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Swyft's 11 top Christmas traditions

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Ed Hawes
Swyft's 11 top Christmas traditions

Image (above) credit: Regis Park

Christmas is different for everyone. The idea of Christmas and the way we celebrate is mostly the same, but the traditions we have can be vastly different. So, with Christmas only a few days away, we asked the team what their Christmas traditions are – here are some of the best ones: 

1) We visit Birmingham Christmas Market every year to soak up the festive atmosphere and enjoy a mulled wine or two. It doesn’t quite feel like Christmas until we’ve visited the market – much like how some people don’t feel Christmassy until the Coca-Cola ad has been broadcast. 

birmingham christmas marketImage credit: thebfcm

Every year, we go to Winter Wonderland in London. We always end up drinking steins in the Bavarian Hall until closing, and for me that signals the start of Christmas. The Bavarian Hall is full of merry elves, dancing on tables and singing along to the live band, who usually play cheesy classics. It’s great fun. 

bavarian hallImage credit: Winter Wonderland

3) On either the first or second weekend in December, as a family we head to a Christmas tree farm in the countryside. With a mulled wine or beer in hand, we hunt the perfect Christmas tree and chop it down and pack it, ready to take it home. That’s when Christmas begins. Whilst the tree is being packaged, we browse the farm shop where we might pick out one or two new ornaments for the tree. How can you not feel Christmassy after that?

Christmas tree farm

4) We always drink Sherry while dressing the tree. A simple tradition that we’ve always done.

5) On Christmas Eve, we take the children to the nativity service. We make them dress up and take part in the nativity. It’s not only fun for the kids, but means we can have wine or two and sing Christmas carols. Perfect. 

nativity serviceImage credit: Brighton and Hove

6) We always read The Night Before Christmas on Christmas Eve, it’s a tradition we’ve been doing since I was a kid and have continued doing so into adulthood. Christmas has truly begun after  we’ve read it.

7) Every Christmas, we cook a generations-old family recipe of meat and potato pies. And no, I’m not telling you the recipe. It‘s a secret. 

8) My parents always hide a pickle ornament in the tree. The first person to find the pickle wins a  present. It’s so much fun and everyone in the family gets involved. It sounds random, but according to Wiki (trustworthy source, I know), it’s a German-American tradition which was created in the late 19th century. It was developed for marketing purposes by a company selling glass Christmas tree decorations. 

pickleImage credit: knowyourmeme

9) On Christmas Day, my parents would keep a “bedtime present” (usually pyjamas), which we couldn’t open until we were going to bed. Apparently, it meant we wanted to go to bed early so we could open it. It was a ploy to get the kids to bed early with no fuss. I’m 100% copying this plan and using it on my own kids.

10) Every year, my brother and I crack Terry’s Chocolate Oranges over each other's heads. It hurts and gets less funny each time, but it’s our thing. This year, I’ve got everyone at mine, so everyone gets a chocolate orange. I’ve just wrapped 12 of them – I hope they enjoy our tradition.

My tradition is simple and involves very little thought: nine Guinness's and then bed. 


If you have any Christmas traditions of your own, head over to our Instagram page on the 24th and we’ll share them on our stories. Merry Christmas to all, we hope your day is full of love, laughter and, of course, a cosy Swyft sofa.

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