Magazine topic: 
Life around the world
Total votes: 93

A traditional Christmas meal in the UK

by : 

I'm really looking forward to going home to England soon for the Christmas holidays. Christmas is fast approaching so I have been busy buying and wrapping presents for all my friends and family. I think one of the best parts of Christmas is the family meal and it will be particularly special this year, as I haven't seen my family in ages and I'm very much looking forward to some home-cooked food! In the UK on the 25th of December, families normally come together to prepare and enjoy a huge feast. Every family has different traditions but here's a general idea of what goes into a Christmas dinner:

  • Roast turkey
  • Roast potatoes
  • Roast parsnips
  • Pigs in blankets (mini sausages wrapped in bacon)
  • Stuffing
  • Red cabbage
  • Boiled vegetables such as peas or carrots
  • Brussel sprouts (famously very few people like these, however they are essential at a Christmas meal)
  • Bread sauce
  • Cranberry sauce
  • Gravy

If there are vegetarians in the family, an alternative option to turkey is a nut roast, which is made up of roasted chestnuts, mushrooms and other winter vegetables.

For dessert (if you have room!) we normally have Christmas pudding, a pudding made up of dried fruit and Christmas spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. The pudding is coated in brandy and then set on fire before serving, so it is always a very impressive dish. Mince pies (miniature tartlets filled with dried fruit and spices called mincemeat) are also a hugely popular dessert, served with cream or brandy butter (butter, sugar and brandy mixed together).

Writing this has made me hungry and now I'm even more excited for Christmas!


What's your favourite meal that you eat in your country for a special occasion?


gianggiang's picture
gianggiang 1 January, 2016 - 08:11

Good afternoon, Jonathan, Tina and Jo editor.
Hi Elsa, Hadia, Ken, sona and everyone.
Hope all of you have a happy new year !

Btw, Hi Elsa ^^
In Vietnam, people only celebrate Lunar New Year, but VNese students still have three days off. So, I think I will sleep like a log all three days. ( It's cold outside Brrrrr). Hope you have wonderful times with your family. ^^. Now, in my country, flowers are everywhere...flower hills, flower gardens, flower markets, flower streets....and you might be the brightest sunflower that I have ever known in all flower forests in Vietnam ^^.( I mean, I like your sense of humour and you are beautiful like a sunflower :P, ( I love sunflower most of all flowers :P )
" Hold happiness tight, throw sadness away ^^, keep smiling, Elsa !
New year, new happiness, new laughter
New efforts, new dreams..........


27 users have voted.
Elsa007's picture
Elsa007 24 December, 2015 - 14:19

We have dumplings (jiao-zi) on New Years' eve. Traditionally, people see dumplings are fortunate food and they serve for a gathering of family and friends!
By the way…

Hi Giang, Hadia and everyone!
Hope your Christmas is as wonderful as you are!
Ho! Ho! Ho! ☆☆☆☆☆☆☆

Elsa ♪

31 users have voted.
gianggiang's picture
gianggiang 25 December, 2015 - 09:07

Thank you,thank you, thank you !
Hope you have good meals
And meet a lot of the new
You are so cute !
I know it is a bit late, merry merry Christmas.:P
By the way....

My mother often says to me " Everywhere you go, whatever you do, be happy and confident because God always take care of everyone" ( I like it so much:) because not until I was 14 that I understood it ). But one day, I read another saying " God can't look after all of us, so he have mothers take care of us. "
...On Christmas day, give your mother a hug ! <3
Do you receive many gifts from Santa Claus ? and Does your father give you any gifts ?: )

Christmas... Chrismas.............

34 users have voted.
Elsa007's picture
Elsa007 26 December, 2015 - 03:12

Hi giangginag!
Santa seems to have gone now and it's Boxing Day!
When I first knew this day, I though the day was made as a 'counter programme' of Christmas, I mean, it's a kind of a field day coming after the day of solemnity………… ;-)))
Anyway, it was a wonderful Christmas day, I enjoyed many heartwarming Christmas messages including yours! ☆ -Thank you, thank you, thank you!! ☆
Actually I haven't received any gift….. since I've worked out Santa Claus, and you know, Christmas is spiritual to me! :)

BTW, your insightful views often inspire a feeling of admiration, giang! I always enjoy hearing from you!☆ Did you hug your mum tight??
Boxing… Boxing….

33 users have voted.
gianggiang's picture
gianggiang 26 December, 2015 - 10:38

Hi Elsa
When I first knew Boxing Day, I thought it was related to sports :P. Do you know any information about Boxing day. I would like to learn !

BTW, Really ??, I didn't know about that. Actually, My writing has a lot of drawbacks. My views are full of theories and they are impractical. Honestly, in Vietnam, some people think that writing styles such as mine are ironic.

I have never hug my mother, have never hold her arm, but when she comes back home from work, I'm always the first person to greet and open the door for her. Asian culture seems to be strict for me.

31 users have voted.
Elsa007's picture
Elsa007 31 December, 2015 - 12:54

Hi Ginag!
About Boxing Day! Ha ha ha ha!
Wait…. I've found the following information about Boxing Day, you're right, Giang, nowadays it relates to an important sporting event! I didn't know that! Thank you, Gaing!

"Boxing Day in the United Kingdom is the day after Christmas Day and falls on December 26. Traditionally, it was a day when employers distributed money, food, cloth (material) or other valuable goods to their employees. In modern times, it is an important day for sporting events and the start of the post-Christmas sales."

And about your writing, what do you mean by 'drawbacks'?? For who?… for those who are square? :)

You're kind, Giang!☆
I wish each other a happy new year!!


25 users have voted.
Jonathan - Coordinator's picture
Jonathan - Coor... 1 January, 2016 - 07:20

Hi Elsa. The information you found is right! Those presents mostly came in gift boxes, so I think that's why it's called 'Boxing Day'. Some people have a different explanation, that the day after Christmas everyone starts putting their Christmas decorations back in boxes for storage, so that could be another origin of the name but I'm not 100% sure about that. As far as I know, it has nothing to do with the sport of boxing.

Thank you for putting the information you found in quotation marks. Then everyone can clearly see that it's from an external source and not your own writing. When you paste text from another website, please also say which site it came from as a courtesy to the writers.

Happy New Year to you and all our users!

Jonathan (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

30 users have voted.
Elsa007's picture
Elsa007 1 January, 2016 - 08:06

Hi Jonathan!
Thank you for your reply.
Okay, I will put the information source as well next time!
Happy New Year! I wish everyone good luck ☆

34 users have voted.
gianggiang's picture
gianggiang 23 December, 2015 - 13:10

Let me see...
1)Sticky rice cake,
2 Rice noodles
3) Round sticky rice cake
4) Stuff pan cake
5) Young rice cake
6) Soya cake
7) Steamed sticky rice.

28 users have voted.