Uh oh, you are using an old web browser that we no longer support. Some of this website's features may not work correctly because of this. Learn about updating to a more modern browser here.

Skip To Content

Brits reveal their best-loved Christmas traditions, including watching festive films and wearing Christmas jumpers

Brits have revealed their best-loved Christmas traditions, including watching festive films, wearing Christmas jumpers – and tucking into turkey sandwiches on Boxing Day.

A study of 2,000 adults, found Christmas dinner to be the top tradition over the festive period, while listening to Christmas songs and putting a mince pie out for Santa on Christmas Eve also featured in the top 20.

The research also found that 53 per cent believe the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has made them value Christmas traditions more than they’d realised. Although, going to a pantomime, shopping in store and going out for drinks on Christmas Eve, were among the loved traditions that Brits are uncomfortable doing following the pandemic.

Research further revealed that 41 per cent believe the traditions they follow have changed over the years, with 35 per cent having adapted their traditions in a bid to be less materialistic and 32 per cent have altered their traditions for their children.

Francesca Savage, Head of Christmas at Save The Children, who commissioned the research to celebrate Save the Children’s tenth Christmas Jumper Day this Friday (10th December) said: "For many of us, the traditions we take part in at Christmas are what make the festive period something we look forward to. However, COVID-19 has meant that we’ve had to adapt and in doing so, people have swapped materialistic traditions for ones that bring joy to their children.

“Whatever happens this year, we hope that the nation will join us in one of their top twenty beloved traditions of wearing a Christmas Jumper Day this Friday. The bolder and brighter, the better, to raise vital funds to help support Save the Children’s work in the UK and across the world.”

For its tenth anniversary, Save the Children is encouraging the nation to dig out vintage jumpers, upcycle or shop second hand, to make this the most sustainable Christmas Jumper Day yet. The money raised goes toward helping disadvantaged children get the food, healthcare and education they need to see the wonder in the world and to believe in a future where anything is possible.

The study, commissioned via OnePoll, in fact found that one in five have bought a second-hand Christmas jumper before, while one in eight (13 per cent) have made their own.

Almost seven in ten agreed that people should make more of an effort to be more sustainable this Christmas i.e., not using glitter wrapping paper or buying plastic toys.

And surprisingly this year 53 per cent plan to buy second-hand gifts in a bid to be more sustainable than ever before. However, almost three-quarters (73 per cent) agreed that there was still a stigma about buying second-hand presents, while three-fifths admitted that if they did buy a second-hand present, they would conceal this from the recipient in fear of their reaction.

Francesca Savage, Head of Christmas at Save the Children further added: “Buying second-hand is becoming more popular but as the results show, there is still a stigma that surrounds second-hand gifting. As presents become increasingly expensive and the nation’s desire to buy sustainably rises more than ever before, we expect the old-time stigma to become a thing of the past.

“Our Save the Children and Mary Living and Giving stores across the country, offer a unique range of new and donated clothing, accessories and home décor products. We must breakdown the pre-conceptions that charity buys are bad quality, when in fact there are often hidden designer gems! Most importantly, the purchases made enable the charity to help children see the wonder in the world and to believe in a future where anything is possible”

To take part, all people have to do is donate £2 (or £1 for kids) to Save the Children and sign up at www.christmasjumperday.org


1.       Christmas dinner

2.       Giving and receiving presents

3.       Putting the Christmas tree up

4.       Eating with all the family on Christmas Day

5.       Putting up Christmas decorations

6.       Watching traditional Christmas films

7.       Eating Turkey on Christmas Day

8.       Listening to Christmas songs on the radio

9.       Sending Christmas cards

10.   Getting an advent calendar

11.   Eating Turkey sandwiches on Boxing Day

12.   Wearing Christmas jumpers

13.   Going out for a Christmas meal with friends

14.   Watching the Queen’s speech

15.   Getting dressed up on Christmas Day

16.   Hanging a wreath

17.   Putting a mince pie and glass out for Santa, and carrots for Santa’s reindeer

18.   Drinking Bucks Fizz on Christmas morning

19.   Lounging around in your Christmas pyjamas on Christmas Day

20.   Going to a pantomime


Survey carried out by 72 Point between 19/11/21 - 23/11/21 on behalf of Save the Children UK. Representative sample of 2,000 UK adults who celebrate Christmas.