History UsefulNotes / AVeryBritishChristmas

26th Nov '16 12:39:06 AM Rungles
Is there an issue? Send a Message


In recent years, some traditions and conventions from other English-speaking countries have started to appear, mostly due to the lower cost of transport and increased relations between the UK, America, Europe (especially Germany, Italy and France) and The Commonwealth. Naturally, these influences are subject to the same ebb-and-flow of any imported trend. For example, UsefulNotes/BlackFriday, previously a chiefly-American spiel, had crashed into the Christmas season in full force by 2014, and Brits everywhere seem to go just as crazy for it as their friends across the pond. A mere two years later and the public appear to have lost interest, and the images of quiet high street shops inspired the press to label the 2016 rendition "Blank Friday".

to:

In recent years, some traditions and conventions from other English-speaking countries have started to appear, mostly due to the lower cost of transport and increased relations between the UK, America, Europe (especially Germany, Italy and France) and The Commonwealth. Naturally, these influences are subject to the same ebb-and-flow of any imported trend. For example, UsefulNotes/BlackFriday, previously a chiefly-American spiel, had crashed into the Christmas season in full force by 2014, and Brits everywhere seem seemed to go just as crazy for it as their friends across the pond. A mere two years later and the public appear appeared to have lost interest, and with the images of quiet high street highstreet shops inspired inspiring the press to label the 2016 rendition "Blank Friday".
26th Nov '16 12:37:12 AM Rungles
Is there an issue? Send a Message


In recent years, some traditions and conventions from other English-speaking countries have started to appear, mostly due to the lower cost of transport and increased relations between the UK, America, Europe (especially Germany, Italy and France) and The Commonwealth. For example, UsefulNotes/BlackFriday, previously a chiefly-American spiel, has crashed into the Christmas season in full force, and Brits everywhere seem to go just as crazy for it as their friends across the pond.

to:

In recent years, some traditions and conventions from other English-speaking countries have started to appear, mostly due to the lower cost of transport and increased relations between the UK, America, Europe (especially Germany, Italy and France) and The Commonwealth. Naturally, these influences are subject to the same ebb-and-flow of any imported trend. For example, UsefulNotes/BlackFriday, previously a chiefly-American spiel, has had crashed into the Christmas season in full force, force by 2014, and Brits everywhere seem to go just as crazy for it as their friends across the pond.
pond. A mere two years later and the public appear to have lost interest, and the images of quiet high street shops inspired the press to label the 2016 rendition "Blank Friday".
26th Nov '16 12:25:54 AM Rungles
Is there an issue? Send a Message


Obviously the UK does not celebrate UsefulNotes/ThanksgivingDay, and, between not having been occupied by any foreign power since 1066 and having a [[UsefulNotes/EnglishCivilWar revolution]] without any really truly clear dates for celebration that wouldn't also be divisive,[[note]]I mean, can you imagine the Queen marking the date Charles I got his head lopped off? Or what some of the louder Scots and more committedly Irish Northern Irish would say if the anniversary of the Glorious Revolution that ultimately knocked out the Stuarts was the national holiday? Or what certain others would say if it were the anniversary of Charles II's restoration?[[/note]] does not celebrate any independence day (as in, say, the US) or commemoration of a revolution (as in, say, France). Thus, Christmas in the United Kingdom is far more of a dominant event than it is in the United States and elsewhere. Indeed, inhabitants of these sceptered isles have celebrated the winter solstice since before the birth of Christ, the Roman, Viking, and Norman invasions[[note]] [[Series/BlackAdder (what about the Swiss invasions!?!)]] [[/note]], so, though Brits don't usually consider it, beneath all the tinsel, Brussels sprouts and unwanted socks at least two millennia of tradition and community are reflected in the average Christmas, with old and new customs -- both original and appropriated -- stacked on top of each other. This veritable smorgasbord of practices forms the nucleus of the [[TitleDrop very British affair]] described below.

to:

