Have a very merry Christmas with these seven great British traditions

Want to enjoy the magic of Christmas in a quintessentially British fashion? Here are seven seasonal traditions to inspire you

By Lizzie Fletcher

Christmas is a magical time for many people across the world: the perfect occasion to bring families together in festive cheer.

    In Britain, we go especially big on Christmas, with many of our traditions dating back centuries.  

In Britain, we go especially big on Christmas, with many of our traditions dating back centuries.

Here are seven of our finest seasonal traditions, to get you in the Christmas spirit.

1. Leave a tipple and a nibble out for Father Christmas

It is tradition across the world to leave items of food and drink out for Father Christmas and his reindeers, helping sustain them for their nighttime circuit of the globe.

In the UK, we favour a mince pie and a glass of sherry. And don’t forget a carrot or two for Rudolph and company.

2. Indulge in a roast turkey dinner

Rich food is the best thing about Christmas, right? The gathering of friends and family is the perfect excuse for over-indulgence.

When it comes to the main Christmas meal, most families opt for turkey with all the trimmings. There are a variety of dishes you can serve alongside, but most people go for roast potatoes, carrots, pigs in blankets (sausages wrapped in bacon), stuffing, gravy and, of course, the sprout.

No item of food dominates a truly British Christmas like the humble sprout. Loathed by many, it’s a Christmas tradition to serve these divisive mini cabbages at the table.

3. Scoff some Christmas pud

After you’ve stuffed yourself silly with turkey, you might feel as though you couldn’t eat a thing more. But as any Brit will tell you, you’d be wrong. There’s a separate tummy for pudding, after all.

A traditional British dessert is a Christmas pudding, which is made up of a variety of dried fruits and spices. There are lots of Christmas pudding recipes to use or, alternatively, you can buy a premade one from any supermarket.

Don’t forget to pour brandy over the top and light your pudding when you bring it to the table. It’s a show-stopping way to end your Christmas meal.

    In among the eating, drinking and present opening the original message of Christmas often falls by the wayside.  

4. Pull some Christmas crackers

Christmas crackers are a traditional favourite in the UK. We’re not talking about the kind you might have with your cheese. These crackers are usually placed on the table as festive decorations, and make a snapping sound when pulled open.

While you can purchase some extremely luxurious crackers for your table, the best, and most typically British ones, contain a cheap plastic toy and an even worse joke.

5. Attend Midnight Mass

In among the eating, drinking and present opening the original message of Christmas often falls by the wayside. While you don’t have to be religious to celebrate the day, it is probably worth remembering that, for some, it is a chance to rejoice in the birth of Jesus Christ.

Midnight Mass services typically begin at around 11.30pm on Christmas Eve, and are a jubilant celebration for those who attend.

For those who prefer to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas after the sun has risen, there are plenty of late-morning church services on Christmas Day.

6. Watch the Queen’s Christmas Message

The Queen gives a speech every Christmas Day at 3pm, reflecting on the events of the past year. It’s an important part of the day for many households, and families through the ages have gathered to watch it on TV.

Most people put the Queen on in the background while they enjoy a post-lunch snooze or play charades. Somehow, these activities just don’t feel right unless accompanied by Her Majesty’s perfectly formed vowels.

7. Boxing Day

A tradition originating in the UK, Boxing Day falls on 26 December (also St Stephen’s day). The name derives from the giving of Christmas “boxes”, which were traditionally used to collect money for the poor.

Nowadays, Boxing Day in the UK is associated with the huge post-Christmas sales held by retailers. And let’s face it, nothing says “quintessential British Christmas” like getting up at the crack of dawn the morning after Christmas and queuing outside your nearest shopping centre in the hope of landing a bargain.

© 2019 Just Recruitment Group Ltd

Published: 11 December 2019

If you enjoyed this article, you may like: Want to get into classical music? These five pieces will help

You may also enjoy: How to enjoy Christmas without breaking the bank

Jobs currently available

New job
Care Coordinator
Sector: Healthcare
Location: Colchester
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: BUC-CC
About the role

Back Up Care is recruiting for a Care Coordinator for their Colchester Office to work on the busy Healthcare desk.

