In England little emphasis is placed on Christmas Eve and much more on Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Carol singing, midnight church services and going out to the pub are some of the activities that many British families enjoy.
However, night time on Christmas Eve is a very exciting time for young children. It is the time when Santa or Father Christmas comes. They hang up their stockings and go to sleep. Santa and his elves make all the toys for Christmas in his home in Greenland. On Christmas Eve he piles all of the toys onto his sleigh and rides across the sky with his 9 reindeer (Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner (or Donder), Blitzen and Rudolf, of course, the one at the front to lead the way with his red nose.
One of the Christmas rituals is the British monarch’s speech on Christmas
day. Queen Elizabeth II continues this tradition and every year her Christmas message
is heard by millions of people all over the world. In England most people watch
or listen to it while digesting their Christmas Dinner.
Boxing Day is traditionally a
time to give gifts to colleagues and friends. In Ireland there is a custom
called feeding the wren based on an
old legend. In the UK Boxing Day is a public holiday and so banks and most offices are closed but nowadays
some shops and supermarkets are open and offer attractive sales.
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