Obviously the The UK does not celebrate a designated harvest UsefulNotes/ThanksgivingDay, with the closest equivalent having long since been subsumed by Guy Fawkes Night, and, between not having been occupied by any foreign power since 1066 and having a [[UsefulNotes/EnglishCivilWar revolution]] without any really truly clear dates for celebration that wouldn't also be divisive,[[note]]I mean, can you imagine the Queen marking the date Charles I got his head lopped off? Or what some of the louder Scots and more committedly Irish Northern Irish would say if the anniversary of the Glorious Revolution that ultimately knocked out the Stuarts was the national holiday? Or what certain others would say if it were the anniversary of Charles II's restoration?[[/note]] does not celebrate any independence day (as in, say, the US) or commemoration of a revolution (as in, say, France). Thus, Christmas in the United Kingdom is far more of a dominant event than it is in the United States and elsewhere. Indeed, inhabitants of these sceptered isles have celebrated the winter solstice since before the birth of Christ, the Roman, Viking, and Norman invasions[[note]] [[Series/BlackAdder (what about the Swiss invasions!?!)]] [[/note]], so, though Brits don't usually consider it, beneath all the tinsel, Brussels sprouts and unwanted socks at least two millennia of tradition and community are reflected in the average Christmas, with old and new customs -- both original and appropriated -- stacked on top of each other. This veritable smorgasbord of practices forms the nucleus of the [[TitleDrop very British affair]] described below.
26th Nov '16 12:21:12 AM Rungles
Is there an issue? Send a Message


The most important thing to remember, especially for American tropers, is that Christmas is the United Kingdom's premier holiday and day of celebration[[note]](though in UsefulNotes/{{Scotland}} it was once second to Hogmanay)[[/note]]. Ever seen ''Film/TheGrinch'' with JimCarrey, in which the Whos go crazy over Christmas? To a Brit, that is not even ''slightly'' overboard. Apart from the snow, of course.

to:

The most important thing to remember, especially for American tropers, is that Christmas is the United Kingdom's premier holiday and day of celebration[[note]](though in UsefulNotes/{{Scotland}} it was once second to Hogmanay)[[/note]]. Ever seen ''Film/TheGrinch'' with JimCarrey, in which the Whos go crazy over Christmas? To a Brit, that is not even ''slightly'' overboard. Apart from the snow, of course.\n
25th Nov '16 8:40:36 AM GojiBiscuits
Is there an issue? Send a Message


** ''Mashed Potato:'' Don't ask. It's just sort of ''there''.
* ''Christmas Pudding:'' Also known as "plum pudding" or "figgy pudding". It's a very dark, rich suet pudding (a bulbous sort of dense, curranty booze-soaked spice cake) with a lot of dried fruit, nuts and alcohol, generally cooked by steaming the batter in a cloth wrapping or sack. May contain silver sixpences (no longer legal tender) to give luck and major dental damage to whoever finds the damned things. Tradition is to pour yet more alcohol, usually brandy, over it once more for good luck immediately before serving and then set the whole thing alight for a bit with all the lights turned off. Providing fabrics, hair and especially eyebrows are covered, you don't trip bringing it in and everyone maintains a 5 foot clear radius, this will safely provoke "oohs" and "aahs" and add those pleasingly tangy top notes of ethanol and charcoal. If this has an ancient meaning, most have forgotten it. Christmas pudding can be made at home, but are usually bought beforehand -- Harrods' puddings are considered the best pre-made. If made at home, it will have been done so ''either'' according to a thousand-year old recipe passed down from mother to daughter, ''or'', more usually, borrowed from a celebrated TV chef's recently purchased Christmas-themed cookbook. Traditionally the mix is, uh, mixed on 'Stir-Up Sunday', the last Sunday before the season of Advent -- over a month before the eating date -- with everyone in the family taking a turn at stirring the pudding, starting with the oldest member and finishing with the youngest, and each person making a private wish. The truly dedicated, however, make their Christmas pudding (and occasionally the cake; see below) on the Advent Sunday the ''year before'' it is due to be eaten, to give it a year to 'mature'. Whether this improves the flavour is always hotly debated. In the weeks/months between making and serving, the pudding must be 'fed' (i.e. be lovingly doused in alcohol) periodically. Since Christmas puddings just never go off, and they're kind of dense and huge, it's also an unofficial tradition to have a good deal left in a tin for most of the rest of the year.

to:

