yet over a fifth of us will reach for a bucks fizz at Christmas (21 per cent).


Cinnamon and mint chocolate were the top flavours associated with the season. 


Karen Crawford from Elizabeth Shaw comments:

In these changing times, nostalgic food traditions are important for people, especially during special moments of coming together like Christmas. In fact, the research also told us that almost 1 in 3 adults still follow the same traditions as when they were a child.
Over 10 million of our dark chocolate mint crisps are eaten every Christmas. It’s a ritual treat shared across generations. While some traditions are more trendy than others, our research shows the holidays are all about a mix of new and old.

Despite changing times, festive films remain a steadfast tradition.


Home Alone, Love Actually, and The Holiday are still firm favourites for movie fans who refuse to watch them beyond Christmas.  


Hotly debated among many, Die Hard is a must-watch, although 89 per cent confess they watch it all year round. Even Bruce Willis himself has confirmed it’s not a Christmas movie.


The research was conducted by Censuswide with a sample of 2,008 nationally representative respondents.

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