Keele University

Join in with Christmas celebrations in the UK

A snowman

UK is a multicultural country that welcomes people from around the world. You will find many different holidays, festivals and occasions celebrated throughout the year here, from Chinese New Year and the Summer Solstice, to Halloween, Diwali and Hanukkah.

Many people celebrate Christmas Day on 25 December and Boxing Day on 26 December. New Year's Eve, on 31 December, is celebrated too with fun parties and fireworks taking place around the country.

Here is our guide to some of the ways we celebrate Christmas in the UK – you too can get involved!

Decorate your Christmas tree
Christmas trees have been a part of Christmas since the Victorian times. Christmas trees can be of any size or colour, real fir trees or made of plastic. They are usually decorated in brightly coloured tinsel, baubles and fairy lights. If you don’t have the space for a tree, you could decorate your room with tinsel and fairy lights. 

Listen to Christmas carols and pop songs
You will hear many different Christmas songs and carols played on the radio and TV. Carols are traditional songs that people sing in public. Popular pop Christmas songs include 'All I want for Christmas Is You' by Mariah Carey and 'Last Christmas' by Wham. You could have a go at memorising the lyrics and singing along with your friends. 

Send Christmas cards
Many people in the UK send Christmas cards to their friends, family and colleagues to wish them a happy Christmas. The cards are also a great way to keep in touch with friends and family who live far away. You could write a Christmas card to your friends or family in your home country to tell them you’re thinking of them. 

Hang up your Christmas stocking
Many children around the UK hang up a large sock called a stocking at the end of their bed, or along the the mantlepiece if they have a fireplace. The parents or relatives then fill the stocking with small gifts for the children to find. You could get a stocking for a friend and fill it with some chocolates or small presents. 

Wear a Christmas jumper
You can buy Christmas jumpers, sweatshirts, t-shirts and other accessories from many shops around the UK, including supermarkets. Christmas jumpers often show fun designs with animals, such as reindeer and bears, snowflakes, bells or Father Christmas. If you know how to knit you could knit your own jumper, or make one for a friend. 

Eat a traditional Christmas dinner
Christmas dinner usually takes place on Christmas Day, with family and friends. Turkey, chicken, goose or a meat-free nut roast are usually served for the main meal with side dishes of potatoes, parsnips or carrots. You may also get to try Brussels sprouts, which look and taste like small cabbages, or pigs in blankets which are small sausages wrapped in bacon. For dessert many people have mince pies, which are small pastry tarts filled with fruit, and Christmas pudding, which is a steamed, dome-shamed dessert filled with fruit and spices. You could arrange to have a Christmas dinner with your friends at Keele. This is a great way to try traditional, tasty British food.

Pull a Christmas cracker
Made from paper and card, Christmas crackers are full of fun surprises. One person holds one end of the cracker, while the other person holds the other end. When pulled, the cracker reveals small gifts and a colourful hat people often wear at Christmas dinner. You could by some crackers for you and your friends – you never know what you may find inside.

Watch Christmas films
Some of the popular films which you may see on TV during December, include 'A Christmas Carol', based on a novel by Charles Dickens and 'The Snowman', a film about a lonely boy who has an adventure with a flying snowman. Other popular films include 'Elf', 'Bad Santa' and 'Gremlins'. You could watch some Christmas films – this is a great way to relax with friends.