** ''Mashed Potato:'' Don't ask. It's just sort of ''there''.
''there''. On Christmas, Potatoes aren't the only vegetable that gets mashed. Swede, Carrot and Sweet Potato mash is fairly common fare at the table, each tasting very different to each other.
* ''Christmas Pudding:'' Also known as "plum pudding" or "figgy pudding". It's a very dark, rich suet pudding (a bulbous sort of dense, curranty booze-soaked spice cake) with a lot of dried fruit, nuts and alcohol, generally cooked by steaming the batter in a cloth wrapping or sack. May contain silver sixpences (no longer legal tender) to give luck and major dental damage to whoever finds the damned things. Tradition is to pour yet more alcohol, usually brandy, over it once more for good luck immediately before serving and then set the whole thing alight for a bit with all the lights turned off. Providing fabrics, hair and especially eyebrows are covered, you don't trip bringing it in and everyone maintains a 5 foot clear radius, this will safely provoke "oohs" and "aahs" and add those pleasingly tangy top notes of ethanol and charcoal. If this has an ancient meaning, most have forgotten it. Christmas pudding can be made at home, but are usually bought beforehand -- Harrods' puddings are considered the best pre-made. If made at home, it will have been done so ''either'' according to a thousand-year old centuries-old recipe passed down from mother to daughter, ''or'', more usually, borrowed from a celebrated TV chef's recently purchased Christmas-themed cookbook. Traditionally the mix is, uh, mixed on 'Stir-Up Sunday', the last Sunday before the season of Advent -- over a month before the eating date -- with everyone in the family taking a turn at stirring the pudding, starting with the oldest member and finishing with the youngest, and each person making a private wish. The truly dedicated, however, make their Christmas pudding (and occasionally the cake; see below) on the Advent Sunday the ''year before'' it is due to be eaten, to give it a year to 'mature'. Whether this improves the flavour is always hotly debated. In the weeks/months between making and serving, the pudding must be 'fed' (i.e. be lovingly doused in alcohol) periodically. Since Christmas puddings just never go off, and they're kind of dense and huge, it's also an unofficial tradition to have a good deal left in a tin for most of the rest of the year.
25th Nov '16 8:40:36 AM GojiBiscuits
Is there an issue? Send a Message
25th Nov '16 8:35:42 AM GojiBiscuits
Is there an issue? Send a Message


In general, the 'Christmas Season' for Brits is defined as the entirety of Advent [[note]]The 24 days of December before Christmas Day, all of which form the start of the Nativity and including Christmas Eve[[/note]], plus Christmas Day, Boxing Day, the days leading up to New Year's Eve, New Year's Day, and then the remainder of the days up to Twelfth Night, after which everything comes to a complete close. However, the increasing popularity of Christmas among retailers has led to some people adopting earlier and earlier starts to the season, with many people starting the run-up as early as the day after Thanksgiving in America. Some people may get wrapped up in the spirit of the season even ''earlier'' than then!

to:

In general, the 'Christmas Season' for Brits is defined as the entirety of Advent [[note]]The [[note]]Advent officially starts on the fourth Sunday before Christmas (usually just inside November) and the days after it until December begins, then on to the 24 days of December before Christmas Day, all of which form the start of the Nativity and including Nativity. Christmas Eve[[/note]], Eve is also included.[[/note]], plus Christmas Day, Boxing Day, the days leading up to New Year's Eve, New Year's Day, and then the remainder of the days up to Twelfth Night, after which everything comes to a complete close. However, the increasing popularity of Christmas among retailers has led to some people adopting earlier and earlier starts to the season, with many people starting the run-up as early as the day after Thanksgiving in America. Some people may get wrapped up in the spirit of the season even ''earlier'' than then!
6th Nov '16 10:02:29 AM nombretomado
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* Christmas films -- terrestrial channels tend to show both more and higher-profile films (often ones receiving their terrestrial premiere) over the Christmas period (as exhaustively covered in the aforementioned ''RadioTimes'' bumper edition, naturally). In addition, while the usual Christmas-themed films (from ''ItsAWonderfulLife'' and ''Film/MiracleOnThirtyFourthStreet'' (x2) to ''Film/{{Elf}}'' and ''Film/BadSanta'') will inevitably be on, many thematically-unrelated ones have nonetheless become staples of the season -- ''Film/{{ET|The Extraterrestrial}}'', ''Film/{{Casablanca}}'', ''Film/BriefEncounter'', ''Film/JamesBond'' films, the original ''Franchise/ThePinkPanther'' films with Creator/PeterSellers, ''Film/TheGreatEscape'' (which is almost a certainty for Boxing Day), etc. Interestingly, during its rather untrendy period in the late 1980s and early '90s, the original ''Franchise/StarWars'' trilogy definitely fell into this category, having become a much less common sight before it became cool again.