Previous experience in scheduling care and support staff would be preferred and a healthcare background is an advantage. You will be extremely confident and well-presented and be able to use your own initiative.

This position will involve working alongside the Office Manager, supporting them with the day to day running of the desk.

The role will include:

  • Registration interviews with potential new candidates, and completion of all necessary compliance documents for successful candidates
  • Booking clients rotas to relevant active care staff, and ensuring that all care staff availability is booked to full potential
  • Service calls to clients that are using service meetings to ensure current clients’ needs are being met by Back Up Care
  • Telephone calls to prospect clients
  • Email and Mailers sent to prospect clients
  • Source leads for possible new business
  • Sales calls to obtain new business
  • Sales meetings to obtain new business
  • Ensure specialist software is updated with carer and client information and all bookings are entered onto the system
  • General administration duties
  • On-call rota duties

This requires you to work at an extremely fast pace, placing candidates into both temporary and permanent placements to match their qualifications, skills and experience.

There is a large amount of telephone calls liaison with candidates and clients, therefore excellent clear communicational skills are a must and excellent interpersonal skills are essential.

Other essential skills are:

  • An ability to work as part of a team and as a lone worker
  • A proven ability of effective time management and organisational skills
  • Excellent administrational skills are vital and attention to detail ensuring all candidates are compliant prior to assignment
  • Due to the requirements of the role, a driving licence and access to a vehicle for work purposes is essential

Holiday entitlement:

28 days holiday including public holidays, increasing to 33 days after 2-year service.

If you wish to apply for this role, please forward your CV to emma.brown@back-upcare.co.uk

Read more
New job
Maintenance Engineer
Sector: Engineering and Manufacturing
Salary: £24,000 - £26,000 per annum
Location: Braintree, Essex
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910878
About the role

Just Recruitment is recruiting for a Maintenance Engineer on behalf of a company based in Braintree, Essex to assist its maintenance team in planned maintenance and breakdown repairs throughout the site.

You will ideally have gained experience within an industrial/heavy engineering environment.

The focus of this role is to ensure the smooth day to day running of the company wide machines and buildings.

The role will require close coordination with the maintenance team.

The main department responsibilities in this role are as follows:

  • Assist in the planning of breakdown maintenance of the whole site.
  • Assist in the planning and implementation of new project installations.
  • Assist engagement and liaison with sub-contractors vehicles service operators and insurance inspectors.
  • Assist in purchasing maintenance-related products and services. Maintain efficient maintenance spares and factory consumables store.
  • Routine production-related tasks.
  • Site Security.
  • Assist in the management of staff overalls.
  • Assist in the management of company vehicles.
  • Supervision of labourers working in your immediate area.
  • Assist in Lean Manufacturing initiative and tidiness of your area.
  • Assist in Supervising apprentices/trainees when allocated to the maintenance department.
  • Provide full support to all maintenance team.
  • Provide feedback to Managers
  • Suggest improvements to procedures, equipment, operating methods etc. to increase efficiency.
  • Work to provide results in a timely manner in accordance with planned dates/times.
  • Note: Training will be provided on company-specific systems and machinery, but you should have a good understanding of mechanical and electrical engineering and be able to learn the roles above quickly.

Skills, Experience & Qualifications:

  • Apprenticeship minimum to NVQ Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship in Mechanical Engineering (Craft and Technician).
  • Hydraulics and pneumatics training.
  • Electrical qualifications - Electrical Maintenance basics at a minimum.
  • IOSH or NEBOSH qualification.
  • Ideally, 3+ years experience as a maintenance Technician/engineer.
  • Experience 3+ years of team working (2 or more people).
  • Ideally have 5 GCSE’s including Maths & English and Science (C or above).
  • A working knowledge of Windows and MS Office, Outlook, Word and Excel most importantly.

Candidates without these qualifications but who can demonstrate relevant knowledge and experience will be considered.