to:

* Christmas films -- terrestrial channels tend to show both more and higher-profile films (often ones receiving their terrestrial premiere) over the Christmas period (as exhaustively covered in the aforementioned ''RadioTimes'' bumper edition, naturally). In addition, while the usual Christmas-themed films (from ''ItsAWonderfulLife'' ''Film/ItsAWonderfulLife'' and ''Film/MiracleOnThirtyFourthStreet'' (x2) to ''Film/{{Elf}}'' and ''Film/BadSanta'') will inevitably be on, many thematically-unrelated ones have nonetheless become staples of the season -- ''Film/{{ET|The Extraterrestrial}}'', ''Film/{{Casablanca}}'', ''Film/BriefEncounter'', ''Film/JamesBond'' films, the original ''Franchise/ThePinkPanther'' films with Creator/PeterSellers, ''Film/TheGreatEscape'' (which is almost a certainty for Boxing Day), etc. Interestingly, during its rather untrendy period in the late 1980s and early '90s, the original ''Franchise/StarWars'' trilogy definitely fell into this category, having become a much less common sight before it became cool again.



** ''At least'' three or four [[YetAnotherChristmasCarol versions]] of ''Literature/AChristmasCarol'' will be shown on the terrestrial channels alone. The exact ones vary, but ''Scrooge'' (the Alistair Sim one) is usually among them and [[Film/TheMuppetChristmasCarol the Muppet adaptation]] -- voted [[GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff the nation's 2nd favorite Christmas film]] after ''ItsAWonderfulLife'' in a 2011 ''RadioTimes'' poll -- is practically guaranteed.

to:

** ''At least'' three or four [[YetAnotherChristmasCarol versions]] of ''Literature/AChristmasCarol'' will be shown on the terrestrial channels alone. The exact ones vary, but ''Scrooge'' (the Alistair Sim one) is usually among them and [[Film/TheMuppetChristmasCarol the Muppet adaptation]] -- voted [[GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff the nation's 2nd favorite Christmas film]] after ''ItsAWonderfulLife'' ''Film/ItsAWonderfulLife'' in a 2011 ''RadioTimes'' poll -- is practically guaranteed.
31st Oct '16 6:01:30 PM chizo
Is there an issue? Send a Message


Before we begin, let's debunk a tabloid myth. There is no [[PoliticalCorrectnessGoneMad mass PC-ing]] of Christmas. "Winterval" was a one-off commercial event and few things could annoy a Brit any more than someone wishing them "Happy Holidays". It's "Merry Christmas" or nothing. A "winter scene" on this year's Christmastime postage stamp still means Baby Jesus or suchlike will show up on next year's. Cards are still sent. Office parties are more common every year. [[Series/{{QI}} Thank you, Stephen Fry.]] In fact, Christmas in Britain is so popular that from around the 1800s onwards, it has begun to be celebrated by virtually every religious denomination in some way or another.

to:

Before we begin, let's debunk a tabloid myth. There is no [[PoliticalCorrectnessGoneMad mass PC-ing]] of Christmas. "Winterval" was a one-off commercial event and few things could annoy a Brit any more than someone wishing them "Happy Holidays". It's "Merry Christmas" or nothing. A "winter scene" on this year's Christmastime postage stamp still means Baby Jesus or suchlike will show up on next year's. Cards are still sent. Office parties are more common every year. [[Series/{{QI}} Thank you, Stephen Fry.]] In fact, Christmas in Britain is so popular that from around the 1800s onwards, it has begun to be celebrated by virtually every religious denomination in some way or another.
another. Christmas did ''almost die out'' in pre-1843 Anglo-Saxon Protestant nations (U.S. and U.K.) until a [[Literature/AChristmasCarol certain book completely revitalized it]].
21st Oct '16 4:37:31 AM Adept
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* ''PoliceCameraAction'' -- a VerySpecialEpisode '''may''' air in the lead-up week to Christmas on ITV1 or ITV4 (in any case, mainly a {{Rerun}}, then on Christmas Eve expect an episode on ITV4 which will be a re-run from either the 1998, 2000 or 2002 series and a 2007 series episode later on, and on Christmas Day they will usually show it either two or three times a day: with it being shown as early as 6:00am or 7:00am on ITV4, then repeated in the afternoon, and an hour-long one (8:00pm to 9:00pm or 9:00pm to 10:00pm) which is a VerySpecialEpisode.

to:

* ''PoliceCameraAction'' -- a VerySpecialEpisode '''may''' air in the lead-up week to Christmas on ITV1 Creator/{{ITV}}1 or ITV4 (in any case, mainly a {{Rerun}}, then on Christmas Eve expect an episode on ITV4 which will be a re-run from either the 1998, 2000 or 2002 series and a 2007 series episode later on, and on Christmas Day they will usually show it either two or three times a day: with it being shown as early as 6:00am or 7:00am on ITV4, then repeated in the afternoon, and an hour-long one (8:00pm to 9:00pm or 9:00pm to 10:00pm) which is a VerySpecialEpisode.



* ''The Queen's Speech.'' More formally known as the Royal Christmas Message and originated by [[UsefulNotes/TheHouseOfWindsor George V]] in 1932 (you can see a dramatization of him doing it in ''TheKingsSpeech''), it's broadcast on the terrestrial TV channels BBC One and ITV1 at 3pm and is basically [[UsefulNotes/HMTheQueen the Queen]] making a short to-camera speech to the country and UsefulNotes/TheCommonwealth (over clips of her doing things, media footage etc.) on the events of the year. Political opinions will be of the neutral, non-party political variety (along the lines of 'People died. That's bad.'). While it was originally presented live, it has since become a pre-recorded message and the Queen has been dubbed "One-Take Windsor" by various camera crews for the minimal amount of fuss it takes to shoot the speech. Once, the text was leaked to [[BritishNewspapers tabloid newspaper]] ''The Sun''; despite the alleged shock, the world kept turning -- the monarch will always say broadly the same things anyway, and no-one really imagines she just gets up from the table, wipes mince pie crumbs from her chin, quickly swaps a paper crown with her tiara and delivers a live off-the-cuff monologue to her subjects. Recently, the Queen, technophile that she is, has spread the message on the royal Website/YouTube and via podcast as well as on TV. In 2012's broadcast, she appeared for the first time in 3D!\\

to:

* ''The Queen's Speech.'' More formally known as the Royal Christmas Message and originated by [[UsefulNotes/TheHouseOfWindsor George V]] in 1932 (you can see a dramatization of him doing it in ''TheKingsSpeech''), ''Series/TheKingsSpeech''), it's broadcast on the terrestrial TV channels BBC One and ITV1 [=ITV1=] at 3pm and is basically [[UsefulNotes/HMTheQueen the Queen]] making a short to-camera speech to the country and UsefulNotes/TheCommonwealth (over clips of her doing things, media footage etc.) on the events of the year. Political opinions will be of the neutral, non-party political variety (along the lines of 'People died. That's bad.'). While it was originally presented live, it has since become a pre-recorded message and the Queen has been dubbed "One-Take Windsor" by various camera crews for the minimal amount of fuss it takes to shoot the speech. Once, the text was leaked to [[BritishNewspapers tabloid newspaper]] ''The Sun''; despite the alleged shock, the world kept turning -- the monarch will always say broadly the same things anyway, and no-one really imagines she just gets up from the table, wipes mince pie crumbs from her chin, quickly swaps a paper crown with her tiara and delivers a live off-the-cuff monologue to her subjects. Recently, the Queen, technophile that she is, has spread the message on the royal Website/YouTube and via podcast as well as on TV. In 2012's broadcast, she appeared for the first time in 3D!\\
This list shows the last 10 events of 238. Show all.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=UsefulNotes.AVeryBritishChristmas