Hours of work:

  • 39 hours per week.
  • Monday to Thursday: 7.00am – 3.30pm.
  • Friday: 7.00am – 2.30pm.
Read more
New job
QA Manager
Sector: Engineering and Manufacturing
Salary: Discussed on application
Location: Saffron Walden
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910873
About the role

Our client is seeking an experienced Quality Assurance Manager to join them on a permanent, full-time basis. This opportunity offers stability, longevity and professional development.

Reporting directly to the MD, the Quality Assurance Manager will be responsible for:

  • Maintaining and improving the Company's Quality Management System and ensure internal compliance
  • Working with all departments to ensure their procedures are being followed and to improve their internal and cross-functional processes and procedures
  • Ensure that the quality of current and newly introduced products is compliant and traceable
  • Coordinate Quality activities with all over departments
  • Develop and improve quality relationships with all customers of the Company
  • Responsible for all Quality activities and personnel in the Quality Department for the Company
  • Provide strong leadership in the day-to-day operations of the Quality department and mentor the members of the team
  • Establish performance goals for all departmental employees and monitor performance on a continual basis
  • Oversee all hiring, appraisal, training and discipline of Quality personnel
  • Member of the Company's Management team
  • Produce the Quality element of the company's annual Budget
  • Formulate the departmental strategy aligned to the overall Company strategy
  • Embed a Continuous Improvement culture within the Quality Dept and contribute to the Continuous Improvement programme across the site


  • HND or equivalent qualification in Engineering or a related technical field required
  • Minimum 5 years experience in a Manufacturing environment
  • Ability to articulate (verbally and in writing), defend and negotiate Quality expectations with internal and external customers at all levels of management
  • Good interpersonal skills with the ability to guide and educate/train at all levels
Read more
New job
Customer Service Administrator
Sector: Customer Service
Salary: £22,000 per annum
Location: Halstead
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910871
About the role

Just Recruitment is delighted to be supporting a well-regarded organisation at the forefront of its sector that is looking to add a Customer Service Administrator to its team, due to growth – based on the outskirts of Halstead.

The main purpose of the role is to service current and prospective customers by receiving and processing orders, enquiries and general information in a timely and courteous manner.

Key tasks include:

  • Answering incoming calls, giving product information, lead times, dealing with general enquiries and queries, redirecting calls to relevant departments
  • Raising and inputting orders and proforma invoices
  • Raising quotations
  • Amending orders, as required
  • Scanning documentation
  • Liaising with Areas Sales Managers and responding to their requests
  • Arranging couriers and/or carriers as required
  • Any general office associated duties

Key requirements for the role:

  • Excellent computer skills
  • Good eye for detail
  • The ability to work well under pressure
  • Courteous

Previous experience requirements:

  • Previous Customer Service Administrative experience gained within an office environment
  • Excellent telephone manner with the ability to communicate at all levels
  • High level of attention to detail and accuracy
  • Good working knowledge of Microsoft Office and experience of in-house systems
  • Ability to multi-task and prioritise own workload
  • Exceptional communication skills, both written and verbal
  • Understanding of the importance of data protection and adherence to the process

Offering free parking and an excellent working environment, this is a great opportunity to join a growing team.

Working Monday to Friday 37.5 hours per week - offering a competitive salary and company benefits.

Read more
New job
Production Operative
Sector: Engineering and Manufacturing
Salary: £8.91 per hour
Location: Needham Market
Role: Full Time
Contract: Temporary
Job ref: 910811
About the role

Want to work in a safe, clean environment?
And have the possibility of ongoing work?

Just Recruitment is recruiting for a Temporary Production Operative to be based in Needham Market.

Duties include:

  • Ensure all final and completed products are packed to the customer specifications                               
  • Informing Line Leaders of defects found in the products
  • Keep machines supplied with packing materials and labels
  • Assist the Line Leaders with handovers and changeovers
  • Responsible for general cleanliness of the production area and removal of production and general waste
  • Check products on the line for quality and defects
  • Basic production duties carried out in a fast-paced environment

Working hours:

8.30am - 5.00pm Monday to Friday

Read more